Martina Hrabová’s research is rooted in her discovery of a unique collection of photographs at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in India. The images were assembled between 1931 and 1942 by one of the core assistants in Le Corbusier’s atelier in Paris, Czech architect František Sammer. Like other architects of the period, Sammer operated a small hand-held camera and shared his photographs with colleagues and friends. The resulting material offers a singular view of the broad international network of the avant-garde with a common starting point: 35 rue de Sèvres in Paris. In counterpoint with relevant CCA collections, Hrabová explores the character of the community, the mechanisms of architects‘ travels, and the use of the camera in the period.
Martina Hrabová is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences. She obtained her PhD from the Charles University in Prague, where her dissertation addressed Le Corbusier‘s connections with the former Czechoslovakia. She was a 2012-2013 Fulbright scholar at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and a French government grant recipient. Hrabová specializes in modern architectural history, borrowing approaches from sociology as well as from cultural and political history. She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Umění/Art, Journal of Architecture Historians, and Room One Thousand. Hrabová has studied the role of photography in the mediation of ideas, and is currently finishing a book on the recently discovered collection of photographs directly linked to Le Corbusier’s circle from the pre-war era.
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