The Washington Post's Blake Gopnik reviews "Jaromír Funke and the Amateur Avant-Garde" at the National Gallery of Art.
Jaromír Funke, born
in 1896 in the Czech town of Kolin, started taking pictures in the
early 1920s, as part of his era's flourishing amateur photography
movement. Most amateurs in the newly independent Czechoslovakia were
dedicated to perfecting photographic craft and to making attractive,
unchallenging, "poetic" work. Funke, a law student, started out there,
too: He could do soft focus as well as anyone. What makes him worthy of a
National Gallery show, however, is his precocious conversion to the
tougher ideals of photographic modernism, as perfected at the Bauhaus in
Germany and around Alfred Stieglitz in the United States.
Read the complete review in The Washington Post.