National Gallery in Prague visitor attendance records in 2012
More than 73,000 people visited the National Gallery in Prague exhibition Jakub Schikaneder (1855-1924). Held in the Wallenstein Riding School Gallery in Prague from April 20, 2012 to January 13, 2013, it presented the most comprehensive exhibition of the work of painter Jakub Schikaneder to date, including artworks considered lost for many decades.
An extensive catalogue published to coincide with the exhibition's opening is a major contribution to our knowledge of Schikaneder's work. For the National Gallery in Prague, the Schikaneder exhibition also marked a new phase in its approach to visitors. In addition to the catalogue, a printed guide for adults and a special website, the National Gallery also prepared The Diary of Jakub Š., a special publication about the work and times of Jakub Schikaneder (1855-1924) with many ideas and games for children as well as an interactive computer game. The usual visitor programs were complemented by an audio-guide and - for the first time in National Gallery in Prague history - a unique electronic sign language guide for the deaf. As a result, not only the exhibition but also the National Gallery in Prague educational programs enjoyed considerable public attention.
The Veletržní Palace had more than 165,000 visitors in 2012, setting another National Gallery in Prague attendance record. It is the highest number of visitors since the Modern and Contemporary Art Collection was installed in the palace in 1995. In addition to the permanent exhibition of 20th- and 21st-century art, a 13,500 m2 space that acquaints visitors with the development of Czech and international art in the last two centuries, 17 exhibitions prepared by National Gallery curators or in cooperation with the National Gallery in Prague were held in 2012.
The many high-quality accompanying programs created by the National Gallery's education departments traditionally arouse considerable visitor attention. There were 2,153 programs last year attended by 52,859 visitors.
One of the most successful shows was the exhibition Theodor Pištěk: Ecce homo, which focused on presenting the well-known artist as a painter. Seen by more than 20,000 visitors, it was held over until January 20, 2013 due to tremendous public interest.
Another popular exhibition was a joint show of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and the National Gallery in Prague called Islands of Resistance: Between the First and Second Modern 1985-2012, which presented more than 200 artworks from the given period. The ambitious project was an outcome of five years of work done by the Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. The exhibition curators Jiří and Jana Ševčík and Edith Jeřábková sought to present the most interesting artworks of the last two decades. In cooperation with the Gallery of the City of Prague, the Veletržní Palace also offers the Slav Epic. Last year it hosted the finalists of the 333 Contest of the National Gallery in Prague and ČEZ Group as well as the winners of the National Award for Architecture - Grand Prix of Architects, and presented the work of 56 recent graduates from 17 Academy of Fine Arts in Prague studios.
In 2012, total National Gallery in Prague attendance stood at 443,000, some 100,000 visitors more than in previous years. For the purpose of comparing the data, the fact that the Convent of St George at Prague Castle was closed down on February 26, 2012 must be taken into account. The National Gallery in Prague had been renting the convent from the Prague Castle Administration for its permanent exhibition of 19th-century Czech art. Unfortunately, the building was last renovated in the 1970s and its condition had deteriorated to the extent that its use to display of the National Gallery in Prague's artworks was no longer feasible as air and temperature conditions threatened irreversible damage to the artworks. Therefore, based on an agreement with the Prague Castle Administration, the National Gallery in Prague closed the exhibition for good and moved the artworks to its climate-controlled depositories. The loss of these premises resulted in a considerable drop in visitor attendance. The St George Convent was part of the Prague Castle tour. Consequently, when we subtract the 130,000 visitors who bought a ticket to the Prague Castle tour, we arrive at total National Gallery in Prague attendance of 347,000 persons in 2011. On September 3, 2012, the House at the Black Madonna, which housed a Czech cubism exhibition, was also closed. On the other hand, the Salm Palace opened on May 3, 2012.
The National Gallery in Prague held 31 exhibitions in 2012. The following five were the most successful in terms of visitor attendance:
February 10 - May 27
Rembrandt & Co.
Visitor attendance: 34,184
Venue: Sternberg Palace
November 30 - March 3
Visitor attendance estimated by Jan. 20: 22,500
Venue: Salm Palace
Wallenstein Riding School Gallery
April 20, 2012 - January 13, 2013
Jakub Schikaneder (1855-1924)
Visitor attendance: 73,390
March 9 - July 8
Islands of Resistance: Between the First and Second Modern 1985-2012
Visitor attendance: entrance to the entire Veletržní Palace
Venue: Veletržní Palace
September 26 - January 20
Theodor Pištěk: Ecce homo
Visitor attendance: over 20,000
Venue: Veletržní Palace
Press release of January 30, 2013
CONTACT FOR JOURNALISTS
Eva Kolerusová, Public Relations Department, the National Gallery in Prague,
ph.: 00420 724 501 535