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Stefan Rassalski „Ster”

Stefan Rassalski was born on 26th December 1910 in Symonów, Wolyn – eastern province of pre-war Poland. He was educated as painter and graphic designer in High School of Painting and Drawing in Lublin and Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw, and studied theoretical subjects of philosophy and history of arts in Catholic University of Lublin and University of Warsaw. In the 30-ties he was co-founder of regional musea in Lublin and Łuck and of artistic society „Krąg”, and also took part in numerous exhibitions. During German occupation he joined the underground WSOP (Military Uprising Security Service) and secret laboratory at Warsaw Technical University. Until the outbreak of the Uprising he lived in Warsaw Technical University Professors’ Lodge at 75, Koszykowa Street. Since December 1939 he taught secret classes in hand and perspective drawing at Warsaw Technical University, and also printing and editing techniques at underground School of Journalism As a member of AK (Home Army) he supervised manufacturing of weapons and communication devices in Technical University laboratories and of false identity cards for, among others, people of Jewish origin. After fall of the Uprising, together with surviving civilians, he was detained in transit camp in Pruszków, from which he was released being unable to work and sole parent of his minor son. After the war he worked in BOS (Bureau of Capital City Reconstruction), Committee for Town Planning and Architecture and co-edited weekly „Stolica”. He also created paintings and graphics, and wrote numerous articles on theory of art and architecture. He was a member of Polish Visual Artists’ Association and Polish Journalists’ Association. He died on 17th November 1972 in Warsaw.

 

  • The presented collection of Stefan Rassalski’s photographs constitutes of 159 contact prints and large format positives, taken during Warsaw Uprising in Southern City Centre. The author acted as Military Press Reporter (PSW), working in the quarter of Ujazdowskie Avenue, Niepodległości Avenue, Jerozolimskie Avenue and Mokotowskie Field. The most interesting are pictures of so-called „little PASTa” at Pius XI (currently Piękna) Street, taken on 23rd August after capture by insurgents, and a series of pictures of Technical University campus. The pictures document a quiet fragment of insurgent reality - empty streets, few strollers, posing groups of smiling soldiers, „after battle” scenes. Pictures from 7 rolls of film survived because of their casual character so that the author kept them for himself as personal documentation and smuggled them out of the city, hidden his walking stick. The remaining 19 of Rassalski’s negatives, showing combat scenes, were left with AK Headquarters to be used in insurgent bulletins, and unfortunately were lost, and so were paper prints made by the author. Rassalski used a 35 mm Vito I Voigtlaender camera, of a short series manufactured in Germany in 1939-1940, and Agfa and Leica films. His darkroom was located in subterranean laboratory of the Physics Faculty of Warsaw Technical University. The collection further comprises 31 pictures of ruined city, made after 1945 during author’s work for Bureau for Capital City Reconstruction and for „Stolica” magazine. They illustrate author’s post-war photographic activity, documenting war destruction as well as gradual reconstruction of the city.
MPW-IK/2466
MPW-IK/2466
MPW-IH/2175
MPW-IH/2175
MPW-IP/7567
MPW-IP/7567
MPW-IP/7548/14
MPW-IP/7548/14
MPW-IK/2502
MPW-IK/2502
MPW-IP/3597
MPW-IP/3597
MPW-IP/7556
MPW-IP/7556
MPW-IP/7546/14
MPW-IP/7546/14
MPW-IK/2508
MPW-IK/2508
MPW-IK/2506
MPW-IK/2506
MPW-IP/3605
MPW-IP/3605
MPW-IP/3603
MPW-IP/3603
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