The only known facts about Ivan Kotar’s life are that the professional photographer owned a studio in Ljubljana’s Emonska Street from 1898 onwards and that he collaborated with the Provincial Museum for Carniola. He was engaged not only in studio portrait photography, but also had a keen sense for documenting cultural and natural heritage and exceptional contemporary events. He published the photographs in the periodicals of the day and on postcards.
Upon his death, he was publicly commended: “The deceased was a supremely talented artist who made many masterful shots.” The citation is found in dr. Mirko Kambič’s exhibition catalogue of the first exhibition in a series of three covering the 150 Years of Photography in Slovenia 1839–1919 (City Gallery, Ljubljana, 1989).
Most of the rich photographic legacy of Ivan Kotar is held by the National Museum of Slovenia, while individual original photographs are also in the special collection of arhival documentation in the National Gallery of Slovenia, in the legacy of dr. Mirko Kambič and probably elsewhere; some of the digitized photographs are found in the Digital Library of Slovenia, Europeana and Wikipedia Commons.
7 October–3 November 2021
National Gallery of Slovenia