This page will be permanently updated with information about exhibitions, symposia, seminars, conferences and other events related to Art Nouveau. Please feel free to comment if you are organising an event of if you know of an event that is missing from this list!
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park, Florida, USA.
The work of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the Morse Museum collection. The Museum’s Tiffany collection is broad, deep, and unique. It includes fine examples in every medium Tiffany explored, in every series of work he produced, and from every period of his life. The museum is also a treasure house of American decorative art from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, with especially rich holdings in the area known as Arts and Crafts.
Golden Age of the Zsolnay – Collection of László Gyugyi, Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, Pécs, Hungary.
The private Zsolnay collection of Dr. László Gyugyi comprising around 600 pieces represents an unparalleled value. Its pieces date back to a 40-year period (1870-1910) that can be divided in three great parts: the periods of historicism, millennium and secession. The collection found a home in Pécs in the framework of the Pécs2010 European Capital of Culture Programme, in the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, in a secession building that was reorganised for this particular aim in the former Sikorsky villa.
The Cauchie House, Brussels, Belgium.
The restoration work carried out over nearly fifteen years breathed new life into the building. The first week-end of every month it is open to visitors who appreciate its message of beauty.
The successive ground floor rooms each have their own particularities and their content of symbolism. Decorative designs and furniture of the time demonstrate the manifest influence of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (Glasgow School of Art). The upper storeys of the house, where there is no evidence of Paul or Lina’s talents, have been used as apartments and renovated to suit modern contemporary use. The basement, cellar, and artist workshop have been redesigned into a vast gallery to exhibit Paul and Lina Cauchie’s paintings collected by the current owners over time.
10 December 2015 – 20 March 2016, Exhibition ‘Alfons Mucha and the Art Nouveau Atmosphere‘, Palazzo Reale, Milano, Italy.
The exhibition recounts the career of Mucha through 149 works borrowed for the occasion from the Richard Fuxa Foundation. The exhibition is enriched with a wide selection of ceramics, furniture, wrought iron, glass, sculptures and drawings by different artists and manufacturers from Europe, testifying to the floral style that characterized the various national variations – French, Belgian and Italian in particular – of international Art Nouveau.
21 November 2015 – 23 April 2016, Exhibition Franse keramiek 1875 – 1945 – Céramiques Sublimes, Gemeente Museum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands.
From the late 19th to the early 20th century French ceramics are experiencing a golden age. In the 1890s, its position is unique: France created the most progressive and high quality ceramics in the world. The exhibition of French ceramics 1875-1945 – Céramiques sublimes at the Gemeentemuseum offers a magnificent view of the French ceramic art from its origins to the years after World War II. Not just a feast for the eyes for lovers of art nouveau and art deco, but also interesting for experts in the field of ceramics.
6 November 2015 – 20 March 2016, Exhibition, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA), Norwich, United Kingdom.
The exhibition Alphonse Mucha in Quest of Beauty will be travelling to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) in Norwich after having been a huge success at the Russell-Cotes Museum in Bournemouth. Later in 2016, the exhibition will move to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Scotland. And in 2017 the exhibition will be featured at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
Featuring works primarily from Mucha’s Paris period, the exhibition examines how le style Mucha evolved and became synonymous with the international Art Nouveau style. It also looks at how his artistic philosophy is reflected on the development of his work beyond the Art Nouveau period, with examples of works produced after his return to the Czech lands in 1910. It will make links between Mucha’s work and philosophy and important jewellery, glass and sculpture pieces in the Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau in the collection of the SCVA which share a visual vocabulary in their use of whiplash curves, botanical lines and floral motifs.
23 October – 2 January 2016, Exhibition ‘Mucha: Master Artist of Art Nouveau‘, Pensacola Museum of Art, Florida, USA.
The works of Czech-born graphic artist Alphonse Mucha (1860 – 1939) are icons of the Art Nouveau period. His designs for various commercial items (such as posters, menus, magazine covers, folder covers, and postcards) exemplify the organic and ornate linear design of the Art Nouveau and capture the lush intricacy of Mucha’s style. This style is on display in a selection of his prints on loan from the Rowe Collection.
