Hiking trails seen through the lens of Władysław Rut

In October 1979, Władysław Rut set out to shoot a series of photographs portraying Poland's mountains in autumn. He traveled the trails of the Pieniny and Tatra Mountains from a base camp in Nowy Targ. He had a companion, his teenage granddaughter Anna, who would later, in 2021, submit the stereo photographs as she answer a call from the Posnania Municipal Publishing House whose Poznań Fotoplastykon was collecting material for its "Making an exhibition together" project. The resulting collection is currently on view at the Fotoplastykon's venue.

Photo of a girl sitting on a concrete parapet in front of a sculpture. Two buildings in a background. - grafika artykułu
Dietl Square in the town of Szczawnica. In the foreground: Władysław Rut's granddaughter, the Pieniny Mountains. Photograph from the archive of the Rut family

Władysław Rut was a Poznań-based photographer with a passion for both conventional and stereoscopic photography. Over the years, he sought out new locations that he found to be worth capturing. He documented not only nature, but also remarkable sporting events, concerts, and housing estates under construction in Poznań. He presented his work in the Poznań Fotoplastykon, which had been run by the Rut family for over three decades since the early 1970s.

Rut was also a tireless promoter of stereoscopy. As his granddaughter recalls: "He roamed the tourist trails of the Pieniny and Tatra Mountains and would often explain to people captivated by his dual-lens camera how it worked and what stereo photography was all about. He would show them some photos using his portable viewer that he carried with him at all times. This would spark many a fascinating conversation. For example, on the way to the Trzy Korony summit, some intrigued tourists posed for a photo even though the technology of the time did not support instant viewing of the result on a camera or phone display".

Rut's other passion was to photographically document the pilgrimages of John Paul II, also in stereoscopy. "My grandfather would break out a bunch of slides and a viewer, show them to Kasprowy Wierch Cable Car staff and ask them if they recognised the person in the slides. The photos were exciting for two reasons. One was because they depicted the Polish Pope, who was highly popular in the Podhale region, the other was the stereo effect. As this predated 3D cinemas, such pictures would invariably thrill people whether shown on Trzy Korony, Kasprowy Wierch, or a bus".

The outdoor photo shoots in the Pieniny Mountains benefited from wonderful autumn weather. By this time, the higher Tatras were already in the grip of winter. The stereo photographs portray Poland's golden autumn as well as snow-capped peaks seen from the Kasprowy Wierch summit.

Anna Smolarkiewicz

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

  • Hiking trails seen through the lens of Władysław Rut - an exhibition in the Poznań Fotoplastykon
  • Centrum Informacji Kulturalnej (Cultural Information Centre), ul. F. Ratajczaka 44
  • 3.08.2022 - 30.11.2022; opening hours: Monday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm, Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday closed, last admission 1 hour before closing time
  • tickets: regular admission - 5 pln, reduced admission - 2 pln, family tickets - 10 pln, group tickets (groups of 10 or more) - 20 pln

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2022

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