Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Prague museum to acquire Swiss collection of Mucha's works

ČTK |
20 November 2012

Prague, Nov 19 (CTK) - The Prague-seated Museum of Decorative Arts will on Thursday acquire a collection of works by Czech art nouveau painter Alfons Mucha (1860-1939) from a Swiss donor, Czech-born Vera Neumannova, the museum spokeswoman Jana Ulipova told CTK Monday.

The museum will present the acquisition, its biggest since 1995, at a press conference on Thursday, Ulipova said.

Mucha lived and worked in France for a large part of his life, becoming famous mainly for his posters, advertisements and illustrations made in a decorative "Mucha style."

The museum's previous biggest acquisition was a part of the Karlstejn treasure, a collection of items linked to the 14th-century Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia Charles IV. The museum received it from the heirs of Czech entrepreneur and collector Jindrich Waldes, whose family gained it in restitution in the 1990s.

The bricklayers uncovered the treasure while reconstructing the Karlstejn castle, central Bohemia, in the inter-war period and sold it abroad. The Waldes family bought it at a Berlin auction. During the war, the treasure, along with Waldes's collection of art, was confiscated by the Nazis.

Another acquisition in which the Museum of Decorative Arts is interested is the collection of works by world-famous Czech photographer Josef Koudelka.

Koudelka offered the collection to the museum in 2006 but problems reportedly arose around the relevant contract, which, the museum said, prevented it from freely handling the artifacts.

This summer, information emerged that Koudelka withdrew his offer but the Culture Ministry took efforts to mediate the contract signing.

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