News > 2008

The Seidel Photo Studio Museum Demonstrates the Skills of Czech Craftsmen and Restorers

A cozy one-storey house with a yellow façade located in a quiet garden with a smaller green-windowed house adjacent to it. Only the sign Josef Seidel above the glass roof of the attic photo studio reveals that this building the location of a future museum dedicated to the famous local photographers. This museum will shortly reveal to the world the secrets and a wealth of knowledge previously hidden in this house in Linecká street in Český Krumlov.


Accept our invitation and enter with us first into the smaller old house – a future service center and technical background of the Museum Photo Studio Seidel. Here you can purchase your admission tickets and before entering into the photo studio in the neighboring house, sample a small part of the Seidel work in an intimate exhibition gallery. Perhaps you will return to this building to purchase a copy of one of Josef or František Seidel’s photographs.

And now let us guide you through the house with the photo studio itself. First you will enter the reception room, well-appointed with furniture as seen on period photographs and recalled by witnesses. Put yourself in the shoes of customers who came here in between the two World Wars. Not everyone could peek into the private rooms of the last inhabitants of the house, the married couple of Marie and František Seidel, into their bedroom and a small living room but you have the privilege now. All of the furniture is authentic and has been carefully restored.

.. , photo: Lubor Mrázek , photo: Lubor Mrázek

An obsolete way of making photographs can be witnessed in the former lab and a room for daylight photo copying. The project manager Mr. Petr Hudičák says: „The authentic restored instruments and photography equipment used to produce photographs and postcards will demonstrate to the visitors the ancient process of making photographs, such as working under the red light in the dark room, copying, developing and drying of photographs”.

Various technical equipment includes paper scissors, a photo press, a hand-operated printer, magnifiers, copiers and polishing machines. “All of the technical equipment found in the house and now being part of the exhibition is not only original but also functional. This is due to the reputed “golden hands” of Czech craftsmen” , Mr. Miroslav Reitinger, director of the Českokrumlovský rozvojový fond, a Fund managing the Museum. Mr. Reitinger follows “For example, the new hand-operated printer to print the back sides of photographs has been given a new lease on life. It is a unique sight to see this 80-year-old piece of machinery in operation again.“

Another highlight of the exhibition is a restored stereopticon from the turn of 19th and 20th century projecting authentic photographs from the Great War. Now we find ourselves on the second floor, holding our breath as we enter the photo studio antechamber and two other rooms furnished in the same fashion as it was during the times of the Photo Studio Seidel.

Now the real magic can begin: we come into the photo studio itself with a glass roof. We are tempted to sit on the little chair and be photographed with the hand painted background using a historical photo camera. Not an impossible thing – the restorers have made sure all the equipment remains functional not only here, but also in the two adjacent dark rooms. All of the equipment such as a magnifier for large-scale glass plates, a copy machine for postcards, as well as a machine for photo film remains in perfect condition even after so many years.

, photo: Lubor Mrázek .. ..

Recently restored archives release various documents and other pieces of information fillin in the blanks on the picture of the life of the photo studio and the Seidel family. We can see the personal documents of the family members, a vocational certificate of Josef Seidel, trade certificates and documents from the company’s bookkeeping as well as various letters. Also present are toys, textbooks and certificates.

Even the attic is worth a peek: boxes of glass negatives have been returned here after being digitalized. Next to them lie various bits and pieces typical for any country attic – skis and sledges, a clothesline and pegs...

Upon previous arrangement, both experts and ordinary people can examine the secrets and knowledge hidden in more than hundred thousand negatives using the cellar-based lab and lecture room. The Center of Czech-Austrian-German Understanding aims to contribute to the understanding of our people’s common history and also moving fates of divided families.

Enter the Museum Photo Studio Seidel with us –
already on the 6th June 2008.

Opening Hours:
From 6th June 2008, daily (Mo-Sun) 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (last viewing at 5:00 pm).

For more information please view