The Czech art market has been thriving for the past few years and Czech auction houses have witnessed number of record sales. This weekend a Cubist painting "Girl in Pink" by the renowned twentieth-century artist Josef Capek was sold to an anonymous bidder for 12 million crowns (about 615,000 USD). It is the second highest sum paid for a painting in the Czech Republic. The Czech auction record for a work by Czech painter was set earlier this year by Frantisek Kupka's "Abstract Composition".
I remember as a nervous eighteen-year-old being packed off to Oxford for my very first term with the reassurance of my parents that I couldn't be going at a better time - that autumn there was the fairest of the seasons. I remain institutionalized to such an extent that I still, some years on, associate the autumn with the start of the new school year. The leaves start falling and I sharpen my pencils, buck-up my ideas and dust-off my satchel... or something like that.
Heads of Czech cultural centres from all over the world gathered this week in Prague for an annual meeting to discuss their strategies for the upcoming months. I spoke to Monika Koblerova, who is in charge of the Czech Centre in New York, about the highlights of this cultural season, and started by asking about the history of the Czech Centre in the US.
Exhibitions like this one are once in a lifetime: the loan of a famous Bohemian tome officially known as the Codex Gigas (but also as the Devil's Bible) to Prague. According to historians, the book, one of the largest medieval manuscripts in the world (almost a metre tall and half a metre wide), was completed some time in the 13th century at a Bendectine monastery in east Bohemia. The tome, once considered to be the eighth wonder of the world, is the oldest Czech chronicle written in Latin. Despite its devilish moniker, the Codex is by no means
In recent weeks, two high-profile cases of art theft have struck the Czech Republic. Both homegrown talent Jiri David and the Zimbabwean artist Gladios Mohumba have fallen victim to the sculpture thieves. With both sculptures disappearing while on public display, will this have an effect on sculptors' willingness to show their work out of doors? Rosie Johnston reports:
The Prague district of Smichov is enjoying an eventful month. Friday sees the start of its second festival in just two weeks. Lightheartedly named 'Happy Beer Days', it is to take place under the patronage of two Prague 5 councilors and has as its main sponsor the prestigious beer producer Staropramen, whose brewery is in the area. If the festival is successful, the organizers hope it will become an annual occurrence, attracting more and more visitors. Joshua Singer has the story.
The Dvorak hall of Prague's Rudolfinum will open its doors on Wednesday for the first concert of this year's international music festival 'Prague Autumn'. Taking place under the patronage of Czech President Vaclav Klaus and the Ministry of Culture, the prestigious annual festival will consist of a series of twenty-two concerts, and features an international lineup of performers.
Contemporary painter and rector of Prague's Academy of Fine Arts Jiri Sopko is one of the most respected artists in the Czech Republic. He first drew attention to his work in the 1960s and has continued to have a prominent and lasting impact. Last week a retrospective of some of Sopko's best but also lesser-known work opened at Prague's Rudolfinum Gallery.
Not long ago Jiri Sulc was unknown in Czech literary circles, but those days appear to be over. The former member of Czech counter-intelligence, is making a name for himself as an up-and-coming author. His first novel "Dva Proti Risiquot; (Two Against the Reich) was published after Mr Sulc won a prestigious Czech literary prize, and already his novel has gotten rave reviews. His story is set during the Second World War, focusing on the assassination of Nazi governor and "Hangman of Bohemia" Reinhard Heydrich. At the time Czechoslovak paratroopers