• Vilnius in the photos of Jan Bulhak

      Vilnius in the photos of Jan Bulhak

      Jan Bułhak (1876-1950) was a Polish photographer who lived in Vilnius for a long time (1912-1939) and is considered the most famous photographer of the 20th century. Half a Vilnius photographer. Bulhakas was also the author of books and articles about photography, he taught at Vilnius University (the then Steponas Bator University). He did not get interested in photography right away, he studied philosophy for a while at Jogaila University in Krakow, but due to the circumstances he had to quit his studies and take up agriculture. Janas Bulhakas of Vilnius started photographing in the 20th century. at the beginning, when the Vilnius Photographic Archive was established and Bulhakas was appointed as its director with the agreement of the artist Ferdinand Rusčicas and the then mayor of Vilnius. He was assigned the task of inventorying the city - photographing architectural monuments, general views and other details. In general, Ferdinand Rusčic had a great influence on Bulhak and his work and was one of the essential factors that pushed Bulhak to actively start photographing Vilnius. The photographer trained in Germany, Italy, Austria. By the end of World War I, Bulhak had published two sets of photographs (a 15-volume set with nearly 500 photographs and a 14-volume set with more than 600 photographs). Since 1919 taught at the artistic photography department of the Faculty of Arts of Vilnius University, later became the head of the said department, from 1939 - university associate professor. in 1927 founded the Vilnius Photography Club, headed it until 1939. 1921-1936 participated in 174 international exhibitions with 382 works. Jan Bulhak has also published several photo albums, several memoirs, as well as collections of poems and short stories. in 1945 moved to Warsaw, there in 1947. founded the Union of Polish Photographic Artists, which he headed until his death.
      In the works of the photographer, Vilnius and its surroundings (Trakai, Medininkai, Nemėžis) are depicted before the First World War, during it and between the wars, as well as during the Second World War. In addition to photography, Bulhak also wrote down the impressions of his travels. In his photos, you can see city views, architectural monuments, such as various churches in the city of Vilnius, or other notable buildings, as well as the effects of the war on Vilnius and its surroundings, especially towards the end of the Second World War, when the Red Army had to record what was done to the city and its surroundings damage
      The Trakai History Museum has a number of postcards depicting reproductions of Jan Bulhak's photographs. You can see some of them in this virtual exhibition.

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