František Drtikol is one of many fine photographers featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA entitled “An Enduring Vision: Photographs from the Lane Collection”. Born in the city of Příbram in what is now the Czech Republic in 1883, Drtikol was one of the first Czech photographers to attain widespread international praise for his photographs.
Starting as a simple portrait photographer after studying in Munich, Germany, Drtikol eventually moved on to photographing nudes and doing other “avant-garde” influenced portraits and photographs, some of which were of celebrities and politicians of his time. Of the key styles mentioned in analyses of his photography are symbolism, art deco, art nouveau, pictorialism, Cubism and futurism, among others.
He coined the period in which he used paper cutouts of silhouettes resembling the human form “photopurism”, also going through a phase of painting with Buddhist and philosophical undertones.
Drtikol only returned to photography later in life, also incorporating his Buddhist interests in his new and ultimate phase until his death in 1961.
The aforementioned Lane Collection consists of pieces from the private holdings of Saundra B. Lane, given to the MFA in 2012. Consisting of more than 6,000 photographs, the collection holds works by major modernist photographers including Ansel Adams, William Henry Fox Talbot and Imogen Cunningham.
For more information on František Drtikol, please click here. For more information about “An Enduring Vision: Photographs from the Lane Collection”, please click here. For more information on the MFA, please click here.