The functionalist Mánes Exhibition Hall, located on the right bank of the Vltava river between the bridges Jiraskův most and Most Legií, is one of only two buildings in Prague that were expressly designed to house art – the other one being the famous Rudolfinum gallery. Martin Pavala, the chairman of the supervisory board of the Czech Art Foundation, which owns it, explains that the art gallery’s history started in 1930.
Silver treasure, including coins, tableware and other items dating back to the rule of Václav IV and Vladislav II but also to Tsarist Russia and Czechoslovakia’s First Republic will remain property of the capital and will be overseen by Prague City Museum. The items, hidden either during World War II or shortly afterward, will be added it to its collection, city councilors decided on Tuesday. The decision comes three years after the treasure was found in a building in Smíchov during repairs. Three Ukrainian workers uncovered the items and will receive a reward of 200,000 crowns each. The city posted a notice for former owners to come forward but no one did.
Prague’s leafy central suburb of Karlín may best be known outside of the Czech Republic for the devastating floods that laid ruin to it in 2002, but much of the world has been using the machines and products born of Karlín factories for more than a hundred years and aside from that it is also Prague’s oldest suburb – a point recalled by an exhibition being held this year at the City Museum in Prague that was created by historian Dr. Zdeněk Míka:
Lovers of Czech applied arts and design will find a veritable treasure trove of interesting items, ranging from glass wares to clocks and metal works, in Prague’s Museum of Decorative Arts. Located right across the street from the well-known Rudolfinum palace, the museum is housed in a stunning Neo-Renaissance building. It was one of the last in Prague to be designed in that style. The architect was Josef Schulz, who also was behind the Czech National Museum.
An exhibition titled Czech inventors and inventions is currently underway at the National Museum in Prague. It introduces visitors to the life and work of more than 20 Czech or Czech-born inventors who made their mark in the world. The exhibition covers achievements in many fields of human activity - engineering, medicine, agriculture, biology, chemistry, as well as in the humanities. But you will also find curious and somewhat absurd creations which never went beyond the prototype stage. I asked Pavel Douša, who heads the museum’s cultural heritage
On Prague’s Na Prikope street, in the very heart of the city –right next to McDonalds – is a Museum of Communism. What comes as a surprise to many locals and foreign visitors is that this private venture is the work of an American businessman who owns a number of bars and restaurants in the Czech capital. Glenn Spicker came to Prague 17 years ago, on a wave of interest in the post communist world. Unlike others he launched a successful business venture and stayed. As Glenn gave me a tour of the museum, he explained what made him branch out so far
This Thursday saw the opening of a new exhibition at the National Gallery’s Kinský Palace Stables Gallery marking 100 years since the death of post-impressionist painter, man-of-letters and critic Miloš Jiránek, who contributed strongly to the Czech “National Awakening” at the end of the 19th century. Although he died at the age of just 35, Jiránek was a most influential figure whose paintings, as well as written works, have seen renewed appreciation. The show, entitled The Polemics of Miloš Jiránek, features oils, water colours, drawings, and woodcut
As of this week, the Czech capital Prague has a brand new attraction for visitors and its citizens alike. A new museum just a stone’s throw from Prague Castle looks back at an era when outstanding scientists and alchemists, brought to Prague from across Europe by the Habsburg Emperor Rudolf II., carried out their experiments in laboratories around the city.
It’s September, and all other anniversaries aside, that means the birthday season of the genius Antonín Dvořák. Had the Czech musical maestro lived to his deserved age he would be 170-years-old this month, and music-lovers and –ologists are marking the occasion with all due enthusiasm. Alongside the Dvořák festivals and radio tributes this month there is also the uniquely interesting, interactive Dvořák exhibition at the Czech Museum of Music (Karmelitská 2, Malá Strana), which is our destination in this week’s Spotlight.
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