Trade Fair Palace
Trade Fair Palace
Dukelských hrdinů 47
Metro C – Vltavská
Tram 6, 17 – Veletržní palác
Tram 1, 2, 6, 8, 12, 17, 25, 26 – Strossmayerovo náměstí
1850–1900: Czech modern art (4th floor)
The story of Czech modern art begins in the mid-19th century. The art collection traces its development through the strongly represented artistic generations and individual artists, among them the chief exponents of Realism Viktor Barvitius and Karel Purkyně, the National Theatre Generation – Alphonse Mucha, Josef Václav Myslbek and Vojtěch Hynais, and artists espousing the Art Nouveau and Symbolism – Alphonse Mucha and Max Pirner. The founding generation of modern artists is represented by Antonín Slavíček, Jan Preisler and Max Švabinský. The National Gallery also houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by František Kupka that documents the painter’s advance from Symbolism to abstract art.
1918–1938: The First Czechoslovak Republic (3rd floor)
The exhibition presents the art of the first republic through the eyes of a 1920s and 1930s art goer and introduces prominent galleries, art clubs and institutions, as well as the important cultural centres of the young state. It primarily concentrates on Prague as an art centre with lively exhibition activity that focused not only on local artists but also on the most progressive names from all around Europe. However, the exhibition also addresses other centres such as Brno, Zlín, Bratislava, Košice and Uzhgorod. The curators partly reconstruct important exhibitions that were held in these centres during the first republic period (the exhibition of the Tvrdošíjní group, the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno, Poesie 32, the First Exhibition of Surrealists in Czechoslovakia).
1930–present: Czech modern art (2nd floor)
Czech art produced after 1930 includes works by František Muzika, Josef Šíma, Jindřich Štyrský, Toyen, Zdeněk Sklenář, Jan Kotík or Václav Bartovský. Furthermore, the permanent collection also explores artistic movements from the 1960s up to the present: Art Informel, Action Art, New Sensitivity and postmodern art.
The Trade Fair Palace
Formerly intended for trade fairs, this gem of Czech Functionalist architecture has been the seat of the National Gallery in Prague from 1976. Built in 1925–1928 after the plans of architects Josef Fuchs and Oldřich Tyl, the imposing building was the largest edifice of its kind in the world. First it served the Prague Sample Trade Fairs company and, after the war, it housed various foreign trade companies. The history of the building was dramatically affected on August 14, 1974, when it was nearly destroyed by a huge fire that took six days (until August 20) before being quenched. In 1976, a decision was made to renovate the building; the reconstruction progressed slowly and was finally completed in the 1990s.