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The Photographic Legacy of the Traveller Bedřich Machulka. The Catalogue of Negatives

Todorovová Jiřina

The Photographic Legacy of the Traveller Bedřich Machulka. The Catalogue of Negatives

National Museum, Prague, 128 p.

Monograph

ISBN: 978-80-7036-236-5

The Ethnographic Department of the National Museum houses a photographic legacy of the traveller Bedřich Machulka (1875-1954). At the end of 1898 Machulka, along with his friend Richard Štorch (1877-1922), travelled to North Africa, where, in Libya, started his career as a traveller, organiser of safari hunting expeditions, dealer in natural products and expert on African wild life. Apart from collecting natural products, both companions also devoted themselves to photography, an activity they never, for the duration of their African stay, desisted from. Machulka bequeathed the whole of his photographic production, whose fundamental part is made up of the original negatives, to the Náprstek Museum. The museum received part of the collection from Machulka himself, part was handed over by his niece Marie Opavská. The inheritance consists not only of the negatives and slides which can be ascribed to Machulka, but also of those that remained in his possession after Štorch´s death. In several instances their author is also a mutual friend Jiří Wachtel. The collection comprises 3,163 negatives. Geographically, the negatives come from the areas where Machulka stayed, that is from Libya, Madagascar, Sudan, Egypt, Oganda, Belgian Congo, Tanganica (today´s Tanzania) and Kenia. They cover the period between 1988 and 1935, the year when Machulka brought his pursuits on the African continent to an end. The publication summarizes the principal data of Bedřich Machulka´s life, deals with his sojourn in different parts of Africa and offers assessment of his photographic work. The catalogue comprises classified and labelled negatives from Machulka´s bequeast. The work is concluded with a résumé in English.

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