The speakers, who spoke at a popular science conference at the Remembrance Museum about the life and work of the Oświęcim resident – prominent photographer Avit Szubert, also presented a host of his photographs from various stages of his career.
Zbigniew Mazur, who chaired the meeting, said that the conference was aimed at introducing the artist, who was born in Oświęcim and little known in his hometown.
“He was an extraordinary photographer, a pioneer of mountain photography in Poland, he was also a January insurgent and an excellent painter educated at foreign universities,” he said.
“Awit Szubert was a person of great passion, with great professionalism, but also with a great drive for exploration, for inspiration, which led to his later pioneering in various areas,” Dorota Mleczko, Remembrance Museum director, stressed in welcoming the participants.
Katarzyna Marko, curator of the Walery Rzewuski Museum of Photography in Krakow, spoke about Awit Szubert’s activities in Oświęcim and later in his atelier in Krakow.
Pioneering underground photography in the Wieliczka mine was the subject of a lecture by Dr. Barbara Konwerska, deputy director for scientific research at the Krakow Saltworks Museum Wieliczka. It is thanks to Awit’s photographs, taken using special magnesia he made as a source of light, that it is possible today to see what some of the mine spaces that do not exist today looked like.
The third speaker, Barbara Węglarz – custodian of the District Museum in Nowy Sącz, head of the Józef Szalay branch of the Pieniny Museum in Szlachtowa near Szczawnica – introduced listeners to the important Szczawnica part of Szubert’s life. The artist worked for years in Szczawnica, died here and was buried here.
All the lectures sparkled with surprising details, photographs and anecdotal memories. The story of how the then-acclaimed artist Awit Szubert organized an atelier in the Guest Station (Kursalon) in Szczawnica was particularly intriguing. As it turned out, all his whims were fulfilled including… the construction of a bridge connecting the Szubert house with the station building.
The conference was accompanied by the opening of a temporary exhibition in the museum lobby. It features photographs, postcards and heliogravures by Awit Szubert from the collection of the Remembrance Museum. The exhibition will be open until the end of May.
The conference was held with the support of Event Partner TAURON DYSTRYBUCJA S.A.
The transcript of the conference can be viewed here: