The Tošo Dabac Archive


The Tošo Dabac Archive

The Tošo Dabac Archive comprises 160 thousand negatives, around 2000 artistic enlargements, valuable photography equipment, Dabac's library, and a collection of newspaper clippings of the legendary Zagreb photographer. 

Apart from its artistic value, the archival material has an exceptional documentary significance as a testimony to the history of Zagreb and Croatia. Tošo Dabac's photographic oeuvre has been preserved in its entirety and encompasses a broad spectrum of themes: from portraits, artworks, and photographs of urban life to landscapes and folk traditions and art.

At the time of Dabac's activity, his studio was a famous meeting point of artists and intellectuals associated with the EXAT 51 group, the Zagreb Music Biennial, and New Tendencies - it was a dynamic period, in which Zagreb joined the cultural scene of Europe owing to the activities initiated by Contemporary Art Gallery (today's Museum of Contemporary Art). After Dabac's death in 1970, his studio was renamed the Tošo Dabac Archive and is now managed by the artist's nephew and heir, Petar Dabac, who is a renowned photographer himself. In 1980, he founded a gallery at the Archive, hosting exhibitions and workshops by globally famous artists.

Since that time, the doors of the Archive have remained open to both Croatian and international artists or researchers, who visit it increasingly in order to use the photographic legacy of Tošo Dabac for its artistic or historical value.

In March 2006, the City of Zagreb purchased the Archive and offered it to the Museum of Contemporary Art for management. Thus, conditions were created for documenting professionally this extensive and comprehensive material, which is about to take its deserved place in the history of world photography.

The Tošo Dabac Archive was inscribed in 2002 in the Register of Croatian Cultural Monuments.


Collection curator, Ivana Janković