Picnic on the Rock. Photographs by Stefan Bursche

We invite you to the opening of the exhibition of photographs by Stefan Bursche. It will take place on November 7 (Friday) from 6 – 8pm at the FF Gallery in Łódź, 17 Traugutta St. The exhibition will be open until November 29, 2014. 
Stefan Bursche (1887-1940), a trained engineer, spent most of his life in Łódź and Pabianice, where he worked at the Geyer and Krusche & Ender textile companies. Privately, Bursche was an enthusiast of sightseeing trips, which he attended as a member of the Łódź Tourism Association and of the Łódź division of the Tatra Society. It is likely that it is these activities that led him to developing his interest in photography.
Stefan Bursche’s legacy, comprising over eight hundred negatives (including glass and celluloid), is more than just a family archive – both in its scope and content, as well as its historical and artistic value. 

The collection currently includes photographs from ca. 1910 through to 1930s. The earliest, and, at the same time, most extensive part includes photographs from his tourist trips. As a tourist-photographer, Bursche mostly photographed the Tatra Mountains, as well as other locations in Poland, to which he travelled with the co-members of the tourist societies – these included the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, or his nearest neighbourhood: the Łódź Voivodeship. Groups of women in stylish hats on mountain trails, shots of peaks, sophisticated portraits – just like the one showing a group of elegant men posing atop a rock – seduce with their ambiance and careful composition. The collection of Bursche’s photographs fits very well into the phenomenon of popularization of tourist trips, or tourism in general, combined with promotion of photography as a highbrow hobby. In the photographs we can also see other amateurs of photography.  
Some of the shots from the excursions picture Stefan’s future wife – Zofia Kopczyńska, who shared his passion for tourism.  Later on, her and their two daughters Jadwiga and Maria, became the main protagonists of his photographs, which from mid 1920s were increasingly focused on the family life. 
The collected material was prepared by the Archaeology of Photography Foundation in collaboration with the author’s great grandson, Stefan Gardawski. The exhibition at the FF Gallery is the first comprehensive presentation of this collection. It was co-funded by the City of Łódź. 
Prior to the private view, between 3.30-5.30 pm, a workshop from the series Undusting the Home Archives will take place. We warmly welcome everyone who would like to bring their family collections and learn how to preserve them. During the private view, at 6.30 pm, there will be an opportunity to meet members of the photographer’s family: his grandson Juliusz and his great grandson Stefan Gardawski. 

Curator: Marta Przybyło-Ibadullajev
Opening: November 7, 6-8pm
FF Gallery, 18 Traugutta St., Łódź
Exhibition open: November 8 – 29, 2014

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