Lviv Photography in the Interwar Period

Lviv Photography in the Interwar Period

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Dr. Adam Sobota  

National Museum in Wroclaw

March 16, 2018 / 6.00 pm

Center for Urban History, Lviv

Interwar Lviv was an important center of culture where photography played a significant role on different levels – artistic, academic, amateur, and documentary. In a multicultural society of the city, photographs expressed both feelings of local identification, and universal ideas rooted in the concepts of the period. Solid grounds for this activity originated from the 19th century and enabled higher-quality progress.

The two decades between the two World Wars were distinctly different from each other. In the early 1920s, the postwar devastation was still noticeable. It took several years before the previous pace of life could be resumed. In art relations, our main topic for discussion, there still prevailed pictorialism that entered the interests of elite photo amateurs at the beginning of the century. Its most outstanding representative was Henryk Mikolasz. However, in about 1930 the situation became more dynamic. Avant-Garde representatives (Artes group) started expressing themselves through photography and photomontages, while urges for modernization of aesthetic principles were shown by many prominent members of Lviv Photographic Society. Moreover, new organizations were established: Ukrainian Photographic Society and a Technical Circle of Photographers in Lviv Polytechnics. Back in those times, many persons involved in photography also made films and combined art interests with academic activities and documentary making. Lviv was a venue for exhibitions, both of national Polish, and international scale.

The lecture was in Polish, with simultaneous interpretation provided.

Dr. Adam Sobota  

curator at the National Museum in Wroclaw. Head of Photography section. Lviv photography is often found among his interests, through exhibitions and publications (Wroclaw museum has a rich collection of works by Lviv photographers before 1939). He also deals with modern art issues. The recent exhibition he organized and the book published is “Nowe horyzonty w nowych mediach – zjawiska sztuki polskiej 1945-1981” (New Horizons in New Mass Media – Manifestations of Polish Art of 1945-1981, Wroclaw, 2017). A lecturer and an art critic for many years.

The lecture was followed by the opening of the exhibition by Andrij Bojarov "COPY/PAST".


Сover Image: Wladyslaw Bednarczuk "Arms of Superpower", 1936

Image Gallery by Iryna Sereda