Organized by the Pensacola Museum of Art in collaboration with the Tampa Museum of Art, Boca Raton Museum of Art and Collection of Jack Rennert, New York
22 October 2015 – 28 February 2016, Exhibition ‘The Women of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka‘, Belvedere Museum, Vienna, Austria.
In the early twentieth century, the traditional relationship between the sexes was challenged by a number of social, economic, and philosophical changes. It was above all the incipient development towards gender equity that provoked vehement counter-arguments. On the other hand, sexual liberation can be seen as a common goal of men and women, since they both sought to escape the restrictive moral taboos of the nineteenth century. Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka – then the three most outstanding painters of Viennese modernism – approached the subject matter generally referred to as the ‘woman question’ from slightly different, albeit overlapping perspectives. The exhibition will present an in-depth exploration of these differences and similarities. Providing insights into the relationship between the sexes in the early twentieth centuries, the show will elaborate on the origins of a modern sexual identity.
Art Nouveau defined itself via reform movements, visions and Utopian dreams aimed at renewing society. The special exhibition throws light on this cultural and historical background and development, drawing together the ideas linking Karl Marx‘s “Das Kapital” and Peter Behrens’s salon grand piano with symbols quoted from Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Zarathustra”. It shows reform movement robes, a solar bath for sun-worshippers, photographs of nudists playing sports in the open air or Loïe Fuller’s celebrated light dances. The arts take up the revolutionary changes affecting the private and social life of modern man, sketch new models for living and experiment with technical innovations.
9 October 2015 – 25 January 2016, Exposition ‘L’Ecole de Nancy face aux questions politiques et sociales de son temps’, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nancy, France.
“Ceux qui vivent ce sont ceux qui luttent” (Victor Hugo).
9, 10 & 11 October 2015, ARTONOV Festival, Brussels, Belgium.
The ARTONOV Festival is inspired by the international movement of Art Nouveau, both for its philosophy and for its implementation. It’s objective is to generate a convergence between the performing arts, such as music, dance & theater and visual arts, promoting them interdisciplinarity. Its first edition will take place in Brussels. During 3 days, the ARTONOV Festival will present a large number of original and innovative artistic events at spectacular locations such as The Comic Book Museum, The Cauchie House or The Museum of Musical Instruments.
Every weekend in October 2015, Art Nouveau & Art Deco Biennial Event, Brussels, Belgium.
Each weekend of October 2015, twenty exceptional, normally private Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings in Brussels will be open to the public, as part of the 8th Art Nouveau and Art Deco Biennial Event, which will also feature many guided walking tours of Art Nouveau and Art Deco districts.
The 2015 Event will have the theme of places for public festivities, shows, meetings, etc. all built in these major Brussels styles of architecture. On Sunday 4 October, there will also be the 2nd Art Nouveau and Art Deco Collectors’ Fair.
From 8 September 2015, 11:00 am you can make your online reservations!
29 September – 7 October 2015, Courses Art Nouveau & Jugendstil – Vloeiende vernieuwing in Europa, Vrije Academie, at Alkmaar, Almere, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn and Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Like a graceful oil stain Art Nouveau is spreading across Europe around 1900. In each country the style has a different name: Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Wiener Stil, Stile Floreale, Modernismo, Modern Style en Nieuwe Kunst. Within the movement, there’s a main goal: innovation and improvement. Artists have had enough of the spineless neo-styles. In addition, they believe that the industrial revolution has not contributed much. In response, they aim to beautify and enhance their environment. And to do so, they develop their own language: floral and ornate, or sober and geometric.
Nine lectures and one excursion.
22 September & 21 October 2015, Lezingen Toen Kunstnijverheid Kunst werd, Historische Vereniging Zwijndrecht, The Netherlands.
In de herfst van 2014 is de Historische Vereniging Zwijndrecht gestart met een lezing kunstgeschiedenis, waarvoor de belangstelling groot bleek. Het komende seizoen wordt dan ook doorgegaan met de organisatie hiervan. Beide presentaties horen bij elkaar, maar kunnen ook afzonderlijk bezocht worden. Architecten en kunstenaars zoals: Morris, Mucha, Horta, Gaudi, Daum, Macintosh, Klimt, Toorop en vele anderen passeren de revue. De lezingen worden gegeven door Hans Brouwer, gepensioneerd, leraar tekenen handvaardigheid en kunstgeschiedenis.
