The Belda family are famous Prague jewellers who are the only ones certified to oversee the upkeep of the Czech crown jewels; recently, the youngest designer in the family, Viktorie Beldová, made headlines for a crown completed as part of her Masters thesis at Prague’s Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. She was inspired by the story of Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, who grew up in Prague in the 1960s. Her initial aim was to eventually gift the monarch with the crown, which proved more difficult than expected.
In the first half of the 20th century Czechoslovakia was at the forefront of design, from architecture to furniture production. But a new publication by Prague’s Museum of Decorative Arts (UPM) together with Academia, makes the case that good design survived in pockets even under socialism. The book, entitled Design in the Czech Lands 1900 – 2000, featuring hundreds of reproductions was co-edited by UPM’s Iva Knoblochová. She told me how plans for the ambitious book came together.
A painting by Czech 20th century painter Jan Zrzavý has sold at auction in Prague for almost CZK 13 million. Field on Ile de Sein II became the second most expensive work by the artist in the sale held by the Dorotheum auction house. Zrzavý’s painting was well received at a 1934 exhibition organised by Czechoslovak arts association Umělecká beseda before also finding success at an international show in Brussels the following year.
Leading Czech graphic designer Jan Rajlich, founder of Bienniale Brno, has died at the age of 96. Rajlich devoted himself mainly to applied and graphic design. He was a pioneer of the coordinated visual style and a world-recognised posters creator. The designer received many domestic as well as foreign awards in recognition of his work. He attended the opening of his last exhibition in Zlin chateau just a fortnight ago.
A painting by abstract artist František Kupka called Series C I (Plans Miniscules) from 1935 sold for 62 million crowns (around 2.29 million euros) on Sunday, setting a new Czech art auction record. Until now, the record price paid at the domestic art auction was 55.57 million, for which another Kupka`s painting, The Shape of Blue, was sold four years ago. International auction record for Kupka is even higher. Earlier this year, his painting L'Envolée was sold in Sweden for nearly 70 million crowns.
One of the rarest Czechoslovak stamps was sold at an auction in Prague on Saturday for more than 1.7 million crowns (some 63,000 euro). The starting price was at one million crowns. The 50-heller was issued in 1927 and by mistake, overprinted “50/50” DOPLATIT as a postage due. It was used by the post office before the error was discovered. Between 20 to 30 used copies are believed to be in the possession of collectors.
Prague’s Municipal Court on Friday is due to deal with a complaint by the director of the Czech National Gallery Jiří Fajt against head of state president Miloš Zeman. The president refused in May to sign off on Fajt becoming a professor citing his doubts about whether the gallery director had benefited from a sponsorship payment made by a major bank. Fajt says he has already amassed a series of honourary degrees and is protesting the slur on his reputation. The court rejected Fajt's complaint but he can appeal.
A photograph of a skirmish between human rights activists and supporters of Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Prague this year has won the top prize in this year’s Czech Press Photo. During the visit in March, organized groups of Chinese supporters clashed with Czech activists, some of them evoking the legacy of the late Václav Havel and his friendship with the Dalai Lama. The winning entry was taken by photojournalist Michal Šula.
A photograph of a skirmish between human rights activists and supporters of Chinese President XI Jinping during his visit to Prague in March 2016 has won the top prize in this year’s Czech Press Photo competition. The Photo of the Year was taken by photojournalist Michal Šula of Mafra Publishers. Mr Šula's photo is dominated by a figure covered in a Czech flag and a falling banner promoting human rights. During the Chinese president’s visit, organized groups of supporters clashed with activists supporting Tibet, the Dalai Lama and the late Václav Havel as well as opposing policies pursued by the current head of state.
A painting by Czech artist Emil Filla fetched an auction price of 8.0 million crowns in Prague on Sunday. The new owner will in fact pay around 10 million crowns when auction fees are taken into account. A reserve price of 6.8 million crowns had been put on the painting, Figure of a Woman (Polopostava ženy) which dates from 1912. The painting was restituted from the National Gallery. The record price for a Filla painting on the domestic art market remains at 17.5 million crowns and was paid three years for the painting, Painter (Malíř).
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