Although theatre photography was not his main creative interest, Václav Chochola (1923 – 2005) had many artistically and historically unique works in his carefully administered archive. Chochola started his career as a sports photographer, but he soon extended his scope to the arts. He became the theatre photographer as early as the 1940s and he managed to catch the intensity and irreproducibility of an elusive moment.
Chochola’s theatre photos focus mainly on portraits, in which he depicts the heart of creative figures softly and thoroughly. They were outstanding actors, directors, dancers, and choreographers (Jan Werich, Jiří Voskovec, Ladislav Pešek, Karel Höger, Jiřina Šejbalová, Miloš Kopecký, Vlastimil Brodský, E. F. Burian, Alfréd Radok, Laurette Hrdinová, Saša Machov, and many others). The pictures of productions in the following theatres are extraordinary and impressive as well: National Theatre, Vinohrady Theatre, S. K. Neumann Theatre, Behind the Gate Theatre, and Větrník. The unique artistic documents feature pictures from the theatre backstage, where the photographer took pictures of actors in the dressing room as they put their make-up and concentrated on their roles, as well as workshops, paint shops, depositories, and the like, which have a specific atmosphere.
The book was published in association with Blanka Chocholová and Marek Chochola (©Václav Chochola Archive) and many photographs were discovered and digitalized just for this book.
The Czech Theatre Photography series was established in 2020 and follows in the research of a few years that the Arts and Theatre Institute implemented and crowned with the representative exhibition Czech Theatre Photography 1859 – 2017 at the Municipal House in spring 2018. The exhibition also featured the book that won the Theatre Newspaper Award for the Publication of the Year.
Authors of the texts: Věra Velemanová and Daniela Mrázková
Visuals: Blanka Chocholová and Denisa Šťastná
Editor: Denisa Šťastná
Graphic design: Klára Zápotocká, Studio Breisky.
Publisher: Arts and Theatre Institute, ISBN 978-80-7008-427-4, 208 pages, Helbich printing office
price: 390 CZK.
You can buy the book in our Prospero e-shop.