Petra Trnková

Mgr. Petra Trnková, Ph.D.

Documentation Department

phone: +420 776 679 484

Researcher at the Documentation Department, curator of the photography collection, head of the Photography Research Centre.

Petra Trnková is a historian of photography (PhD, Masaryk University, 2008; Rector’s Prize). In addition to the history of 19th- and early 20th-century photography, she is interested in the history of photomechanical printing and other techniques of mechanical reproduction of artefacts in the 19th century, the historiography of photography, photo albums, and the management of photographic collections. Her research has been supported by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (MSCA), the Czech Science Foundation, the Czech Academy of Sciences (Strategy AV21 programme), the AKTION Czech Republic – Austria programme, the Adalbert Stifter Verein etc. In 2023, she was a Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, where she investigated the history of mechanical reproduction of painting.


Selected research outputs:

P. Trnková, Metternich’s Collection of Talbot’s Photographs: A lost album as a virtually material being, Journal of the History of Collections 35, 2023, 2, pp. 379–394,

P. Trnková, Rembrandt fecit – Liepmann gedruckt. Olejomalba ve věku mechanického tisku, in A. Bartlová – H. Buddeus eds., Infrastruktury (dějin) umění, Ústí nad Labem: Univerzita J. E. Purkyně 2022, pp. 126–139.

P. Trnková, Anastas Jovanović: Photographer of the new Slovak political representation, RIHA Journal 2022, no. 0273,

P. Trnková, Electrifying Daguerreotypes: On correlations between electricity and photography around 1840, History of Photography 45, 2021, 2, pp. 111–127,

P. Trnková, Klemens Metternich a kynžvartská sbírka daguerrotypií, Historická fotografie 20, 2021, pp. 2–15.

P. Trnková, Photography in 1848: Five Case Studies from Central Europe, History of Photography 43, 2019, 3, pp. 233–250,

P. Trnková, The Unbearable (and Irresistible) Charm of ‘Duplicates’, in J. Bärnighausen, C. Caraffa, S. Klamm, F. Schneider a P. Wodtke eds., Photo-Objects. On the Materiality of Photographs and Photo Archives, Berlin: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, 2019, pp. 245–260,

P. Trnková, Knights, Pilgrims, Tourists, Archaeologists, and Antiquaries at Rožmberk, in P. Trnková ed., Landscape–Residence–Image, Prague: Artefactum, 2015, pp. 244–263.

M. Faber – P. Trnková eds., Andreas Groll (1812–1872) – neznámý fotograf, Praha: GHMP – Vienna: Photoinstitut Bonartes, 2015.

P. Trnková, Podle přírody! Fotografie a umění v 19. století – příklady z českých a moravských sbírek, Brno: B&P, 2013.

P. Trnková ed., Oudadate Pix: Revealing a photographic archive, Prague: Artefactum, 2010.

P. Trnková, Technický obraz na malířských štaflích. Umělecká fotografie a česko-němečtí fotoamatéři, 1890–1914, Brno: B&P, 2008.

P. Trnková, Fotografie po „dějinách umělecké fotografie“, in M. Filipová – M. Rampley eds., Možnosti vizuálních studií. Obrazy – texty – interpretace, Brno: B&P, 2008, pp. 93–110.

Current projects:

Inventors, Pirates, Epigones. On beginnings of photography on paper in Central Europe (book)

Josef Schulz and Photography (exhibition and article)

Lichia prisca, die Freunde der Naturwissenschaften und eine flüchtige Begegnung von Fotografie und Paläontologie in Wien um 1845 (article)

Counterfeits in the Era of Mechanical Reproduction (conference paper)

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