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Karol Pęcherski

Karol Pęcherski was born 1885 in Wieluń. His father owned a photographical studio and Karol himself joined the Photographers’ Guild in 1909. His photographs were published in the press since the beginning of the 20th century. The author, an ex-legionnaire, often made portraits of Marshal Józef Piłsudski. He also made reportage and artistic photos. His large-format portrait photography untitled “Old Hags” won him the photographic competition in 1925. In 1923 Pęcherski married Maria, and their only daughter Irena was born in the same year. Pęcherski was often taking humorous pictures of his family. In 1926 he opened a photographical studio in Warsaw at 57 Nowy Świat Street and from 1930 he ran an amateur work laboratory and a shop at 2 Mazowiecka Street, signing his work as photographer-modernist. He worked there until the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. He returned to Warsaw in February 1945 and commenced work as photographer-documentalist at the Department of Historical Architecture of the Warsaw Reconstruction Office (BOS), and later in the Monument Conservation Office. There he worked until his death, creating a vast documentation of the post-war state of preservation of Warsaw’s buildings, mainly historic edifices. He died 1951 in Warsaw.

 

  • Karol Pęcherski’s post-war photographs of Warsaw make up a consistent documentation of the state of city’s buildings after World War II. The photographs were commissioned by the Department of Historical Architecture of the Warsaw Reconstruction Office (BOS), therefore they mostly show valuable historic edifices. Our Gallery presents a selection of 1220 most interesting of these pictures. The author’s tracks covered almost entire Warsaw, but the majority of photographs were taken in the Old and New Town as well as along the Royal Route. It is interesting to note that the author also photographed buildings that had survived the war but were later purposefully demolished during the re-development of the city. Among others we can see the non-existent Walicki Palace at Senatorska Street, Badeni Palace, Taubenhaus tenement, Przeździecki Mausoleum, as well as examples of Romantic architecture of early 19th century: porch of the church of Visitation of the Holy Mother and neo-gothic Dominican annex at St. Hyacinth’s Church in the New Town. 
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