Tábor, (son Josef’s first day at school, at newly opened school in Maredův Vrch)
Žižka Square, Tábor, (on 20 June 1942, in the wake of the assassination of Heydrich in Prague on 27 May 1942, the people of Tábor were obliged to attend proclamations of protectorate policy by the occupying Nazi government; speeches were given by the President’s Cabinet Director, Jaroslav Krejčí, Minister of Education of the People’s Enlightenment, Emanuel Moravec, and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Adolf Hrubý)
Photographer's Diary 1928-1954 immerses the reader in the distinctive vision of Josef Jindřich Šechtl (1877-1954). For this photographer, the making of compositionally balanced and technically precise images was not a sufficient objective in itself. Rather, Šechtl succeeded in using his 35mm Leica to capture the fleeting nature of private and public social events in all their particularity of time and place.
Šechtl had a keen eye for the often unnoticed and overlooked, while selecting subject matter to reflect the changing tides of historical destiny sweeping across his world. Living in the South Bohemian town of Tábor, Šechtl has been overlooked by historians due to their tendency to concentrate on practitioners from major urban areas.
Šechtl & Voseček Museum of Photography has been assembling and disseminating the photographs of the Šechtl family and those of their contemporaries over five generations, and Photographer's Diary 1928-1954 at long last brings Josef Jindřich Šechtl’s work to the public's attention.
An introductory essay by Josef Moucha situates Šechtl in the wider context of world photography.
Photographer, critic and theoretician of photography, author and exhibition curator, Josef Moucha studied print, television and film journalism at Charles University, Prague (1975–1980). In the years 1990–1995 he worked as an editor of the magazine Revue Fotografie. Since the mid-1990s he has worked as a freelance writer, publishing most frequently in the periodicals Literární noviny, Ateliér and Fotograf. He has organized a number of individual as well as group exhibitions. He was a co-founder in 1989 of the Caucus of Free Photography (Aktiv volné fotografie), and in 1991 of the Prague House of Photography. He has also participated in a number of projects together with others, notably on the publications Alternativní kultura: Příběh české společnosti 1945–1989 (Alternative Culture – A Story of Czech Society 1945–1989, 2001), and Fotogenie identity: Paměť české fotografie (The Photogeny of Identity: The Memory of Czech Photography, 2006). Independently he published a collection of essays on the history of photography and the technical image, Zážitek arény (Experience of the Arena, 2004), and the novella Mimochodem (By the Way, 2004).
Czech title: Josef Jindřich
Šechtl: Deník fotografa, 1928–1954
English title: Josef Jindřich Šechtl: Photographer’s Diary, 1928–1954
Published by Marie M. Šechtlová, Šechtl & Voseček Museum of Photography
Photograph selection: Josef Moucha
Reproduction of photographs: Jan Hubička
Editing: Josef Moucha, Marie Michaela Šechtlová, Jan Hubička
Copy editing: Josef Musil
Translation: Andrew Goodall, Gena Hahn, Jan Hubička, Eva Hubičková
Graphic design: Jakub Troják
Print run: 1200 copies
First edition, Tábor, 2013, 168 pages, 251 photographs