Dawid Mazur

?-1916
ID: 14
Photographer.
Dawid Mazur (? - 1916), one of the leading Lviv photographers of the early twentieth century, started his photographic carreer in 1882 in tandem with Karol Roszkiewicz in a fotographic atelier (on Marian Square 3). Already in 1887 he established his own fotographic atelier on Pańska Street 5, which was described as "arranged in a characteristic artistic splendour and natural born taste of an aesthete." Mazur gained "wide fame and recognition of the public with an album of female portraits from Lemberg, due to which he became a very popular fotographer even in Vienna. His fotos were characterised with a rare accuracy and skillful finish." Mazur used a magnesium lamp of his own invention for his fotographs.

By 1894 Dawid Mazur was thought of as one of the leading fotographer in the province of Galicia. The only professional fotographer to become a member of Society for the development and beautification of the city (Towarzystwo dla rozwoju i upiększenia miasta), which was one of the initiators of organising the General Provincial Exhibition (Powszechna Wystawa Krajowa) in 1894. There, Mazur's works – a series of portraits from his renown "Album of beauty of our Lwów women" (Albumu piękności naszych lwowianek) and a series of fotographic collages – received a silver medal and an honorary prise of the Austrian Ministry of Trage.

Mazur's clients belonged to respectable families of the city, middle class and aristocratic, and of several generations. One of his clients in 1895 was young Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, later a famous Polish artist, together with his mother. His atelier was very successful, to the extent that, in 1899, he bought a beautiful villa formerly in the ownership of book collector and publisher Franciszek Henryk Richter, on Pekarska Street 11. Mazur appointed a famous local architect Karol Boublik to reconstruct the villa to adapt it for the purposes of the fotographic atelier. He himself conducted the reconstruction works and succeeded in obtaining the most intense daylight possible. There was the reception hall, the atelier and the female dressroom on the ground floor, while the workshop, the lab, the storage room and several other service rooms were located in the basement. In 1904, the glass and steel roof construcction was installed by a reputable firm Zygmunt Piotrowicz & Jan Schumann, following the designs of a renowned modernist architect August Bogochwalski. In this new location, the atelier functioned between May 1905 and 1911. In 1911, for the unknown reasons, Mazur sold the building to a renowned printhouse owner Kazimierz Stanisław  Jakubowski, who demolished the villa and built a printhouse and an appartment house on its place.

Mazur's atelier moved to Halicki Square 12a into a more modest location: reconstructed by yet another renowned architect Artur Schleyen, this included reception hall and a workshop on the second floor; and the actual atelier, with the glass roof, on the third floor of the building. Dawid Mazur, however, moved to a very prestigious residence: 8 Asnyka Street, next to respectable industrialists Tadeusz Hofflinger and Stefan Niemojowski.

The good reputation which Mazur enjoyed among his colleagues and the wider public caused that, on 12 November 1913 he was elected as a chair of the Gremium fotografow, the first organisation of professional fotographers in Lviv. However, soon thereafter, in spring 1914, he moved to Vienna, where he maintained his fotographic atelier on Kohlmark 10.  Dawid Mazur died in Vienna in February 1916.

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Written by Iryna Kotlobulatova