Here, within a wider Central-European context, the National Gallery presents the most important works of Czech painting and sculpture from Classicism to Romanticism. Czech art was an essential part of a wider artistic field, and its standpoint, criteria and evaluation was closely linked not only with the artistic scene, but also with institutions in Vienna and artistic centres in Germany.
Czechs, Austrians and Germans
Visitors to the exhibition can look forward to seeing the most important works of František Tkadlík, Antonín Machek, Josef Navrátil and August Piepenhagen, as well as a representative collection of works by the artistically talented Mánes family, predominantly featuring works by Josef Mánes. J.M. Haushofer’s landscape art school at Prague Academy is represented, among others, by the paintings of Adolf Kosárek, Bedřich Havránek, Alois Bubák and others. Works by students of Christian Ruben’s school of Historic Art lead us through events in Czech and European history. The exhibition also presents the best of Austrian and German art, which demonstrates mutual artistic and cultural relationships.
A Sense of Art: Icons in Art at the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts, 23.10.2015 – 10.1.2016
From its establishment in 1890 and until 1952, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts brought together artists, authors and musicians who recognised their peers annually with awards for artistic achievement. The exhibition A Sense of Art is the first to present artworks that received these prestigious academic awards in 1891–1952, and illustrates the transformation of Czech culture in this period. The major Czech artists who were recognised included Vojtěch Hynais, Mikoláš Aleš, František Ženíšek, Josef Václav Myslbek, František Bílek, František Kupka, Vojtěch Preissig, Josef Lada, Dušan Jurkovič and Josef Gočár. Some of the award-winning works have remained in the possession of the Czech Academy of Sciences, though most have gone to numerous institutions and private collections. This is the first opportunity for the public to view a collection of works that received these academic awards. The exhibition will also introduce patrons of the arts such as Josef Hlávka, Leopold Schmidt, Leopold Katz and Josef Mauder, longstanding supporters of Czech art.
The exhibition is part of a cycle of exhibitions called Arts and Sciences, which will be organized in 2015 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the Czech Academy of Emperor Franz Joseph for Sciences, Literature and Arts, the precursor of today’s Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The project seeks to introduce the Academy to the broader public as a useful institution and show the results of academic research in the light of contemporary life.
The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic is preparing other exhibitions in cooperation with the National Museum (a presentation of humanities and social sciences past and present), the National Technical Museum and the National Technical Library: an exhibition called Contemporary Science – Contemporary Art.
Exhibition author: Taťána Petrasová (The Art History Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)
Curator for the National Gallery in Prague: Veronika Hulíková