Karel Hájek - I Was There at the Time

Karel Hájek - I Was There at the Time

28. 10. 2018 - 28. 2. 2019, Opening 27. 10. 2018 at 5 pm

The Exhibition has been extended until 28. 2. 2019

This exhibition is dedicated to the personality and legacy of the photographer Karel Hájek (1900-1978), a native of Lásenice near Jindřichův Hradec, and was prepared to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death.

In addition to photographs and exhibits from the Collection of the Museum of Photography and Modern Visual Media, the exhibition includes photos and documents which have been lent from the National Museum Archive, the B & M Chochola Archive and the Association of Czech Photographers Collection.     

Special thanks for cooperation on the exhibition go to the curators of the exhibition (in alphabetical order) - Blanka Chocholová M. A., Marek Chochol M. A. (www.vaclavchochola.cz), Libor Jůna M. A. PhD, and Věra Matějů PhD ( www.scf.cz ).


I Was There at the Time

Four institutions which recognize the importance of the legacy of this great photo-journalist - whose work is an integral part of modern Czechoslovak history - have joined forces to commemorate this year's 40th anniversary of the photographer Karel Hájek´s demise. The National Museum Archive, where the majority of Hájek's archives are kept and also professionally cared for; The B&M Chochola Archive which has handled part of Hajek´s archive since the 1950's, continuously exhibiting and publishing from it; The Association of Czech Photographers (ACP) Collection which includes many of Hájek´s photos and presents them in selected sets, (latterly at the travelling exhibition of  '100 Years Through the Eyes of the Photographers from the Collection of the ACP'); and The Museum of Photography and Modern Visual Media which provided not only the exhibition spaces and technical security but also their donated collection exhibits. 

The exhibition presents more than a hundred of Hájek´s photographs in four sections: 'Fragments from the B & M Chochola Archive - the Hájek Phenomenon' provides a cross-section of his journalistic work with an emphasis on the important political and social facts that he captured; the section 'Hunting and Nature' presents examples from Hájek's lifelong fascination with the natural world and the hunting environment, mostly without weapons (from the collections of the ACP and the MP MVM); 'The Egyptian Adventures of  Karel Hájek - 1958'  describe a travel episode from Hájek's rich professional life, during which one of his most famous photos was taken, the Black Madonna. The section 'Karel Hájek and the 21st August 1968', grafically demonstrates the approach of the great photo-journalist to this major historical event from which 50 years have passed this year. Together with the previous section, this one was also put together by the National Museum Archive.

The exhibition as a whole is a valuable and original contribution to understanding the history of Czech photography as well as to the approach and insight of a certain period of this year's celebration of the 100th anniversary of the history of our statehood, marking the foundation of Czechoslovakia.

Věra Matějů



Events and Exhibitions 

The Jesuits in Jindřichův Hradec

24.11. 2018 – 31.12. 2020