Until recently, the SNG’s Collection of Photomedia was not complete in the classical sense of the word. It originated through occasional acquisitions by the department of applied art from 1961. As a result, the collection lacked its own curator for a long time. Usually the head of the department of applied art was in charge of its additions. The situation began to change in the second half of the 1980s. Its systematic development began after the first independent curator, Václav Macek (1990) took over. In a relatively short period of time it was significantly enlarged; today it contains approximately 3,750 photomedia works.
Because of the less than favourable conditions, the photography collection is limited to works from the Slovak territory and from Slovak authors living abroad (François Kollar is the most famous example). It also contains photographs of two significant Czech authors, Markéta Luskačová and Jindřich Štreit that originated in Slovakia. However thanks to extensive purchases in the late 1980s and 1990s and later acquisitions (predominantly through donations) it contains works representing all of the stages of development of this kind of art in Slovakia. The collections of the works of the pioneers of photography from the 19th century (Eduard Kozič, Karol Divald) are valuable and the works of the representatives of the Slovak photographic Moderna (Irena Blühová, Sergej Protopopov, Karol Aufricht, Štefan Tamáš, Miloš Dohnány, Viliam Malík and Karol Plicka along with them) have raised significant interest in recent decades. The authors of the golden age of Slovak photography – the 1960s, such as Karol Kállay, Ladislav Bielik, Tibor Honty, Ladislav Borodáč, Anton Štubňa and Pavel Hudec–Ahasver are also distinctively represented, particularly Martin Martinček, whose generous donation in 2002 substantially enriched this collection.
In connection with the exhibition entitled Lost Time? the collection of photography was significantly enriched by the works of the representatives of the Slovak documentary genre of the 1970s and 1980s (Juraj Bartoš, Stano Pekár Anton Podstraský, Miro Pokorný, Jozef Ondzik and others). The overall picture is also complemented by other important photographers of this period such as Tibor Huszár, Ľubo Stacho and Jozef Sedlák. Smaller sets of photographs of the protagonists of the Slovak new wave of the 1980s (Tono Stano, Miro Švolík, Peter Župník, Rudo Prekop) can also be found, while the younger authors are represented only marginally (Robo Kočan, Martin Kollár).
A special chapter is dedicated to the works of those who used photography or photographic techniques in various ways. By coincidence, their works are divided between the Collection of Photo Media and the Collection of Other Media. Certain works by Rudolf Fila, Július Koller, Vladimír Kordoš and Dezider Tóth were allocated to the Collection of Photo Media.
Curatosr of the Collection of Photomedia: Aurel Hrabušickýand Lucia Almášiová