Besides the obvious objects designed by Rene Lalique, the exhibition will also comprise a selection of items by Majorelle, Mucha, Gallé, Daum, Guimard, Van de Velde and Jan Toorop. These objects, borrowed from other museums and from private collectors, will help placing the Art Nouveau period in a broader context. Nice to know is that a large number of these items have never been exhibited in a museum before. During the exhibition also original footage of the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, of actrice Sarah Bernhardt, René Lalique en Loie Füller will be shown.
12 September – 1 November 2015, Exhibition ‘Arts & Crafts in Apeldoorn – Chris, Agathe en Henk Wegerif‘, CODA Kenniscentrum & Bibliotheek, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands.
The Apeldoorn contractor/architect family Wegerif put their mark on the architecture in Apeldoorn about one hundred years ago. As a pioneer of the (originally English) Art & Crafts Movement, this family designed and/or built numerous homes and other buildings in Apeldoorn.
9 July – 31 August 2015, Exhibition ‘Art Nouveau from Prague‘, Prague House, Brussels, Belgium.
Selection of turn-of-the-century posters, glass and chairs from the collections of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague is on display in the Prague House until the end of August. This exhibition serves as an invitation to a long-term exhibition Vital Art Nouveau 1900 on view at the Municipal House in Prague. The exhibition in the Prague House can be visited during our office hours (Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) after a prior reservation via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 July – 6 September 2015, Exhibition ‘Art Nouveau Glass‘, Panasonic Shiodome Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
The collection of Gerda Koepff is considered one of Europe’s pre-eminent glass collections. It was donated to Dusseldorf’s Museum Kunstpalast, and now, for the first time, it is being exhibited outside of Germany in its entirety. Koepff, an industrialist, was drawn to beautiful objects, and began purchasing glassware as a diversion from her work. In time, her spirited curiosity led her to study the material properties of glass and glassware production techniques. She became an expert in the possibilities of the material, and used her keen aesthetic sensibilities and insight to build a first-class collection that embodied the essential qualities of art nouveau.
3 July – 11 October 2015, Exhibition ‘Klimt and the Ringstrasse‘, Belvedere Museum, Vienna, Austria.
During the boom years in the second half of the nineteenth century, a multitude of mansions and splendid public buildings sprang up around Vienna´s magnificent boulevard, the Ringstrasse. In summer 2015, the Belvedere will be dedicating the exhibition Klimt and the Ringstrasse to those charismatic painters who adorned the Ring´s buildings and shaped the style of their era. Starting with the oeuvre of “painter prince” Hans Makart, it traces developments up to the triumph of the young Gustav Klimt and his painters´ collective, the Künstler-Compagnie. Reconstructions of entire decorative ensembles will present the dazzling lifestyle during the Ringstrasse era to visitors. The exhibition will not only feature sensuous, narrative artworks, but also examples of the young Klimt´s art, which have never been shown to the public before.
20 June – 26 July 2015, Exhibition ‘Poster Art of Art Nouveau III – Temptation by Advertisement‘, Sprudelhof, Bad Nauheim, Germany.
New marketing strategies during the Belle Epoque mark the beginning of modern advertisement. Enterprises started to increase their sale by means of clever and tempting advertisement. They engaged well-known painters and graphic artists, who designed posters of artistically high quality, thus creating a new style of art, which even found its way into museums and exhibitions. The exhibition consists in three parts: everyday life, luxury and culture, with posters from Mucha, Kleukens, Bradley and many other artists.
5, 6 & 7 June 2015, Fira Modernista de Barcelona 2015, Barcelona, Spain.
The 2015 Barcelona Modernista Fair and Street Trade Festival is a 3 day street fair in June. The fair aims to recapture the spirit of Eixample over 100 years ago, when the modernism movement and style was at its peak. The Barcelona modernist fair features a broad range of activities to highlighting the Modernista (Catalan Art Nouveau) movement.
