In a tent at the bottom of Wenceslas Square, a month-long project is has just got underway looking at the square both past and future. Prague’s main thoroughfare is set to be developed and changed in the coming years, with planners hoping to do away with the rather shabby image it has developed. The exhibition opened with a display of photographs by the renowned Czech photojournalist Vilém Kropp.
“The Rarest Czechoslovak Postage Stamps in the Collection of Ludvík Pytlíček” is the name of a new book which presents arguably the greatest collection of Czechoslovak stamps, compiled by the renowned Czech philatelist Mr Pytlíček. The volume, launched in Prague on Wednesday, also includes the most precious Czechoslovak postage stamp of all times – a four-crown stamp from 1919 of which only a single exemplar is known.
This week, an exhibition has opened in the town of Cheb of a series of nude photographs of the singer Madonna taken in 1979 before she was famous. The pictures were taken by Czech-born photographer Martin Schreiber, who moved along with his family to New York in the 1950s to avoid communist persecution. When he discovered that he had nude photographs of one of the world’s most famous singers, Martin Schreiber earned limited fame and fortune for himself, selling the pictures to Playboy in the early 1980s. Dominik Jun spoke to him during his visit
Before he ever picked up a camera, the internationally renowned Czech photographer Antonín Kratochvíl led a colourful life to say the least. After escaping from Czechoslovakia in 1967, he spent time in an Austrian refugee camp, was imprisoned in Sweden and joined the French Foreign Legion, with whom he fought in a war before later deserting. In the second part of an interview conducted at his long-term home in New York, Antonín Kratochvíl discusses, among other things, how his own experiences have shaped his approach to photography.
Antonín Kratochvíl is one of the greatest contemporary Czech photographers. Known for both his celebrity portraits and photojournalism, he is said to have won World Press Photo awards in more categories than anybody else. Much of his work is informed by his own tough experiences, starting with the Communists’ persecution of his family, who owned a photography studio. At his apartment in New York, where he has been living for three decades, I asked Antonín Kratochvíl when he had first begun to feel his family was being treated harshly.
In this week’s Magazine find out how a modern art exhibit shocked newly-weds in Pardubice; a growing number of Czechs are lining up for cosmetic surgery; Czech gym teachers decry the poor level of physical fitness among kids at the start of the new year. And, why couldn’t he just collect stamps? A Czech collector boasts a grand collection of historic enema kits.
My guest today on One on One is Vit Havránek, head of the Tranzit Display gallery in Prague. Vit opened up this space for contemporary art last November, after working for many years at the National Gallery in Prague. He publishes and edits books of young Czech artists’ work, and has been charged with amassing one of the biggest collections of Central European art today by the Austrian bank Erste. I met him in the café of his new gallery to ask him a bit about the way he used the space:
This week in Mailbox: The 40th anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Joe Hewer’s memories of a 1956 trip to Czechoslovakia, a 1970 Radio Prague print to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of Czechoslovakia, weapons used by two Czech Olympic medallists, Kateřina Emmons and David Kostelecký. Listeners quoted: Jayanta Chakrabarty, Joe Hewer, Bill Smith, Steve Price.
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