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.
This month in Mailbox we read from your letters of condolence on the death in December of the former president Václav Havel, we read from your feedback regarding Radio Prague's programmes and we quote from your answers to January's mystery Czech quiz question. Listeners/readers: Michael Fanderys, Jayanta Chakrabarty, Stephen Hrebenach, Steve Olear, Hans Verner Lollike, Mary Lou Krenek, Jaroslaw Jedrzejczak, Charles Konecny, Vladimir Gudzenko, Colin Law.
In today’s Arts I talk to artist and editor Carrie Paterson about the first English-language edition of a rare and fascinating book originally published in 1936. Written by the third wife of modernist architect Adolf Loos, Claire Beck Loos (Klára Becková-Loosová of Plzeň) it was previously available only in German; the new edition, published by Doppelhouse Press, is called Adolf Loos – A Private Portrait.
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.
When Václav Havel came to Prague Castle, it meant a complete upheaval not only of the old system of governance, but also of the way things were run at the historical seat of the president itself. One of those who has been at Prague Castle since the very outset of that period is architect and art historian Zdeněk Lukeš, who worked closely with Václav Havel on revamping the castle and shared in the exuberance of the early administration. Speaking here with Christian Falvey, he recalled working with Mr Havel in the Civic Forum, the first post-Communist
Czech architect Karel Hubáček who is best known for designing the Jested TV and radio transmitter on Jested Mountain, has died at the age of 87. The transmitter’s innovative design -modelled in the shape of a rotating hyperboloid – won Hubáček the Perret Prize in August of 1969. The funeral is to take place in Liberec on December 2nd.
In today’s Spotlight we travel to the city of Ostrava, the capital of the Moravian-Silesian region and more precisely to the city’s industrial centre Vítkovice. Its unusual skyline does not feature skyscrapers and church towers but rather the tall and imposing structures of extinct blast furnaces. Instead of demolishing them, Ostrava has decided to preserve its unique industrial heritage and the whole complex is now being revitalized and turned into a multipurpose cultural facility.
Pre-fabricated apartment blocs known in the Czech Republic as paneláky (panel buildings) were once the Soviet ideal and countless thousands were built in Czechoslovakia from the 1950s until 1989. Now, for the first time, one such bloc of homes will be demolished strictly for aesthetic reasons. The Southeast Bohemian town of Havlíčkův Brod has confirmed that a low-rise smack in the town centre – considered an eyesore for years – will soon be a thing of the past.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czech pop music legend Karel Gott dies at the age of 80
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott