Meda Mládková is a Czech art collector who spent more than half of her life in exile, mostly in the United States. In 1968 she established a collection of Czech art which she brought to the US from behind the Iron Curtain. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Meda Mládková returned to Czechoslovakia and donated her entire collection to the country. I met Mrs Mládková in her museum on Prague’s Kampa Island and started by asking how she became involved in art collecting in the first place:
One of the earliest recordings from the Czech Radio archives features the voice of Czechoslovakia’s first President, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, talking to a group of Czech children on the occasion of the tenth birthday of Czechoslovakia in October 1928. The president reminds the children of the principle of “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. “Don’t be afraid of water,” he says. “Wash yourselves with gusto, bathe and swim, take exercise in the fresh air and let the sun’s rays warm you.”
This weekend we celebrate what is for all of us here at Vinohradská 12 a rather important birthday. May 18 was the day back in 1923 when Czechoslovakia began its first regular radio broadcasts. To mark the event we shall be bringing you a special programme on Sunday, looking back to those pioneering days. Here is a quick foretaste of what we have in store.
It is exactly 50 years since Czechoslovakia’s great triumph at the world Expo exhibition in Brussels, at which the country won the best pavilion award and many Czech and Slovak artists received special prizes. To recall the Czechoslovak success at Expo 1958, the City Gallery of Prague this week opened an exhibition entitled “Brussels Dream”. It aims to recreate the famous Czechoslovak exhibition with authentic objects from Expo 58. It also reflects the lifestyle of the early 1960s, marked by the rise of popular culture and affected by the so-called
The inhabitants of Studenec, a small Moravian village near Brno, have voted to keep a bronze relief depicting Soviet dictator Josef Stalin on their community’s monument to the victims of the First and Second World Wars. Just over a half of the village’s adult inhabitants turned up to cast their ballots in the local referendum, while a majority of them said they wanted to keep the controversial portrait in its place.
Thomas M. Messer was born in Bratislava in 1919 but moved to Prague at the age of four, when his father got a job teaching German Studies at Charles University. After moving to the US at the start of World War II, he went on to work at a number of art institutions, including New York’s Guggenheim Museum, where he was director for 27 years. Mr Messer, today an urbane gentleman of 88, grew up in Czechoslovakia’s inter-war period First Republic, regarded by many as the country’s golden era. Would he share that view?
In today’s Special, we look at Military Prague: a few of the key moments in the city’s history, from the first Slavonic settlements, to the founding of Prague Castle and achievements later in the 20th century. Like any major city, Prague’s military history is impossible to separate from other historical developments: technological, economic, and cultural. As a site in the Czech lands it is of course difficult to overstate its importance.
This year, Český Rozhlas or Czech Radio is celebrating its 85th anniversary. A number of special commemorative events and broadcasts are being planned for the coming months. As an institution, Czech Radio has played its part in, and survived, two revolutions, as many major uprisings, and a world war. But could one of its biggest tests be, quite simply, a change in times and consumers’ tastes? As we are bombarded with information from an ever increasing number of sources, is there still a place for good old radio in the modern world?
In today’s Mailbox, you will find out who the mystery lady from our April competition was. We will also announce the names of four of Radio Prague’s listeners who were drawn out of the hat and will receive small prizes from us for their correct answers. And of course, there is a brand new quiz question for you. Listeners quoted: Prasanta Kumar Padmapati, Christine Takaguchi-Coates, Jana Vaculik, Ian Morrison, Mark Guy, Panha Pen, Deepa Chakraborty, Colin Law, Partha Sarathi Goswami, Henrik Klemetz, David Eldridge, Christopher Roberts, Charles