Blur magazine


The Tošo Dabac Archive is currently an in situ art collection with almost 200 000 negatives, some 2000 vintage masterprints, valuable photographic equipment, library and hemerotecha. It represents one of the most complete collections of that kind in the world because it contains the complete works of Tošo Dabac, one of the most important and most diverse Croatian photographer; winner of numerous awards and an artist who has had a great influence on Croatian photography. In addition to its artistic importance, the photographic collection of Tošo Dabac also has a huge documentary value because it bears witness to the history of Zagreb and Croatia. It includes various motifs, from portraits, art works and monuments, images of urban life to landscapes and folklore. After Tošo’s death in 1970 the Atelier was maintained by his nephew and heir, Petar Dabac, a renowned photographer himself, who in 1980 established a gallery where he organised exhibitions and workshops of famous international artists. The collection has been open to experts both domestic and international, in different fields, who have often used the photographs of Tošo Dabac, recognising their artistic and historical value.

The Tošo Dabac Archive was entered into the Republic of Croatia’s official Registry of Cultural Heritage in 2002.

What is the current role of the Tošo Dabac Archive?

In March 2006, the Archive was acquired by the City of Zagreb and passed on to the Museum of Contemporary Art for management. As of last May, a curator has been appointed to the Tošo Dabac Archive, who was joined by an additional curator in September and the materials have been analyzed.

The collection has been open to experts and has in the past few months co-operated with the Ethnographic Museum, Klovečevi dvori Gallery, Art Pavilion in Zagreb, Sonda (a Zagreb city events guide) and EPH (Europe Press Holding).  

Two international collaborations have taken place: co-operation with the project "Project Zagreb", Harvard postgraduate studies in architecture and design (Graduate School of Design) and with Spanish publisher Editorial Minuscula, who published Toso Dabac’s photo "Foggy morning" on the cover of the first translation of Miroslav Krleža’s The Return of Phillip Latinovicz. This precious Archive still resides in its historical site, in an apartment on Ilica 17, where Toso Dabac worked since 1940 until his death. In lieu of the fact that Atelier Toso Dabac was a cult meeting place for artists and intellectuals, it is the intent of the Archive administrators that it remains in this space and revives it once again.















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