Photographer Tošo Dabac was born in the municipality of Nova Rača, near Bjelovar, in 1907., , He finished elementary school in Nova Rača, and later, after moving to Samobor, he attended the Royal Classics Gymnasium in Zagreb. He enrolled to study law in Zagreb, but never completed his studies.
He first encountered photography in 1924, and his first preserved photograph is a panorama of Samobor, from 7 March 1925. He first presented his work at an amateur exhibition in Ivanec in 1932. He was one of the founders and main representatives of the so-called Zagreb School of Artistic Photography. Since the 1930s, he has participated in a series of exhibitions at home and abroad, and in 1938 he won one of the most important awards: Camera Craff. In 1951, the Yugoslav Association of Photographers awarded him the title Master of Photography, and he was also a member of the Photographic Society of America.
He fought with the Partisans in the Second World War. After the war, he joined the Croatian Association of Artists. On several occasions he was employed to photograph motifs throughout Yugoslavia (Istria, Dubrovnik, labor campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina ...), as well as visits by Yugoslavian artists to Toronto in 1949, Chicago in 1950, Moscow in 1958 and the Expo in Brussels in 1958.
He exhibited at the international shows Das menschliche Antlitz Europas and Was ist der Mensch? In 1966 he received the national Vladimir Nazor Award for the highest achievements in the visual arts, and in that same year, he also received the lifetime achievement award from the Yugoslav Association of Photographers.
According to Marina Benažić, Tošo Dabac was apolitical, so he never took part in any opposition activities against the socialist regime. But he was very much involved in cultural events throughout Zagreb during the 1950s and especially the 1960s, when he opens his studio to many, primarily abstract, artists.
- Nova Rača, Croatia
- Bencetić, Lidija