The Czech Centres Present the Collections of the NGP to the World
The Czech Centres (CC) and the National Gallery present their joint project Highlights from the National Gallery Prague introducing selected works from the NGP collections in eleven videos. This cooperation was initiated by the Czech Centres seeking a succinct and visually powerful on-line project related to visual arts and the Czech milieu. The CC therefore invited the NGP to become a partner in a project introducing a representative selection of artworks from the NGP collections, displaying rich and diverse creations of Czech artists and outstanding works closely linked to the local cultural milieu.
All the episodes are presented by art historian Veronika Wolf. “Our crucial task was to conceive the content in a form that is accessible and comprehensible to audiences with different cultural backgrounds, traditions, and customs, while retaining a certain depth and precise information. It was sometimes a tough nut to crack, I admit," she said about her experience.
The series aims at attracting the attention of broad international audiences. The videos are launched regularly every Thursday. The series introduces, among others, a valuable panel painting dating back to Emperor Charles IV´s reign, Emperor Rudolph II´s favourite works and artists, and internationally renowned Czech artists who lived at the end of the 19th and in the first half of the 20th century. The initial request from the Czech Centres Seoul and Tokyo was granted by including certain topics in the selection: the japonismein Emil Orlik’s work and the work of Alfons Mucha, so popular in Asia. As a partner of the project, the NGP was in charge of the entire curatorial concept and the realization of the videos directed by Marco Chiodi. Chiodi studied visual arts at a university in Venice and spent long periods of time working in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Besides the NGP, Chiodi also cooperates with the Opera and Ballet Ensembles of the National Theatre in Prague and with the Italian Cultural Institute.
“These short sequels are not mere presentations of the diversity of the NGP collections, but also a journey through space and time, without any limitations imposed on us by the COVID-19 related restrictions. I believe we shall inspire spectators from all over the world to expand their knowledge of Czech art and invite them to Prague once it is possible again," says NGP’s General Director Alicja Knast. Czech Centers’ General Director Ondřej Černý adds: "The collections of the National Gallery Prague are an exceptionally rich fount of unique artifacts of, among others, Czech and Central-European visual arts from across the centuries. I am pleased that thanks to this project we can present it by means of social networks, for example, in the USA, Israel, Belgium, Austria, Greece, and in modified versions in France, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. Next to the English version, several other language options will be available.” Director of the Czech Centre Soul Michaela Lee also expressed her opinion: “We expect our joint project to arouse interest of the Korean public. Its aim is not merely to introduce the history of Czech visual arts abroad, but to present our country in a broader context as an important centre of European art.”
Beginning mid-May, individual sequels are being released on social networks in the Czech Republic, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. During the summer and autumn, other countries in which the Czech Centres are based will join – specifically Athens, Brussels, Kiev, Moscow, New York, Paris, Rotterdam, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv – Jerusalem, Tokyo, and Vienna.
The videos are also available on the Czech Centres’ websites and social networks – every Thursday until mid-July, one sequel after another is be released on Facebook @ceskacentra, @NGPrague, and Youtube Národní galerie Praha.
Czech Centres, a contributory organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, are the core instrument of public diplomacy of the Czech Republic’s foreign policy, and strive to support the reputation of the Czech Republic across the world. As a cultural institute, the Czech Centres are members of the network of European cultural institutes – EUNIC. The Czech Centres represent our country in a wide range of cultural and social areas: from art and creative industries to the achievements of Czech science and innovations. The Czech Centres also provide Czech language courses in foreign countries. They participate in international projects and operate as a platform for the development of international cultural dialogue. At present, there are 26 branches across three continents – in addition to the Czech Centres, these also include the Czech Houses in Moscow, Jerusalem and Bratislava.