The ‘Politics’ of the Lens: Sub-Carpathian Rus’ in Czech Photography, 1919-1923

An illustrated talk by Edward Kasinec, Hoover Institution, and Harriman Institute, with Hee Gwone Yoo, New York Public Library

Tue, December 11 at 7:00 pm
at Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73 St, 3rd Fl., NYC


Free. Suggested donation $5.00
Light refreshments.

Recent years have witnessed the discovery of several photographic sources dealing with Sub-Carpathian Rus’ in the years 1919-1923, shortly after its incorporation into the Czechoslovak State. These sources range from the color photography by Rudolf H?lka (1887-l961), the architectural images of Florian Zapletal (1884-l969), and the photos and photogravures of the Russian émigré writer Nikolai P. Malitskii (1883-l963), newly uncovered in the archives of the Foundation for Russian History, Jordanville, New York.

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Lev Sixta, Vološanka, A Rusyn Man

Edward Kasinec’s presentation places in historical context two stunning albums acquired in 2017 by curator Robert H. Davis, Jr. for the Rare Books and Manuscript Library of the Columbia University Libraries. The first was prepared in 1919-1920 by the Prague-based Czech educator and local historian Václav Sixta (1862-1935) and his photographer son, Lev. The second album was orchestrated from a national ministry in Prague, most likely by the Foreign Ministry, or the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The title leaf in nine languages (!) expresses the gratitude of the “freed” populations of Sub Carpathian Rus’ to their Czechoslovak liberators.
The speaker will reflect on the political motivations and timing of both the Sixtas and the Czechoslovak Ministry in preparing these albums.

Edward Kasinec holds graduate degrees and certificates from Columbia University (M.A., 1968, M.Phil., 1979), Simmons College (M.L.S., 1976), and New York University (Appraisal Studies, 2010). In 1971-1972, he studied at the Moscow State University. His career includes service as Reference Librarian/Archivist for the Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute Library (1973-80); Librarian for Slavic Collections, University of California, Berkeley, Library (1980-84); and Curator, Slavic and Baltic Division, The New York Public Library (1984-2009). He presently serves as a Research Associate, Harriman Institute, Columbia University and, since 2014, Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Hee-Gwone Yoo is Senior Librarian and Slavic Collections Specialist at the General Humanities Division of Schwarzman Building, The New York Public Library. He received his MA and MLS from Queens College, CUNY. As a librarian, he has a particular interest in visual resources, rare books, and exhibitions and outreach. He has participated in numerous conferences, domestic and international, and is the co-author of the award-winning Visual Resources from Russia and Eastern Europe in The New York Public Library: A Checklist, in 2008, and several articles.

Organized by Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences with the support of the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic in New York and Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).