14 May – 17 May 2015, Nationale Art Deco Beurs, Grote Kerk, Torenstraat, The Hague, The Netherlands.
The largest Dutch Art Deco (Art Nouveau & Amsterdamse School) fair where design from the period 1880-1980 will be on display. This 17th edition will again take place in the ‘Grote Kerk’ in The Hague. The Nationale Art Deco Beurs (NADB) offers a unique selection of original, authenticated and affordable work from the most prominent Dutch galleries.
12 May – 2 September 2015, Exhibition: Fans of the Belle Époque, The Fan museum, Greenwich, London, United kingdom.
The exhibition features a spellbinding assortment of exquisitely-crafted fans – the types favoured by wealthy American heiresses and the cream of European society at this time including lavish examples from the go-to fan makers of the period, DUVELLEROY & KEES; an array of beautifully conceived Art Nouveau confections, and exuberant designs by gifted painters such as ABBÉMA, LASELLAZ, and BILLOTEY.
1 April – 27 September 2015, Exhibition ‘Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty‘, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth, UK.
The works by the iconic Alphonse Mucha, which have not been seen in the UK for almost 15 years, will be displayed at Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Russell Cotes Road, from April. The museum’s manager, Sue Hayward, said she is thrilled to be working with the Mucha Foundation to host a collection not normally seen outside of the larger international venues.
25 March – 15 September 2015, Open-Air Photo Exhibition ‘The Architecture of Maks Fabiani‘, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Some of the finest Ljubljana works by the renowned Art Nouveau architect Maks Fabiani are presented in an open-air photographic exhibition by Miran Kambič, which marks the 150th anniversary of Fabiani’s birth. Maks Fabiani was one of the most important architects in Central Europe at the turn of the 20th century. In all periods of his career he remained faithful to Art Nouveau’s underlying intention of making connections between art and everyday life. For Fabiani, every building design project was also an urban development project involving a wider whole. This is particularly true of his Ljubljana works, practically all of which have their foundations in the large-scale urban plan for the redevelopment of Ljubljana after the earthquake of 1895, proposed by Fabiani on his own initiative the same year.
The photographer Miran Kambič (born 1965) has for many years been well-known for his work in the field of architectural photography. He is a regular contributor to Slovenian and international architectural magazines. His photographs have appeared in numerous books and catalogues and have been widely exhibited.
18 February – 23 May 2015, Exhibition ‘Mackintosh Architecture‘ at the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), London, UK.
The Scottish architect, artist and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) is celebrated worldwide. Yet during his lifetime his career was marked as much by its difficulties as by its successes, with many of his designs unrealised. Mackintosh Architecture is the first exhibition to be devoted to his architecture and offers the opportunity to view over 60 original drawings, watercolours and perspectives spanning the whole of his career. Seen together they reveal the evolution of his style from his early apprenticeship to his later projects as an individual architect and designer.
12 February – 21 June 2015, Exhibition ‘In the time of Klimt: The Vienna Secession‘, Pinacothèque, Paris, France.
The exhibition tells in detail the story of the development in Viennese art from the end of the 19th century, beginning of the Viennese Secession, until the first years of Expressionism. The core of the exhibition is based on a selection of major works by Gustav Klimt, from his first years of studying until the major works of his golden age, like Judith I (1901) or the Beethoven Frieze, a monumental work, reconstituted to scale and shown for the very first time in France.
Mazowieckie Museum in Plock is specialized in Art Nouveau, as well as the works of artists inspired by the Belle Epoque aesthetics. On display will be the paintings, drawings and graphics of contemporary artists Wiesławy Kwiatkowska, Zbyslaw Marek Maciejewski and Krystyna Szalewski, from the collections of the Museum.
18 January – 17 May 2015, Exhibition ‘Plateelbakkerij Ivora‘, Museum Gouda, Gouda, The Netherlands.
The origins of the Ivora factory actually date back to 1630. The “Gouda style” pottery factory (Plateelbakkerij Ivora Firma P. van der Want Gzn) began in 1914 when clay pipe production ceased at the original factory. In the beginning this ‘plateel’ was similar to that of Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland, but gradually distinguished itself from the other factories in Gouda by a relative simplicity in implementation and decors. The number of models was also limited. The pottery factory closed in 1967.
