photographs of dantzig
Jan Bulhak is considered to be one of the most influential photographers in Poland between the years 1918-1939. During these years he lectured on photography at Wilno University. He founded and presided over the Wilno Photo-Club in 1927 and was a founding member of the Polish Photo-Club, of which he was also president. An extremely prolific artist, he also authored numerous books and articles on the subject of artistic photography.Bulhak exhibited at Salons both at home and abroad and won Gold medals at Wilno 1913, Poznan 1923, Wilno 1924 & Varsovie 1936 as well as Silver medals at Madrid 1927 & Saragosse 1927.He was working at a time when the esthetic battle was between the traditional soft-focus pictorialism and the newer, more realistic modernism. What is apparent in this group of photographs is his transition from the former style to the latter, if only by quantitative comparison. A few images retain the hazy compositions not unlike his earlier Bromoils but most exhibit the vantage points and sharpness of the coming era.By 1939 he presented a collection of 10,000 of his own photographs to the Polish state. Adam Sobota claims in his article Art Photography in Poland,1900-1931 that most of these were destroyed during the War. Consequently, Bulhak's vintage work is very rare and rarely seen outside of Poland. The photographs offered here are from an album entitled Dantzig and assembled by the photographer. The album, a gift from the purchaser to a Danish woman who had visited Dantzig, is dated May 1927.The photographs are Bromide silver prints, all of which are warm-toned except no.each has embossed in the lower right, "j. bulhak, wilno" and the photographer's stamp on the back with handwritten text identifying the subject in polish usually bearing a date, either 1926 or 1927. the prints have in some cases slight surface abrasion, or original dust-spot retouching but are otherwise in excellent condition.
Fotografia Polska. Exhibition Catalogue. International Center for Photography, New York. July 26-September 15, 1979. (Illus. pp. Cover, 22 & 23)
A. Sobota, Art Photography in Poland, 1900-1931History of Photography, Vol.4 (January 1980), p. 18.
La Photographie Polonaise 1900-1981. Exhibition Catalogue, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. January 21-March 8, 1981. (Illus. pp.. 8 & 9)
Christie's East, October 28 & 29, 1987.Lots 102 (5 images) & 103 (6 images) for similar views of Warsaw.
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