Franticek Kalivoda Untitled
Medium Silver print
Photo Date 1930s Print Date 1930s
Dimensions 4-5/8 x 6-5/8 in. (117 x 168 mm)
Photo Country Czech Republic
Photographer Country Czech Republic
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Photographer stamp and other penciled notations (avant garde) and stamps on verso.
Franti?ek Kalivoda (1913-1971), was an architect, born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He became a leader of the between-the-wars avant-garde there and was an important figure in the cultural life of Brno.
He studied at the Technical University in Brno. From 1936 to 1948 he worked as an independent designer and then taught in Pardubice, Bratislava and Brno. He also had a major interest in typography, photography and film.
He was, among other things, secretary for the Czechoslovak group of the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) from the year 1935. He initiated the founding of the Eastern European section of CIAM in the year 1936, which consequently met in the year 1937 in Brno and Zlín. During the post-war period, times of political and social tension, he successfully carried out important projects in various areas of culture, from the publications, "Brno, The Aroma of One City" (1959) and "Brno, A City of Work and Progress" (1966) to the organization of international events dedicated to renowned Brno figures such as Viktor Kaplan or Adolf Loos. Part of Kalivoda's--up until the present--still unprocessed legacy is located at the Brno City Museum, where it is currently being organized by Mgr. Jind?ich Chatrn? under a grant from the Czech Academy of Sciences. The materials are being organized under the title of "The Personality and Work of the Architect Franti?ek Kalivoda (1913-1971) within the Context of the European Avant-Garde".
Throughout the early 1930s Franti?ek Kalivoda helped arrange photography exhibitions and publish photography catalogues. By1936 Kalivoda was the clear leader of the Brno branch of the film & photo group of Levá fronta, or the Left Front, which put on many of these exhibitions, including the "International Exhibitions of Social Documentary Photography" in 1933 and 1934 in both Prague and Brno. In this position he was able to build relationships and help many avant garde artists, including Raoul Hausmann after he moved to Czechoslovakia in 1937. He also provided guidance and exhibition access to the influential Brno Fotoskupiny five or simply f5, as it was called. The group was composed of Josef Jiri Kamenicky, Bohumil Nemec, Jaroslav Nohel, Frantisek Povolny and Hugh Taborsky--all students of Emanuel Hrbek at the School of Applied Arts in Brno.
Kalivoda was also an influential and talented graphic artist, who often used his own photomontages in his design work, as well as the work of other Czech photographers, such as Jaromir Funke. He even devoted the entire first (and last) double issue of the 1936 magazine "Telehor" to Moholy-Nagy's work. This issue, which Kalivoda not only designed but wrote a postscript for, has become one of the most sought-after Moholy-Nagy publications.
In the early 1960s Kalivoda proposed that the Tugendhadt Villa be renovated as a key monument of modern architecture. In 1963 it was listed as a national monument and a few years later Greta Tugendhadt, the original owner, offered the villa to the city.
Reconstruction plans were laid in 1970, but the political climate delayed execution for 10 years. Finally, in November 1989, the city opened to the public the reconstructed villa now administered by the Brno City Museum.
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