Timeline - Josef Sudek's "Sad Landscape" Panorama Series / by Maia Kaufman


Choose one of your 10 "things" you wish you authored and create a historical timeline around it. What are some of the key moments in its path to creation and then after? Use books, articles, movies, reference materials. Include at least 8 "dates/moments." Be creative. If you wanted to do Uber you could include the birth of taxi cabs. For each date/moment try to articulate a problem in the world they were solving for at the time. Educated guesses are fine and encouraged. The idea is to start getting some practice identifying problems.

300 B.C. First pinhole camera (camera obscura) created.
The camera obscura was just a darkroom with a small opening at one end. It showed whatever was on the outside projected against the far wall, but upside down. It was often used for drawing/ rendering purposes.

1827 First photographic image produced (heliograph).
Since the discovery of the camera obscura, people seemed to want to be able to capture events and images. Painting and drawing took time and skill. Photographs were going to be a way for everyone to keep their memories.

1841 First negative to positive image produced.
The negative process allowed for multiple images to be produced from one moment, and eliminated the need for long exposures (several minutes of sitting still for portraits).

1896 Josef Sudek born in Bohemia.
The impetus to have offspring is one of the more profound instincts in life. Without this, plant and animal life would cease to exist.

1914 WWI Breaks Out.
An entire continent is thrown into a war that changes borders and national allegiances forever.

1915 Sudek is drafted, and subsequently loses arm in battle. He is given a camera to photograph the front lines.
This is an amazing example of not letting obstacles ruin your life. Something traumatic can end up being the most important experience that shapes your future.

1920s Sudek studies photography under Jaromir Funke.
Being exposed to other creative and like-minded people has a great influence. 

1939-1945 WWII. German Occupation of Bohemia and Moravia.  Czech rebels executed.
WWII ravaged Europe and destroyed families and identities. The effects of this war can still be seen and felt. 

c. 1940 Sudek has made a changing bag that fits over his torso for film loading in the field.
This allowed him to work with larger negatives (12"x16") to produce his contact print panoramas. The creation of the specialized equipment allowed Sudek to overcome obstacles from his disability.

1945 Germans expelled from region. Area becomes several de-populated.
While the expulsion freed the Czech people from the reign of the Germans, the sudden disappearance of a large amount of the population was jarring and left them vulnerable to other political threats.

1946 Bohemia placed under Communist Occupation backed by the Soviet Union.
The Soviets' goal was not about repairing damage done by the Nazi's, but to take what they could from the land and people now in their control. 

1949-1989 Czechoslovakia becomes Soviet satellite.  
Destruction of natural landscape due to over-mining and abandoned machinery.

1957-1962 Panorama Series "Sad Landscape" created. 
A series of photographs in Bohemia showing the beauty of the land, and the destruction from the communist exploitation of mineral rich earth.