Looking at an Unknown World -
Photographs by Arthur Oskar Bach, Albert Schotsch and Bazil Roman
Between the wars, i.e. in the 1920s and 1930s, Transylvania presented a a certain contrast: large parts were still a developing agrarian region with an excessively large farming population and a rudimentary infrastructure, but at the same time it was a highly developed industrial location with features of a modern economy as well as a rich and differentiated culture based on influences from changing Austrian, Hungarian and Romanian rule and the ethnic diversity of its inhabitants.
Public libraries, museums, theatres and cultural amenities were just as natural in the towns as a well-functioning school system with opportunities for higher education; equally prevalent were churches which, with their humanistically minded scholars, played an important role in culture, education and politics. The churches had a key part in conveying and preserving the ethnic identity of the members of minorities. In the educational sector, traditional ties existed with Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Due to this level of education, cultural open-mindedness and interest in technology on the part of the middle class in Transylvania, an innovative approach to such inventions as photography was adopted.