Exhibitions (20.1.2018-25.3.2018)

How is an exhibition put together?

A small exhibition at the Kinsky Summer Palace tells about the history of local exhibitions in the 20th century and about the work behind them.

Location: Ethnographic Museum of the National Museum, Kinsky Folly, Kinského zahrada 98, Praha 5

When a visitor enters the museum, they are usually coming to see an exhibition. Obviously, this is not the only reason because many museums organize other events and activities, but it is true that a museum would not be a museum without its exhibition-making activities.
The public’s interest in the collections, their purpose and origin is often connected with their interest in the museum itself. For example, people often ask how large our collections are, or how difficult it was to renovate particular exhibits, or how we managed to reconstruct the Kinsky Summer Palace and establish a permanent exposition there. Therefore, the Department of Ethnography has decided to try and answer these questions through a small exhibition that will inform you about the daily life and history of the museum as well as the creation of exhibitions from the perspective of the museum workers. At the same time, we would like to draw on the recent exhibition, The Czech Farmhouse Today - A glance back through ethnography, which was dedicated to the very beginnings of the Ethnographic Museum, and show how its story has continued until the present day.

The Czech-Swedish architect and stage designer Jan Polášek, who is also the author of the architectural design of the permanent exhibition in Kinsky Summer House, participated on this exhibition. 

Then first lady of Czechoslovakia, Mrs. Hana Benešová,  during such a festive preview of the exhibition Bulgaria – the Land and the People opened in 1938 in the Kinsky Summer Palace.
Besides its collections, the museum also managed its own library, archive and photo archive.  The ethnographer Václav Fabian (1877–1931, pictured with his wife), played a significant role in the creation of a rare collection of negatives documenting the folk culture of the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century.
The architect Jan Polášek was born in Prague in 1937.  He studied at Czech Technical University and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In 1969, when the communists sealed the Czech borders, he decided to stay in Sweden, where he was on an internship then. He worked as a stage designer and exhibition architect, participated in exhibitions of the Swedish History Museum, Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology, Museum of Dance and Movement and many others. So far, he has prepared over 100 drafts of various exhibitions and displays including the permanent exhibition in the Kinsky Summer Palace.
One of unique items in the museum collections: Embroidery of a 25 gold-coin-worth banknote on brownish silk, embroidered with black and partly creamy yellow silk thread by Marie Kmochová, née Bechyňová, in Lysá in 1839. She was a niece of Mr. Josef Vojtěch Sedláček, a national awakener in Pilsen.
A coin from the foundations of the  Jokl’s House in the village Čičmany, which was purchased by Mrs. Drahomíra Stránská as a basis for the future outdoor museum that was supposed to be established in the Šárka Valley or the Kinsky Garden in Prague. Originally, the house was to be demolished, but in 1937 a Slovak MP, museologist and historian Pavol Florek protested against the move because he saw the relocation of the house as depriving Slovakia of its cultural heritage. The museum had to prove that the house had been saved at the last minute and no local institutions could have managed it. Unfortunately, the outdoor museum has never been built and the disassembled Jokl’s house was destroyed during World War II.
An embroidered belt from Bulgaria, the second half of the 19th century. Donated by prof. Naděžda Melniková-Papoušková (1891–1978), a famous author of several studies on Czech folk culture (Journey around Folk Art, Folk Toys) and on fine arts. She played an important role in the recognition of many then entirely unknown young artists.


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