Several dozen people protested on Thursday the removal of Alphonse Mucha’s monumental Slav Epic from the Moravian town of Moravský Krumlov. The art nouveau artwork, composed of 20 large canvasses, has been on display there for nearly 50 years. However, its owner, the city of Prague, is planning to move it to the Czech capital.
Documents discovered in a Prague archive might free the way for moving a
significant Czech artwork, the Slav Epic, to Prague, the daily Mladá
fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday. The documents suggest that the series of
20 large paintings by the Czech Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha were not
donated to the city of Prague by the artist himself, but rather by his
patron, Charles Crane. Until now it has been believed that the painter
donated the paintings to the city of Prague on the condition that the
city’s authorities house it in an appropriate space.
If proven right, this would mean that the city could move the paintings from Moravský Krumlov, where they have been on display for the last 50 years, to the capital, a plan opposed by Mucha’s descendants. Prague City Hall has been planning to move the paintings in mid July anyway, and display them in the National Gallery in the autumn.
In related news, a court in Prague refused on Tuesday to issue a restricting order, as requested by the painter Alfons Mucha’s family, to prevent the Slav Epic from being moved to Prague. The artist’s grandson John Mucha told the Czech news agency ČTK that the court’s decision was “sad” and would not help the future of the art work. Mr Mucha also said he would keep working to make sure the paintings are eventually exhibited in an appropriate venue in the Czech capital.
When the artist Alfons Mucha died in 1939, he left his masterpiece of 20 canvasses entitled the Slav Epic, to the City of Prague – but on the condition that an appropriate space be built for it. This has not happened to date and now the city would like to remove the work from the chateau in Moravský Krumlov where it is currently housed and install it in Prague’s Veletržní Palác. The Mucha family, however, is opposed, and is filing for an injunction against the city to keep the paintings where they are until they are given a permanent residence. Earlier today, we spoke with the head of the Mucha Foundation and grandson of the celebrated Art Nouveau painter, John Mucha, and asked him to explain why he is seeking to stop the city from moving the work. More
The authorities in Prague have turned down a request from a Japanese institution to borrow an enormous series of works by the Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha. Japan’s NHK promotions had wanted to bring the 20-painting Slav Epic to a Tokyo museum in 2012, and had offered to pay for its restoration. But Prague councillors voted on Tuesday to deny the request, saying instead that the Slav Epic would be moved from its current home in Moravský Krumlov to the capital’s Výstaviště exhibition grounds in September. However, it is not clear whether the city intends to build a dedicated home for the monumental artwork, which was a condition set by Mucha when he donated it to Prague in 1928.
Prague city council should discuss on Tuesday a Japanese offer to restore Czech painter Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic series of paintings in return for their exhibition in Tokyo. The Japanese want to exhibit the massive series of 20 paintings for three months in 2012. The paintings were bestowed to Prague by the artist but are now exhibited at a castle in Moravský Krumlov. Mucha has been credited as the inspiration for many current Japanese manga or comic strip artists.
Alphonse Mucha’s grandson John Mucha is the head of the Mucha Foundation, which manages the legacy of the great Czech Art Nouveau artist. He launched the successful Mucha Museum in the centre of Prague during the 1990s, and has recently being holding talks with the city’s authorities on the long-delayed creation of a dedicated home for Mucha’s extensive work the Slav Epic. More
John Mucha is the grandson of the great Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist Alphonse Mucha. His parents are also noteworthy; his late father Jiří was a journalist and writer, while his Scottish mother Geraldine, who is 92, still composes music. John himself heads the Mucha Foundation, which conserves the family’s collection and promotes the artist’s work internationally. His home in the Czech capital, situated opposite the gates of Prague Castle, contains a breathtaking array of Alphonse Mucha memorabilia and artworks and is described by John Mucha as a “living museum”. When we spoke at the Mucha family flat, I first asked him if he had grown up there. More
Japanese promoters have expressed interest in bringing to Japan one of the most grandiose pieces in the history of Czech art, Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic. They are even offering to finance the restoration of the monumental, which consists of 20 huge canvasses. But both the city of Prague, which owns the work, and Mucha’s grandson are hesitant to let it travel so far. More
The Czech daily Právo has reported that a Japanese firm specialising in large scale cultural productions including major exhibitions has expressed an interest in exhibiting in Japan the famous Slav Epic by Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha. The epic, a series of enormous canvases telling the story of the Slavic people, has been housed for the last 45 years in Moravia’s Moravský Krumlov - although the city of Prague is to decide soon on a permanent space for the series in the Czech capital. According to Právo, if the city gives the go-ahead, Mucha’s famous cycle could be seen in Tokyo, Japan for more than two months. Necessary restoration work by Czech specialists, along with transportation costs, would be covered by the Japanese firm, the daily writes. City Hall is expected to discuss the issue next month.