Did you know that the Czech Republic is the original home of the mass-produced gnome? Gnomes, elves and dwarves have quite a tradition here, but it is a tradition that has been scorned by snobs and neglected by the rest of us. Not any more: an exhibition currently showing at the Museum of Central Bohemia in Roztoky, just north of Prague aims to put things right. David Vaughan donned his red cap and went along, accompanied by the museum's programme director, Tana Pekarkova.
"Christmas Eve" is the first ever concert melodrama that was introduced to the Czech audience. In celebration of the 130th anniversary of its first ever performance, Dita Asiedu explores how this masterpiece by the great Czech composer Zdenek Fibich was born and visits a Prague exhibition devoted to Christmas Eve in art.
The little town of Roztoky, just a few kilometres north of Prague is a perfect place for a day trip from the city. Its main landmark is the old castle - originally a moated gothic manor house - down by the River Vltava - which houses the Museum of Central Bohemia. Among its exhibits the castle includes a room furnished in the style of the mid-19th century, when Roztoky first became a popular out-of-town resort for better-off Prague citizens. Not far from the main castle there is also a mill and a delightful little building from the turn of the
This October the Czech Republic lost one of its greatest artists, with the death of Eva Svankmajerova. She was probably best known for her painting and her collaborative film work with her husband Jan Svankmajer, but she was also a very accomplished writer. We talk to Gwendolyn Albert, who translated her Surrealist novella, "Baradla Cave".
At the age of eighty Stanislav Kolibal is still active, testing new approaches and ideas. This year he has devoted himself to painting and his work is now on display in Prague's Veletrzni Palac, the part of the National Gallery devoted to modern art, until the middle of February. The watercolours on show are all in a shade of gray and represent trends in modern contemporary art. What might seem a random accumulation of squares, circles and rectangular shapes is in fact carefully composed to the very last detail.
Lost, stolen, sold, discovered in an antique shop, confiscated, ruined by a flood and finally restored and returned to its owner - that's the turbulent story of a 17th-century painting of a wealthy Prague burgher that was once in possession of Prague's Municipal Museum. The museum is now showing the cameo portrait whose story is just as interesting as the story of the man it depicts.
Many Radio Prague listeners will already be familiar with the work of Czech-born illustrator Peter Sis, the author of acclaimed children's books that include "The Three Golden Keys" and "The Tree of Life". Last week, Peter Sis was in Prague, this time to launch the Czech edition of "Tibet - Through the Red Box" - based on his father's experiences in 1950s Tibet.
In the Arts we'll be looking at experimental vision in both music and architecture. First, we look at the Czech band known as SOIL, and second, we'll be looking at a new exhibition titled Futura Pragensis, where students of architecture foresee and propose how Prague might look in two hundred years.
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