Statute

Preamble

We can trace the very beginnings of institutionalised interest in professional management of and access to fine art in this country to 1796, when a group of important Czech revivalists from the ranks of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie founded a private Society of Patriotic Friends of Art, in an attempt to enhance declining artistic taste. One of the main activities of the Society was the establishment of the Picture Gallery of the Society of Patriotic Friends of Art, which went on to become the oldest predecessor of today's National Gallery. In 1902, a modern gallery of the Kingdom of Bohemia (administered by the Czech Lands), focusing on the art of the 19th and 20th centuries, was established at the initiative of the Emperor Franz Joseph I. The collections of the SPFA Picture Gallery were nationalised in 1936 and thus became the central art collection of the Czechoslovak Republic. In 1942, the collections from the Modern Gallery, which had been closed, were also added to it. The resulting ensemble of works was known as the Bohemian-Moravian Regional Gallery, but it was unofficially referred to as “the National Gallery”. In 1949 the National Museum's collection of graphics (including the so-called Hollarea) was also nationalised and these three units laid the foundation for the newly established National Gallery in Prague. In legislative terms, the entire process of establishing the National Gallery in Prague was completed by Act No. 148/1949 Coll. of 11 May 1949 on the National Gallery in Prague.