Josef Ehm

1909 (Habartov) - 1989

He came from Habartov in northwestern Bohemia. He learned to produced portrait photography in the studio of Karel Podlipný in Poděbrady. He worked for photographer Vilém Ströminger in Vinohrady, also for Photo Deyl in Pardubice and after that for Photo Karel Stehlik back in Prague, where he returned after military service in 1933. Ehm also worked as X-ray technician at the 1st Surgical Clinic of Charles University.


When he was 25 years old, he was accepted as a teacher in the State School of Graphics by director Ladislav Sutnar. Ehm and his students produced a ​​photographic accompaniment to the book Church St. George at Prague Castle by Josef Cibulka. The book Photography Sees the Surface, first book of series Photographed World by L. Sutnar and Jaromír Funke, was published soon. Ehm with J. Funke edits magazine Photo Horizon until the forties.


A turning point in the perception of photography in Czechoslovakia became the International Exhibition of Photography in Manes in 1936. Josef Ehm participated on this exhibition and was presented at the National Exhibition of professional photographers in the same gallery a year later. He became a member of the Association of Fine Artists and he was co-founder of photographic section of the Union of Czech artists.


His photos illustrate two publications dealing with legacy of sculptor Josef Václav Myslbek. In 1946 he published The Modern Czech Photography with a foreword by Karel Teige. The book containing photographs of J. Ehm, J. Funke, Josef Sudek, Karel Plicka and Miroslav Hák, two of each author's photos were signed.


He experimented with photo-techniques such as Sabatiers effect (pseudosolarisation) and photograms. He participated in the international exhibitions of photography in Paris, Bologna, Poland, Copenhagen in USA, etc. His educational activities has returned in the sixties, when he worked in the Film Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.


Jiří Mašín: Josef Ehm, Státní nakladatelství krásné literatury, hudby a umění, Praha, 1961

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