Consequences of the primacy of pictorialism in Polish interwar period photography Cover Image
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Konsekwencje prymatu piktorializmu w międzywojennej fotografii polskiej
Consequences of the primacy of pictorialism in Polish interwar period photography

Author(s): Monika Piotrowska
Subject(s): Photography
Published by: Instytut Zachodni im. Zygmunta Wojciechowskiego
Keywords: pictorialism; professional photographer; amateur photographer; photographic education; snobbery; artistic conservatism

Summary/Abstract: In the interwar period, the conservative form of Polish photography meant as art was determined by social contexts at a time when the Poles restored their young statehood. This is the main subject of my text, which I use, however, to indicate the repercussions of the described phenomenon that last to this day. The above mentioned form was dictated by the backward Polish pictorialism of the turn of the 1920s and 1930s imposed by the domination of aesthetics over documentary value, contrary to western tendencies. Even after the Second World War professional photographers refused to acknowledge the artistic character of the new born reportage or press photography. My research work focuses on the Poznań environment, which before 1919 followed in the footsteps of German photographers and tended towards valuing the document like Neue Sachlichkeit and high-quality press photography, but nevertheless yielded to the pressure of pictorialism. It was an archaic snobbery that prevented a Western type democratization of relationships between professional photographers and the circles of artistic amateurs. Following Florian Znaniecki, the author of the principle of the humanistic coefficient, I try to retrieve the mentality and cultural systems of the past period. In my research, therefore, I mostly use chronicles, biographical materials, including personal documents and interviews, as well as studies based on these sources or written by witnesses of the era.

  • Issue Year: 368/2018
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 165-178
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English, Polish