“Sculpture is alive and it has to be photographed as alive.” Josef Sudek

A talk by Hana Buddeus, PhD
Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Science

Dr. Buddeus presented world-renowned Czech photographer Josef Sudek (1896–1976) and discussed his almost unknown photographs. The talk focused on Sudek’s photographs of his beloved sculptures and will link his photographic series with his commissioned works.


The goal of the five-year Project Sudek was to process an extensive collection of photographs of artworks (approximately 20,000 negatives and positives) that Božena Sudková, Josef Sudek’s sister, donated to the Institute of Art History after Sudek’s death. The collection has an undoubtable value as it contains photographs of works by artists who are nowadays often forgotten. Sudek’s favorite sculptural motifs also included Czech Gothic Madonnas and saints whom he called “lovelies”, He photographed them at Prague exhibitions in the 1930s and then returned to them in the 1960s.
Sudek’s most important photographic series include Saint Vitus, The Window of My Studio, The Magic Garden, Labyrinths and others. His favorite motifs were Prague’s urban landscape and heritage monuments, gardens, landscapes and still lifes.
The majority of the photographs from the Sudek’s collection held at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences is available in an online archive: SUDEK PROJECT

HANA BUDDEUS, PhD, is an art historian working as a research fellow at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. Her research addresses the history of art in relation to photography. She is one of the founding members of the Photography Research Centre (CVF) at the Institute of Art History. Since last year, she co-curates the program of the Fotograf Gallery in Prague, she co-curated the Prague Fotograf Festival and is a member of the editorial board of the Fotograf magazine. Since 2013 she has been employed as the Director of AMU Gallery in Prague. Recently, Ms Buddeus edited a new book Sudek and Sculpture, based on the catalogue for the Lovelies from the Files. Sudek and Sculpture exhibition. It contains more than 600 pages and over 400 reproductions with texts by seven authors and attractive graphic design by Martin Groch and the Tim+Tim studio. Available through Chicago University Press: