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Ignác Schächtl & The Šechtls: From collodion process to digital

The history of one of the oldest photographers in the former Czechoslovakia is captured by an exhibition in the Slovak National Museum

The Šechtl family has a tradition in photography exceeding 150 years. Their studio belonged to the most renowned ones in the territory of First Czechoslovak Republic.

Šechtl’s photographic studio was founded in 1865 by Ignác Šechtl (alias Schächtl). He was followed by Josef Jindřich Šechtl, Josef Šechtl and Marie Šechtlová. Thematically rich photo-archive of hundreds of thousands negatives and vintage photos was preserved. It constains, for example, studio works (portraits and group pictures), pictures of memorable places, fine art photography, photo-journalism as well as snapshots (street photography).

During its existence, the studio has undergone the whole development of photography, from daguerreotypes, through various techniques of black and white and color photography, cinematography, to today’s digital photography.

The presented pictures give a glimpse into the privacy of the family. The exhibition on the history of the photographic studio of Ignác Šechtl will be held in the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava until 22 May.

It was prepared by the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava in cooperation with the Central European House of Photography and the Šechtl & Voseček Museum Tábor as part of the 31st year of the Month of Photography chain of events. It is visible in the Museum Cafe in the Slovak National Museum – Natural History Museum (SNM Residency building) through a special entrance from the Museum Street. The pictures can also be found on the website of the famous photo studio from the Czech town of Tábor.