This May marks the centenary of the birth of Ladislav Sitenský, among the most celebrated Czech photographers of the 20th century. He’s perhaps best known today for his iconic World War II work documenting the Nazi occupation of his homeland and lives of his fellow servicemen in the RAF’s Czechoslovak 312th squadron. But for over seven decades, Sitenský – who was also an accomplished sportsman, essayist and novelist – lovingly turned his lens to the people and architecture of Prague and other European capitals.
How did the working poor live in Prague during the Austro-Hungarian Empire? In the days of the democratic First Czechoslovak Republic? Under Communism? And what about the homeless of today? Two separate yet complementary exhibitions now at the City of Prague Museum take a novel approach to presenting the capital’s often forgotten, overlooked or unknown history of poverty and homelessness.
A rediscovered painting by one of the leading Czech modernist painters, Jan
Zrzavý, has sold for 5.8 million crowns at an auction in Prague on
Saturday. The 1938 oil on canvas, called ‘Landscape in Brittany’, was
part of a private collection and has been hidden from view for several
decades. Bidding for the painting began at 3.8 billion crowns.
So far the most expensive painting by the painter, sold at a Czech auction, is entitled ‘Calvary in Locronan’, auctioned off in 2017 for more than 17 million crowns.
The heads of twelve foreign museums and galleries have written an open
letter to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš expressing shock and dismay at the
sacking of the head of the Prague National Gallery Jiří Fajt.
The heads of national galleries and cultural institutions in Europe and the US say that Fajt was instrumental in boosting cooperation among art institutions and raised the prestige of the National Galley in Prague.
They say his work has served as an inspiration for galleries elsewhere in the world. Fajt was sacked by the Czech culture minister last week following an in-depth audit at the gallery.
Culture Minister Antonín Staněk has dismissed the head of Prague’s
National Gallery Jiří Fajt and the head of the Museum of Art in Olomouc,
At a press conference on Thursday, the Minister of Culture said his
decision was made on the basis of an audit carried out in the institutions.
He said he had lost faith in the directors’ ability to efficiently manage
the institutions’ budgets.
Mr Staněk has also filed two criminal charges against Mr Fajt over an allegedly suspicious CZK 1.2 million contract and lease agreement. The chief post at Prague’s National Gallery will be temporarily filled by Ivan Morávek.
In the days of the Habsburg Empire, nearly every geography class in central Europe would have had a globe made by Felkl & Sohn. At its peak, the family factory north of Prague was producing some 15,000 terrestrial and celestial globes every year. The decline began between the world wars, as found Jan Felkl’s own world became smaller and smaller.
A new guide to Prague, called Curator, attempts to show the city to locals and tourists in a different light. A group of three art historians have handpicked the best of Prague galleries, contemporary spaces, paintings and sculptures, art cafés and art in the streets and interviewed people who have something to say about them. Instead of the traditional sights and overpriced tourists traps, Curator invites its users to discover interesting, and lesser-known places lying off the beaten tourist track.
The Czech military aircraft producer Aero Vodochody is marking the company’s 100th birthday with an exhibition documenting the development of its aircraft over the years. Titled “A century with Aero”, the exhibition showcases veterans – from its very first Aero A-1 which took to the skies in 1919 to its latest L-39 NG model launched in December of last year.
Fashion designer Rosalie Kladošová took the top award in the annual Czech
Grand Design competition on Wednesday evening, for her collection called
Merino Recycle, using textiles made of recycled wool. She also clinched the
top prize in the fashion category.
This year’s nine winners also include Lucie Koldová, who won the prize for Designer of the Year for her Chips Chair, a lounge chair resembling a potato chip made for the furniture brand Ton. Artist Janja Prokic took the award for her collection of jewellery inspired by Papua New Guinea.
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