The names Otakar Máčel (1920—1997) and Jaroslav Vajdiš (1920—2006) are often mentioned together. It is not a coincidence, as there are many reasons for that. Both born in 1920, they belonged to a generation marked by the war. After the war, they met while studying at the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering of the University of Technology of Dr Edvard Beneš (today’s Brno University of Technology) in Brno. They were delivered lectures even by Professor Antonín Kurial, who is mentioned, alongside Bohuslav Fuchs and Bedřich Rozehnal, in Jaroslav Vajdiš’s memoirs, albeit with critical reservations.
Jaroslav Vajdiš: Březůvky, 1948.
It is probably not a coincidence that Vajdiš’s first drawings of vernacular architecture were created in that period. As a student, Otakar Máčel documented for Kurial´s archive a half-demolished house, former No. 49 in Pavlov, a location to which he remained faithful for the rest of his life.
Otakar Máčel: Documentation of former No. 49 in Pavlov, 1948.
Both architects also kept their interest in vernacular architecture and the village. Probably also the need to isolate themselves from the conditions in which architects and architecture found themselves after 1948 brought them to the Research Institute of Building Engineering and Architecture (VÚVA), where they had the opportunity to focus on the issue of the village and rural buildings. Their systematic research and documentation in that period resulted in their best-known and joint work, the monograph Slovácko: architektonický vývoj vesnice [Slovácko: the Architectural Development of the Village], published in 1958. In the subsequent years – even after Jaroslav Vajdiš left for the State Institute for the Reconstruction of Historical Towns and Monuments (SÚRPMO) and later Otakar Máčel for the Regional Centre for State Heritage Care and Nature Protection (KSSPPOP) in Brno – they met on joint projects and on documentation and conceptual work for planned protected areas (village reserves and zones) and open-air museums.
Jaroslav Vajdiš: Hill with terraces near Želetice, 1965.
Otakar Máčel: Landscape, 1991.
Both of them also had a considerable artistic talent and throughout their lives they dealt with visual arts. Although the photographic production of Jaroslav Vajdiš is probably better known, Otakar Máčel was also an excellent photographer, but it is his paintings that enjoy more attention. The artistic world of Otakar Máčel is much more colourful thanks to his talent for painting. Jaroslav Vajdiš not only photographed almost exclusively on black-and-white material, but the colour is marginalized also in his graphic works. This was also due to his limited ability of colour vision.
Jaroslav Vajdiš: Drawing technique: white chalk on the wall, 1963.
Otakar Máčel: From the set of photographs Disappearing Brno, 1965.
- Otakar Máčel (25. 8. 1920 Brno – 24. 6. 1997 Brno)
- Jaroslav Vajdiš (27. 2. 1920 Přílepy – 16. 9. 2006 Prague)
You can get better acquainted with the work of the architects Máčel and Vajdiš at the exhibition prepared by SOVAMM in cooperation with the Brno Regional Office of the National Heritage Institute.
The exhibition in Conference Building of Villa Stiassni, Hroznova 82/14, Brno. It was opened on December 17, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. and will last until March 28, 2022. It can be visited during the opening hours of the villa from Friday to Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Authors of the exhibition: Jiří Syrový, Jiří Škabrada
Cooperation: Šimon Eismann, Zdeňka Němcová, Dana Novotná, Svatava Podrazilová
Graphic design: Zuzana Syrová Anýžová
Photographs, drawings, projects, pictures and other exhibits from the estate of Otakar Máčel and Jaroslav Vajdiš and archives of the following institutes: Association for the Renewal of the Village and the Small Town, Brno Regional Office of the State Heritage Institute, National Institute of Folk Culture in Strážnice, and Ethnographic Institute of the Moravian Museum in Brno.
Thanks to Adela Jeřábková, Ivo Lavický, Otakar Máčel Jr. and Antonín Barend for the loan of paintings, drawings and photographs from private collections.
The exhibition is implemented with financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.
You can find a part of the exhibited works and a selection of additional photographs, paintings, drawings and projects, that didn’t fit in our exhibition space, online here.