21. July - 13. September 2020
The photographic work of Rudolf Sandalo Jr. is one of the largest and most valuable sets of photographic documentation in the architecture collection of Brno City Museum. Sandalo’s photographs are valued for what they can tell us about Czechoslovakia’s interwar architecture – which today enjoys international renown – and are evidence of the excellent quality of its photographic documentation. At the time, many people on the forefront of modern art realized the close relationship between modern architecture and photography. Photography helped avant-garde artists and architects to see architecture from a dierent angle, and was used to promote architecture at home and abroad at exhibitions or on the pages of trade journals and society magazines. For instance, Sandalo’s images of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat in Brno brought this iconic example of classic architectural modernism to the attention of experts and fans of contemporary modern architecture in Europe and the USA. In order to protect the valuable original prints, the lighting has been dimmed throughout the exhibition spaces. The dates in the captions relate to the date of construction of the particular work of archicture, since the actual date when the photograph was taken is not always known (although most photographs were taken shortly aer the building’s completion).
The photographs of Rudolf Sandalo in the Zlín region
The exhibition space filled with Sandal's excellent photographs has been expanded by a separate part - the graphic cabinet, which acquaints in more detail with valuable original photographs of architecture in the Zlín region. Thanks to extensive research work, it was possible to identify Sandal's authorship of a number of photographs; they are among the most valuable photo collections not only in the context of documentation of the construction history of interwar Zlín, but also of Czechoslovak architecture. Sandal focuses mainly on capturing the work of the important architect of the Baťa company and the city of Zlín, František Lýdie Gahura, and the architects Vladimír Karfík, Bohuslav Fuchs and Miloslav Kopřiva.
Today, the photographs of Rudolf Sandalo are an indispensable source of information, inspiration, and joy for generations of researchers and fans of modern architecture and modern photography. Their unique visual style and composition and their technical perfection make them some of the most valuable items in the history of 20th-century photography.
Exhibition authors: Jindřich Chatrný, Dagmar Černoušková
Exhibition curator: Ladislava Horňáková
The exhibition in Zlín was realized with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.