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Carlos & Miguel Vargas, Self-Portrait, Arequipa, c. 1922

November 30, 2006 – January 20, 2007
Gallery Hours: Mon - Tue 10am - 5pm, Sat noon - 5pm

Curator Talk: Saturday, January 13, 2007 at 2pm
From the Belle Èpoque through the 1920s, a booming economy, a wealth of new ideas and a fascination with European styles and silent films transformed the city of Arequipa, high in Peru’s Atacama Desert, into an oasis of cosmopolitan culture. This was the heyday of the Estudio de Arte Vargas Hermanos, which quickly became a focal point of cultural life in this picturesque colonial city, 400 miles south of Lima.

City of Night is the first in-dept retrospective of the extraordinary work of Carlos and Miguel Vargas (1885-1979), the inseparable brothers who established the most successful and influential photo studio of their time in the southern Andes, In addition to their photographic work, they hosted art exhibits, poetry readings, musical recitals and international celebrities in their beautifully appointed gallery,

Lifelong residents of Arequipa, the Vargas Brothers left behind an elegant, poetic and unforgettable visual elegy to the city they knew so well, City of Night offers an extraordinary glimpse of a vanished world, the vibrant Creole society of southern Peru in the early 20th century.  The exhibit is curated and produced by Peter Yenne and Adelma Benavente, co-founders of the Photographic Archive Project, a Houston non-profit organization dedicated to the study and conservation of photo archives in the developing world.  FotoFest International is sponsoring the U.S. premiere of the City of Night.

>>Read Curators' Statement

Carlos & Miguel Vargas, First Communion, Cathedral of Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru, c. 1915

New: Second Curator Talk
Saturday, January 13, 2007, 2pm
Curator Peter Yenne

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FotoFest offers free guided school tours to all exhibits. To schedule a tour please contact Jennifer Ward, Exhibitions Coordinator at or 713.223.5522 ext. 18


City of Night
is sponsored by:

The City of Houston through the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County
The Wortham Foundation
Margaret Regan and Fletcher Thorne-Thomsen Jr.
FotoFest Board of Directors

True Focus Custom Photographic Services

The list of FotoFest’s institutional funders and special funders for this exhibit is available here

Carlos & Miguel Vargas, Maria Aranguis, Arequipa, Peru, c. 1925   Carlos & Miguel Vargas, Isabel Sanchez Osorio, Arequipa, Peru, c. 1926