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Josef Mikulka | Sentiment

June 25 – Sep 15, 2013

Olomouc Archdiocesan Museum | Café Amadeus

Josef Mikulka (1892-1975) began to devote himself to photography at the age of 18.  During the period between the two World Wars he was an active member of an amateur movement in this country, he was a member of the Club of Amateur Photohraphers in Olomouc.

His photographs were appreciated both in domestic and international exhibitions. They served commencing photographers as a model material as well. Although his name is nowadays somewhat neglected in the shadow of more famous and more progressive contemporaries like František Drtikol, Jaromír Funke or Josef Sudek, in that time he ranked among the important photographers. His works were acknowledged at the international photographic shows in Luzern or in Cannes, his photograph „Christmas Tree“ was published on the title page of the prestigious American magazine Photography. His works are not overflowing with experiment, but they illustrate the life in the spirit of the ending pictorialism and classical landscape photography. Passion for nature and people, apparent in his pictures, goes across his entire creation. Perhaps it was his active experience of two world conflicts, which forced Mikulka to look for calm, mental balance and poetry in his pictures. His important photographic subject became Olomouc, too.  Ancient alleys, atmosphere of the city parks, area alongside Morava river. The atmosphere, underlined with light, weather, is obvious in all his photographs and the mood literally talks to us. In spite of the fact taht Josef Mikulka was an amateur and in spite of the fact that he did not rank among the pioneers of new trends, his photographs do not lack art and aesthetical qualities. The value of his photographs resides not only in artistic level, but also in documentary and historical aspects.