Sudek and Sculpture

From his panoramic views of Prague to his enigmatic still lifes and reflections in the misty window of his studio, photographer Josef Sudek captured the unique spirit of the Czech capital between the 1920s and 1970s. Already in his lifetime, Sudek enjoyed a worldwide reputation—and yet a substantial part of his practice, dedicated to photographing works of art, has remained largely unknown until now.

This book shines a light on Sudek’s most beloved topic—sculpture—which acted as a bridge between his fine art photography and his commercial work. Sumptuous full-page reproductions of Sudek’s black-and-white photographs illustrate a series of thematic essays, focusing on the scope and legacy of his work; while cameos of the key people and institutions supporting his career reveal Sudek’s rich connection to the artistic circles and tendencies of his day. Together, they uncover the shifting tension between the ability of photographs to bring art closer to the people and their potential as works of art in their own right, raising important questions for the history of photography.

“Sculpture is a living thing and must be photographed as if alive.”
Josef Sudek (1957)

Sudek Project
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Editor: Hana Buddeus
Texts: Hana Buddeus, Katarína Mašterová, Kateřina Doležalová, Zuzana Krišková, Mariana Kubištová, Martin Pavlis, Fedora Parkmann
Translations: Barbora Štefanová, Hana Logan
Copy editing: Julia Tatiana Bailey
Index: Tatjana Štemberová
Design: Martin Groch & Tim+Tim
Litography: Radek Typovský
Publisher: Artefactum – Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences & Karolinum (1st edition, 2020)
Reviewed by PhDr Hana Rousová and Doc. Karel Císař, PhD
624 pages, 429 images
ISBN: 978-80-88283-34-8

Published to accompany the exhibition:

Lovelies from the Files. Sudek and Sculpture
House of Photography, Prague City Gallery
Revoluční 5, Prague 1 – Czech Republic
23 June – 27 September 2020


Introduction (Hana Buddeus)
The Life of Sculptures: Ways of Photographic Recontextualization (Hana Buddeus)
Vanished Statues: Finding Images, Creating Pictures (Hana Buddeus)
Light on Sculpture, Sculpture in Light (Katarína Mašterová)
Sudek’s Archival Garden (Katarína Mašterová)
Glass, Plastics, and Papers: A Conservator’s Perspective (Kateřina Doležalová)

Artia (Mariana Kubištová)
Československý spisovatel (Mariana Kubištová)
Družstevní práce (Mariana Kubištová)
Karel Dvořák (Zuzana Krišková)
Emanuel Famíra (Zuzana Krišková)
Emil Filla (Martin Pavlis)
Fotografický obzor (Fedora Parkmann)
Stanislav Hanzík (Zuzana Krišková)
Jiří Jaška (Zuzana Krišková)
Bohumil Kafka (Martin Pavlis)
Kmen (Mariana Kubištová)
Karel Kotrba (Zuzana Krišková)
Karel Lidický (Martin Pavlis)
Vincenc Makovský (Zuzana Krišková)
Josef Mařatka (Zuzana Krišková)
Melantrich (Mariana Kubištová)
Orbis (Mariana Kubištová)
Karel Otáhal (Zuzana Krišková)
Pestrý týden (Fedora Parkmann)
Karel Pokorný (Zuzana Krišková)
Pražské nakladatelství (Mariana Kubištová)
Otto Rothmayer (Martin Pavlis – Hana Buddeus)
Sfinx and ELK (Mariana Kubištová)
SNKLHU/Odeon (Mariana Kubištová)
Bedřich Stefan (Martin Pavlis)
Svaz československých výtvarných umělců (Katarína Mašterová)
Světozor (Martin Pavlis)
SVU Mánes (Hana Buddeus)
Umělecká beseda (Hana Buddeus)
Václav Vokálek (Zuzana Krišková)
Volné směry (Hana Buddeus)
Josef Wagner (Katarína Mašterová)
Marie Wagnerová-Kulhánková (Katarína Mašterová)
Hana Wichterlová (Katarína Mašterová)
Cyril Zatloukal (Zuzana Krišková)
Život (Hana Buddeus)


How to purchase:

Please send your order, which must include the amount of requested publications and both the delivery and invoicing addresses, to the email address You will receive an invoice for payment. When paying in Euro, the final price, including bank transaction fees, is 46 EUR (shipping is not included). Postage costs vary according to destination and weight of package. If ordering one copy of the book to Europe or U.S.A., the expected shipping costs are around 20 EUR.

The book will be also distributed in the United States via Chicago University Press from the fall 2020.