Jaromír Funke

1896 (Skuteč) - 1945 (Prague)

Funke was born in Skuteč in the Pardubice region, studied grammar school in Kolín nad Labem. He had been studying at the Lyceum in Grenoble, but he had to return to Kolín when the First World War had started. He was admitted to the Medical Faculty of Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague. He interrupted this studies and started to study a law. Around 1920 he became interested in photography, he left studying a law and turn his attention to the Faculty of Philosophy and Art History.


Funke experimented with photography, created an abstract images and wrote a theoretical treatises. He published in the Swiss magazine Camera and he exhibited in salons in Paris and Toronto, together with Adolf Schneedberger and Josef Sudek. He joined the Club of amateur photographers in Kolín and the Fotoklub in Prague, but he was excluded from Fotoklub soon. He was co-founder of Czech Photographic Society, however he is fulfilled in its offshoot, in the Modern Photographic Society.


Funke was acquainted with František Drtikol and the set designer Zdeněk Rossmann. His slides were screened in the plays Riders to The Sea by John Millington Synge and Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones. Funke published in the journals Revue Devětsil and Index. He tried to film in Brno, he photographed car races on the Masaryk Circuit and collaborates with designer of UP Závody Jan Vaněk. He liked photographing architecture, especially functionalist buildings by Bohuslav Fuchs, Jaromír Krejcar and Karel Fragner.


The photographic avant-garde was presented in Aventinská mansarda under the leadership of Funke and Alexander Hackenschmied in 1930. Funke contributed the group Levá Fronta and collaborated with journalist Lubomír Linhart. He attended the lectures of aesthetics Jan Mukařovský in the Philosophical Faculty in Bratislava and he edited the magazine Žijeme. He made advertising pictures for metal company Sandrik and taught at the School of Applied Arts in Bratislava since '34. Funke was transferred to Prague after one year, there he married Anna Kellerová and they had a daughter Miloslava. He became a member of the Association of Fine Artists, especially of a new foto section. He photographed in Ruthenia and he photographed Louny for order of the municipality.


Jaromír Funke died becase of peritonitis, while he couldn´t be operated during an air alarm in 1945.


Birgus Vladimír a kol.: Česká fotografická avantgarda 1918-1948, Kant, Praha, 1999

Antonín Dufek: Jaromír Funke, Torst, Praha, 2003

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