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Frontpage News 2012 Czech Cubism

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Cubism in the Czech Republic

  • A gallery of cubist design and a Josef Gočár museum will be established in Bauer’s cubist villa in Libodřice.

    Prague, with a relatively short period as the capital of Czechoslovakia, has been the political and cultural centre of Bohemia for 1100 years. Most visitors to Prague justly admire the town’s baroque architecture. But Art Nouveau also came to characterise the Czech capital, and not only in the decorative drawings of the “founder” of Art Noveau, Alfons Mucha.

    Czech phenomenon
    Less well-known outside the Czech Republic is the architect Josef Gočár (1880-1945), who is regarded as being at the forefront of cubism in architecture. Cubist architecture is a pure Czech phenomenon and non-existing in any other country. Cubism arrived in 1910 in Prague thanks to Czech painters who made their names in Paris – Emil Filla, Bohumil Kubišta and others. In Prague and Bohemia, the style penetrated all art media and became in the years before the First World War completely universal. It found its reflection not only in painting, sculpture, architecture, furniture and objects of daily use, but also in photography, theatre, film and even in literature. Cubism was for the most part an urban trend in the field of architecture and design, and the Czech Cubism Foundation naturally has its offices in Prague.

    New museum and gallery
    One of a few cubist buildings in non-urban surroundings is the Bauer villa in the village of Libodřice no far from the town of Kolín in central Bohemia. Gočár designed the house for Adolf Bauer who owned an estate near the village, and the villa was built between 1912 and 1914. Bauer died in 1929 and the Nazi authorities expropriated the villa 10 years later since the owners who had inherited the villa from Bauer were Jewish. During the communist era the villa was used as a municipal administration office and was not particularly well maintained. It has now been restored and modified. The funding from the EEA and Norway Grants will be used to create a museum dedicated to Josef Gočár and a gallery of cubistic design and furniture production. It is an important goal of the restoration project that the villa shall be an active centre for meetings and cultural gatherings.


    Photo: Jiri Havran, Riksantikvaren

  • Project title:

    Cubism in the country

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Conservation of European cultural heritage


    € 347,820



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual Project

    Project promoter:

    Czech Cubism Foundation

    Type of institution:

    Non governmental organisation

    Project duration:

    17 months

    Project cost:

    € 419,350

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA and Norway Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    27 January 2009

    The purpose of the project is to establish a gallery of cubist design and furniture and a Josef Gocár museum in the Bauer's cubist villa in Libodrice, with the overall objective of protecting the cultural heritage in the Czech Republic. Reference is made to the application dated 10 January 2008 and any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    1) Tendering procedures and management

    2) Renovation and technologies associated with the restoration - wooden interior elements and paintings, production of wallpapers according to original samples (replicas).

    3) Renovation of the furnitures and original pieces; and production of replications of exhibits for the Gallery of cubist design (ground floor and partly 1 floor)

    4) Exposition installed in Josef Gocár's museum (1st floor)

    5) Install security system

    The Project Promoter is Nadace "Ceskeho kubismu". Subject to national law the Project shall be implemented in partnership with; Riksantikvaren - Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage; the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague; the National Heritage Institute, the administrative office of Central Bohemia; the Museum of the Capital City of Prague; Prof. PhDr. Rostislav Švácha; the Museum of the City of Brno; the Town of Kolín; the Municipality of Libodrice; and the Moravian Gallery in Brno.

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Project Promoter provides at least 15.00 percent of the total estimated eligible Project cost.