The unique photographs of the Postojna cave and its surroundings captured by Czech photographer Rudolf Bruner Dvořák in 1909 have been part of the National Museum of Contemporary History’s collection since 2005. The fonds consists of 442 photographs – 30.5 × 25.7 cm paper prints and glass plate negatives, and 82 8.3 × 17 cm stereo glass plates. Dvořák’s work held at the museum is an astounding example of photography depicting the world-renown underworld. Although an accomplished reportage photographer, capturing the static and dim underground world of the Postojna cave proved a technical challenge for Dvořák. The exceptionally challenging task was done to perfection in the technical as well as in the aesthetic sense. On 10 August 1909, Dvořák photographed the Postojna Cave visit of Maximilian Eugen, the 14-year-old brother of the future Emperor Charles I of Austria, and their mother Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony, accompanied their retinue.
Archduchess Maria Josepha of Saxony (mother of the Austrian Emperor Charles I) with her son Maximilian Eugen and retinue, the dance (Congress) hall in Postojna Cave, 10 August 1909. Inv. no.: BD168a.
The first underground post office in the world; it operated in the years 1899–1927, Postojna Cave, 1909. Glass plate, inv. no.: BD12.
Rakov Škocjan, 1909. Inv. no.: BD158.
Posing among the speleothems in the Cave of Archduke Ivan (Pisani rov), Postojna Cave, 1909. Glass plate, inv. no.: BD184.
Secretary of the cave commission, Ivan Andrej Perko (on the right), and his company on a two-seater »phaeton« cart, Postojna Cave, 1909. Glass plate, conversion of stereoscopic image into anaglyph form, inv. no.: BD218.