* February 27, 1889 Přívoz / Ostrava-Přívoz/ † 1964 Ostrava-Radvanice
mining official, representative of the organized Silesian spiritualist movement, author of mediumistic drawings
Josef Kotzian 1950s
orig. photo, private collection by Eva and Jan Oravec, Ostrava
Josef Kotzian (Kocián) was born in Přívoz (now Ostrava - Moravská Ostrava-Přívoz) into a Czech family of Roman Catholic faith with Přívoz's family roots by both parents, who married in Moravská Ostrava in 1885. Father Edmund K., son of train driver Anton K. and Josefa Tudloňová, he was an engineer, his mother Johanna, nee Mikesková, was the daughter of the ferry peasants Jan and Alžběta Mikesková and the heiress of their family house. Josef Kotzian was baptized on March 12, 1889 by the Moravian parish priest Jan Spurný named Josef Leonard. After graduating from elementary school in Přívoz, he graduated from the Secondary Industrial School in Brno, where he also finished on May 1, 1916 in the parish church of St. Tomas's marriage to Hedwig Kazek. Before the childless marriage ended in his wife's early death, Josef Kotzian, a deep believer, broke up with the Roman Catholic Church at the turn of 1918 and 1919. In the 1920s, Josef Kotzian met Marie Pannová, who was a strong medium. Marie had two sons in her first marriage - Josef / 1918 / and Karel / 1920 /, which Kotzian strictly refused to raise, so after the divorce, both boys remained in the care of Father Theodor Panna. Together with Marie, he moved from his mother's house in Vývarova Street No. 36 in Přívoz / the house was demolished in the 1960s / to Radvanice in Silesia, where he built a family house in Chodounského Street No. 399/38 to get closer to Radvanice. The spiritualist community united around the federal house of the Brotherhood and the editors of the Spiritist Review. Kotzian came into contact with spiritualism, before the First World War, which he spent due to a lung disease and employment in the coal industry as a non-soldier in the background. In 1918 he began to devote himself to automatic medium drawing and only by 1925 he created two hundred ornamental medium drawings of astral plants. He used the drawing at the same time as art therapy in the fight against lung disease and as a meditation technique. In the 1920s, Josef Kotzian became a leading figure in the Spiritualist Association Brotherhood in Radvanice in Silesia (1914 / 1919–1951). Where, until the end of the 1930s, he held the position of Vice-President alongside Jan Rösner (1928–1938, 1947) and at the same time organized and led lectures on phrenology. As vice-president of the Brotherhood, he shared the fate of Presidents J. Rösner and Jan Kuchar, who were arrested in June 1941 and imprisoned for seven weeks by the Gestapo, when he and his wife were monitored and interrogated by the secret police. After the war, until the official dissolution of the Spiritual Association of the Brotherhood (1951), he was active in its supreme bodies, and from 1947 he was in charge of the association library. He devoted himself to mediumistic drawing in 1959, when probably the youngest of Kotzian's surviving mediumistic drawings was created. Kotzian's mediumistic drawings, signed in the years 1919–1959 on behalf of the spirit of Solferino / signed Solf. /, excelled in originality, precision of workmanship and richness of motifs. They were repeatedly presented at interwar exhibitions of mediumistic drawings in the Czech lands and abroad (Vienna 1922). The last exhibition of mediumistic drawings took place in the Spiritual House of the Brotherhood in June 8 - June 22, 1947, where some of Kotzian's strongest postwar drawings of larger dimensions were exhibited for the first time. After 1951 / official communist ban on spiritism in Czechoslovakia mediumistic drawing, probably until 1959, when the youngest drawing of this date is preserved in the collections. Josef Kotzian died forgotten in the summer of 1964 / the exact date is not yet known / and according to all indications he was cremated and his ashes scattered in the Radvanice cemetery. Kotzian's medium drawings are now found almost exclusively in private collections.
The two largest collections are owned by Eva and Jan Švankmajer, Prague and Eva and Jan Oravec, Ostrava.