Ethnographic photography by Jozef Kordysz (1824-1896)




history of Ukraine, history of photography, visual archives, nineteenth century, ethnographic photography, Kyiv, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Podolia, Ukraine, Polish-Ukrainian relations, nationalism, photographers.


The paper explores the personality and artistic endeavours of Jozef Kordysz, a professional photographer of Polish-Ukrainian background who worked in Kamianets-Podilskyi and Kyiv during the late nineteenth century. Kordysz is renowned for his photographic expeditions in Podolia and Kyiv regions, as well as his trip to the zone of the Russo-Turkish war (1877-1878). Despite belonging to the Polish nobility and having close ties to the nationally conscious Ukrainian intelligentsia in Kyiv, Kordysz hardly identified himself with either Polish or Ukrainian national projects. His interest in ethnographic photography appears to be purely commercial in nature. Unfortunately, the most significant part of Kordysz’s photographic heritage is preserved in private collections and museums in Russia and has never been properly published. Due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the original materials are currently unavailable for Ukrainian scholars. Considering the exceptional value of these photographs for the history of Ukraine, the editorial board has decided to publish those photographs by Jozef Kordysz that are available on Russian Internet resources. The paper deals with the «Ethnographic Album of Little Russia» (1875), which includes pictures of Ukrainian peasants that Kordysz took during the 1860s in Kyiv region (the original album is preserved in the State Historical Museum in Moscow).





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How to Cite

Ethnographic photography by Jozef Kordysz (1824-1896). (2024). Text and Image: Essential Problems in Art History, 2(16).