(b. 1941, Ostrava, Czech Republic)


Viktor Kolář was born in Ostrava, Moravia, on September 7, 1941. His father came from Sviadnov near Frŷdek-Mistek and was, from the age of three, brought up by his mother; he attended a parish secondary school, from which he ran away, and then, at the age of fourteen, worked in steel mills; he later became a self-taught photographer and filmmaker, then owned a shop with photography supplies and a studio; he passed his interest in photography to his son. Kolář’s mother was from the village of Dolni Dubňany (not far from the town of Dukovany where a nuclear energy plant now stands); she was one of seven siblings; in the early 1930s she went to live at her brother's in Ostrava, where she remained. Viktor Kolář grew up with five siblings in a small apartment. He especially enjoyed his vacations in Dolni Dubňany; his impressions of this “paradise” and the world of Ostrava became the basis for his later photography.



Under his father's tutelage, he began to make his first photographs. His father's library, particularly the books on photography, encouraged him to develop this interest.



Became acquainted with the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson.



Almost died when his appendix burst on the summit of Gruň Mountain.



Began to go to the Vitkovice photography club, where he became friends with Rudolf Janda and Karel Kania. Worked in the Vitkovice Ironworks.



Studied at the School of Education, Ostrava, and was involved in theater and photography.



His first work published in the journal Ćeskoslovenská fotografie.



First solo exhibition, where he showed sixty photographs.



Taught at an elementary school; did his compulsory military service; became a librarian, and decided to devote himself fully to photography.



Met regularly with the photography historian Anna Fárová and her artist husband Libor Fára.