17 January 2014 – 1 november 2015, Exhibition ‘Art Nouveau Damask‘, Textiel Museum, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Stylised floral motifs and graceful birds adorned much table linen in the first quarter of the 20th century. During this period, Dutch linen weaveries invited artists to design damask patterns in this style, known as Art Nouveau or Jugendstil. Damask is often woven in a single colour, white. The subtle, delicate patterns are only revealed when the fabric is viewed from the correct angle. Chris Lebeau gained recognition at that time for his more than 60 eye-catching damask designs. The TextielMuseum made a selection from a series of beautiful damasks, woven in Art Nouveau style in the early 20th century, and presents them from 17 January in the exhibition Art Nouveau damask.
17 December 2014 – 6 April 2015, Exhibition ‘Rippl-Rónai and Maillol – The Story of a Friendship‘, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Hungary.
József Rippl-Rónai had at least as great an impact on modern Hungarian art as Aristide Maillol had on modern European sculpture. The friendship between these two influential artists, and the artistic documents of their relationship, are the focus of this exhibition. Presenting close to two hundred works, this exhibition also features the art of painter friends who were members of the Nabis (Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, James Pitcairn-Knowles, and Édouard Vuillard) and the Parisian environment, through works held by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Rippl-Rónai Museum.
17 December 2014 – 19 april 2015, Exhibition ‘Ways to Modernism. Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, and Their Impact‘, MAK Exhibition Hall, Vienna, Austria.
Viennese design and architecture around 1900 is a global brand. How did this situation come about and what effects did these decisive moments in Modernism have? The exhibition presents main works by Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos as expression of central themes in a cultural debate. The show documents the different, often antithetical paths that the protagonists chose for shaping modern life, which today’s designers and architects also react to.
26 July 2014 – 22 March 2015, Exhibition ‘The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters‘, MoMa, New York, USA.
A preeminent artist of Belle Époque Paris, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) brought the language of the late-19th-century avant-garde to a broad public through his famous posters, prints, and illustrations for journals and magazines. Organized thematically, the exhibition explores five subjects that together create a portrait of Lautrec’s Paris.
Download a free sample of the catalogue here.
In 1853, Japan opened its borders to the outside world after 200 years of isolation. This lead to a cult of all things Japanese among European artists – a movement labelled as Japonism. This coincided with Norway’s fight for independence. This exhibition looks at the connections between the Art Nouveau style, the nation-building project, and the Japonism movement. How did Japanese-inspired trends fit into the context of Norwegian nation building? Taking works by some of the key figures, we want to explore new aspects of Norwegian Art Nouveau.
Download the 2015 museum program here.
14 October 2014 – 1 Februari 2015, Exhibition ‘George Henri Lantman – Edelsmid van de Amsterdamse School‘, Drents Museum, Assen, The Netherlands.
Jeweler and metal artist George Henri Lantman (1875-1933) gained experience at the silver factory of C.J. Begeer and was praised by colleagues and experts for his technical virtuosity. Due to his early death Lantmans the oeuvre remained modest. The museum displays a small presentation including clocks with colorful enamel, fine silverware and a decorated incense lamp, most objects are in the style of the Amsterdam School.
For more information about the new book on George Henri Lantman, click here.
Exhibition ‘Hans Christiansen – The Retrospective‘
12 October 2014 – 1 February 2015, Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, Germany.
18 February 2015 – 24 May 2015, Bröhan Museum, Berlin, Germany.
18 June 2015 – 20 September 2015, Villa Stuck Museum, Munich, Germany.
11 October 2015 – 17 January 2016, Museumsberg, Flensburg, Germany.
Hans Christiansen (1866-1945) is one of the most important representatives of Art Nouveau. After he had become an artist in Paris, he was lured back to Darmstadt in 1899 by Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, where he became one of the first seven members of the artists’ colony. For the first time the full range of this versatile artist can be experienced.
The major retrospective, the first ever to Hans Christiansen will be featured in four German institutions. The first of these being Mathildenhöhe, then followed by the Berlin Brohan Museum, the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich and the Museum Mountain Flensburg, where the exhibition tour will end just before the 150th anniversary of the artist in his hometown.
