An exhibition called Afghanistan: Rescued Treasures of Buddhism organized by the National Museum aims to present the war-torn country in a different light, to draw attention to its rich cultural history and point out the many influences that left their mark on Afghan culture and traditions. The exhibition focuses on the country’s pre-Islamic Buddhist period. Its chief organizer Lubomír Novák showed me around and began by explaining what makes the exhibition so special.
The internationally renowned Czech opera singer Magdalena Kožená has established an endowment fund to support the Czech Republic’s unique system of art schools, focused on music, ballet, drama and visual arts. The fund was officially presented at a donor evening at Prague’s Rudolfinum on Friday. I asked David Mareček, the Managing Director of the Czech Philharmonic, which is a co-patron of the fund, to explain what makes these schools so special:
An armchair designed by Slovenian architect Josip Plecnik for Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was sold for a record sum at Prague’s Sýpka auction house on Sunday. The auction house says it is not at liberty to reveal whether the precious artefact was acquired by Prague Castle which has two other pieces from the collection.
Thousands of Jewish writers and musicians found their careers cut short by the Holocaust. Tragically, this was the culmination of a long history of persecution and pogroms in many parts of Europe. Lives were destroyed and in many cases people’s work was lost, forgotten or torn from its cultural and linguistic context. Now a major new project is underway to bring to together some of the shattered fragments of this rich legacy of music and theatre. It will culminate in an international festival, Out of the Shadows, which will take place in several
Czech fashion designers from Prague’s Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (UMPRUM), headed by curator Pavel Ivančic, won the main prize this week at London’s International Fashion Showcase. The event is part of London Fashion Week. The Czech installation, titled ‘Last Fata Morgana’ is the work of seven designers.
Organisers are currently gearing up for this year’s One World festival of human rights documentaries, which kicks off in Prague on March 7. As every year, One World will give viewers a rare chance to see scores of though-provoking films from all corners of the globe. One of the key focuses of the 2016 edition will be the ongoing refugee crisis and I asked festival head Hana Kulhánková whether it had been easy to find high-quality documentaries on the subject.
The Czech art market saw the second best result in its history last year, according to data released by the Czech art investment website artplus.cz. Collectors and investors spent about 926 million crowns at Czech auctions in 2015, which is around 70 million more than in the previous year. The most expensive painting was a still life by Emil Filla which sold for more than 16 million crowns. I asked Jan Skřivánek of ArtPlus what kind of art was most sought after at auction houses: