The National Technical Museum has prepared an exhibition on the German-Czech chemist and photographer Jan (Johann) Böhm (1895–1952), who researched the structure of crystals by X-rays and contributed to the development of Czechoslovak crystallography.

Jan (Johann) Böhm – chemist and photographer

Jan (Johann) Böhm worked at the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry in Berlin from 1921 and from 1927 at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau. He has collaborated with Nobel Prize winners Fritz Haber and George de Hevesy. In 1935, for political reasons, he returned to Prague and was appointed professor of physical chemistry at the German (Charles) University, where he remained until 1945. After the closure of universities in November 1939, chemist Jaroslav Heyrovsky allowed the polarograph to continue developing throughout the war. After the liberation in May 1945, the situation was difficult for Böhm as a member of German nationality and he could not find a suitable application that would correspond to his abilities. From 1946 he worked as a chemist in the Association for Chemical and Metallurgical Production in Pardubice-Rybitví.

Jan (Johann) Böhm was an avid amateur photographer. His first photos from 1912 were associated with chemical experiments and the capture of physical or astronomical phenomena. During the 1920s and 1930s, he traveled extensively, especially in Germany and Switzerland, and he documented his travels. He not only took photos of the landscape, especially the mountains, because he was an enthusiastic skier and ski mountaineer, but he also portrayed family members and friends. During the war, he took pictures of Prague, especially Baroque monuments.