18 July 2014 – 4 January 2015, ‘Exhibition: Mackintosh Architecture‘, Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, UK.
It is the first substantial exhibition devoted to Mackintosh´s architecture, with over 80 architectural drawings, many never exhibited before, rarely seen archival material, and specially commissioned films and models.
17 May 2014 – 4 January 2015, Exhibition ‘René Lalique: Enchanted by Glass‘, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning NY, USA.
This major exhibition will bring together glass, jewelry, production molds, and design drawings by René Lalique (French, 1860─1945), dating from about 1893 to Lalique’s death in 1945. As a successful jeweler Lalique experimented with glass in his designs, which eventually led to a career in which he fully embraced the material. His aesthetic choices in his designs informed the styles of Art Nouveau and Art Deco in France, and the objects he created have become iconic reflections of these periods. Lalique also embraced industrial innovations, like mass production, allowing luxury glass to be placed in more and more households around the world.
The exhibition to be held in the Municipal House in Prague will present a selection of the most outstanding works of Czech and European Art Nouveau art from the holdings of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. The exhibition is intended to show the Art Nouveau arts and crafts as part of the ground-breaking, forward-looking trends and emancipation efforts that evolved in the late 19th century, as a reformist art movement that strove for “the multiplication and intensification of life”. The display will therefore explore the Art Nouveau aesthetic both in terms of modern artist designers’ creative ambitions and the new zest for life that swept society as a whole.
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5 October 2013 – 18 June 2015, ‘Natures of Art Nouveau‘.
The Natures of Art Nouveau exhibition highlights the role of nature in art and architecture across Europe at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The wiry curved lines that are typical of Art Nouveau illustrated the sensuality and vitality of nature. Plants, animals and the elements of nature intertwined in imaginative, dream-like pieces.
The exhibition is traveling Europe and will be on display at the following cities:
- Helsinki (Finland) 5 October 2013 – 16 February 2014
- Alesund (Norway) 22 March 2014 – 10 May 2014
- Riga (Latvia) 10 June 2014 – 7 September 2014
- Barcelona (Spain) 29 November 2014 – 28 February 2015
- Ljubljana (Slovenia) 20 January 2015 – 19 April 2015
- Subotica (Serbia) 14 May 2015 – 14 September 2015
- Brussel (Belgium) 3 October 2013 – 1 December 2013
- Nancy (France) 20 December 2013 – 13 April 2014
- Terrassa (Spain) 9 May 2014 – 13 July 2014
- Bad Nauheim (Germany) 12 September 2014 – 26 October 2014
- Aveiro (Portugal) 1 December 2014 – 28 February 2015
- Milano (Italy) 26 March 2015 – 24 April 2015
- Havana (Cuba) 3 July 2015 – 31 July 2015
- Glasgow (Scotland) 17 October 2015 – 24 December 2015
The permanent collection of Darmstadt Art Nouveau in the 1901 built Ernst-Ludwig-Haus documents the history and the work of the Darmstadt artist colony (1899-1914) and gives an overview of the comprehensive creative work and the avant-garde performances of their members.
10 May 2012 – 31 December 2016, Exhibition Alfons Mucha: The Slav Epic, Národní Galerie, Prague, Czech Republic.
The Slav Epic (Slovanská epopej) is a series of twenty monumental canvases (the largest measuring over 6 by 8 metres) depicting the history of the Slav people and civilisation. Mucha conceived it as a monument for all the Slavonic peoples and he devoted the latter half of his artistic career to the realisation of this work. The idea of the work was formed in 1899, while Mucha was working on the design for the interior of the Pavilion of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had been commissioned by the Austro-Hungarian government for the Paris Exhibition of 1900. In preparation for the assignment he travelled widely through the Balkans, researching their history and customs as well as observing the lives of the Southern Slavs in the regions that had been annexed by Austria-Hungary two decades earlier. From this experience sprang the inspiration for a new project – the creation of ‘an epic for all the Slavonic peoples’ that would portray the ‘joys and sorrows’ of his own nation and those of all the other Slavs.
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