Exhibitions (28.11.2007-3.8.2008)

Human Traces: A Walk form Prahistory to the Moon

The National Museum holds a walk through a history!

Location: National Museum, Václavské nám., exhibition rooms on 2nd floor

EXHIBITION IS PROLONGED TO 3TH AUGUST 2008. The Human Traces exhibition glorifies human feet, the oldest means of transportation, but it would also like to show, where humanity has got to thanks to feet. We study the human foot in terms of its development and then we follow its tracks all over the Earth, the settlement and origination of great cultures, which would have not got around without their warriors’ feet. When European feet touched the ground over the sea, they discovered that the same feet live there, but decorated and shod differently. Ever since its development, the foot is not dedicated solely to walking, but also plays a role in religious systems, dedicates itself to entertainment and joys such as sport, dance or ballet. The human foot is also vain; necessary protection became a fashion and the exhibition will guide us through the Czech history of footwear. We will discover the importance of the foot once there are problems with it and once it has to be cured. Since prehistory the foot has been an inspiration to artists and appears not only in fine art, but also in literature, music and in cinematography. We will end our walk through human history in places, which were, for a long time, inaccessible to human feet: high mountains, mysterious sea depths and the endless space. So far, human feet stood on the Moon, but they are getting ready for more! The exhibits – work traces of nameless people – remind us, that everyone leaves traces on our planet. Spiritual “imprints” usually outlive foot imprints, but let us try to make the positive traces prevail. The exhibition is divided into ten thematic chapters which regard human legs and feet from different aspects. Our focus is also to show the richness of the Czech language which often uses different parables, proverbs, sayings, quotations and idioms. Each chapter is therefore entitled by an idiom, which characterizes its contents: Standing on two legs, Run as fast as you can, Order, Arms, Twenty miles with each step, To insist, Hop and skip, Keeping pace with fashion, With one foot in the grave, Live large and Where man never laid his foot. Apart from skeletal remains, shoes and footwear other objects are also exhibited: leg/feet jewellery and decorations, objects representing legs and feet (paintings, statues, containers, decorative objects, coins, etc.), sports utensils, medical and prosthetic utilities, but also music parts of dances and marches, songs, reminders of pilgrimages and also books having, in their titles, legs or feet. The exposed exhibits originate mainly from all departments of the National Museum (Historical Museum, Science Museum, Czech Museum of Music, Naprstek’s Museum), but are supplemented by borrowed items from other museums and competentinstitutions from Bohemia and Moravia. Exhibits borrowed by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington are certainly very attractive for visitors. These are a foot gaiter for walking on the Moon and a pressure helmet for astronauts. The exhibition is installed in three rooms of the National Museum in Prague from 28th November 2007 to 30th June 2008.


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