Our readers are encouraged to see the exhibition Fotorejestr. Wolska / Ebert as part of the I Artist. Archives and Amateurs section of the annual Fotosfestiwal in Łódź. Exhibition opens on 6 June at 7. p.m. and is on view through 16 June.
Jadwiga Wolska lived in a manor house at a village of Dołęga and was making portraits of local inhabitants in fine dress. Jan Ebert documented many family travels. The collections of photographs by Jadwiga Wolska (under the supervision of Michał Dąbski) and and Jan Ebert (discovered and edited by Xenia Uranova) displayed in the exhibition are different from each other in virtually everything: time of origin (early 20 (black and white glass negatives – colour slides), professions and genders of the photographers (manor owner – electronics engineer), themes and motivation (memento portrait photography – photographs of family leisure activities). These very different but equally fascinating collections were re-discovered in Warsaw by the Archaeology of Photography Foundation as part of the “FotoRejestr” project aimed at exploration of interesting collections of photography from the 20 century and promotion of photography archiving standards. The outcome of the project is the www.fotorejestr.net portal with the first list of collections owned by institutions and individuals (“a universal list”) in Warsaw, virtual exhibitions, selection of the most interesting private collections (photo-collections) and tips of archiving photographs.
Jadwiga Wolska from the series of portraits of inhabitants of Dołęga, 1900-1925
Jadwiga Wolska (1890–1981) was a member of the landed gentry. She was a keen gardener, bee-keeper and photography enthusiast. Until recently, she was considered the sole originator of about 100 glass negatives from the early 20 century found in the 1970s in the attic of the wooden manor house in Dołęga near Tarnów. However, the latest research revealed that there might be two originators: Jadwiga and Maria Wolska (1881?-1955). Most of the negatives are frontal images of peasants in fine dress, posing alone or in groups, and stylised as atelier portraits. The photographs were probably taken in response to an increased demand for photographs for documents and memento photographs related with the labour migration of people from these territories to North America. As there was no professional photographic atelier in the area, the Wolski sisters were asked to take photographs of people who needed or wanted them. Currently, the collection is under the care of Michał Dąbski, a grandson of Jadwiga Wolska.
Jan Ebert, Family holiday, 1960-1970
Jan Tadeusz Ebert was born in 1931 in Warsaw. He is an electronics engineer, associate professor and lecturer at the Warsaw University of Technology. He is a distinguished fellow of many research and social organisations; he was awarded many times for his research and teaching achievements. The photographic archive of Jan Tadeusz Ebert was discovered and edited in 2010 by Xenia Uranova, audiovisual artist from Kaliningrad. She selected and edited 500 photographs from among about 3 000 colour negatives developed by Jan Ebert from 1950s to 1980s. Currently, she is in charge of the archive and its promotion. This selection of photographs was provided for the exhibition by courtesy of the Eberts and Xenia Uranova. www.uranova.com