Jenda Rajman was born in the late nineteenth century in Rožďalovice as the third son in a bookbinder’s family. He learned the craft of bookbinding from his father. He worked for a number of prominent artists, such as Mikoláš Aleš, who painted a personal bookplate for him for his services.
Rajman’s career was affected by the First World War. He did not have to go directly to the battle line, as he lost his big toe due to a childhood injury. He served in a field hospital on the Italian front, near where some of the heaviest battles took place. Rajman was a keen photographer, and he had the opportunity to capture photographs of life during the war. He sent some of these photos home as postcards. They have been preserved, and they contain a description of the event or place as well as dates. These photographs and their notes are on display for the exhibition.
Building with a history of war
The brooding atmosphere of Invalidovna is an ideal place for the exhibition of historical war photographs by the bookbinder and photographer Jenda Rajman, as for several centuries, this building was closely connected with the army, and particularly military medical care.
The building was designed by the famous architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer in the middle of the 18th century as accommodation for war veterans and their families. It served its purpose until the beginning of the 20th century, when it was used as an army archive. The building was later abandoned. However, Invalidovna was declared a national cultural monument in 2017 and subsequently put into the care of the National Heritage Institute (‘Národní památkový ústav’) in 2018, which is reconstructing the building and gradually making it accessible to the public.
Exhibitions such as ‘Jenda Rajman's Camera’, as well as participation in the Open House project, help to revive Invalidovna and bring new visitors who appreciate the potential of the monumental historical building.
Further information available on: https://www.invalidovna-praha.cz/cs/akce/44336-vystava-fotoaparatem-jendy-rajmana-pribehy-z-italske-fronty. Webpage is in Czech