The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague is under the reconstruction. Please visit the News for the new exhibition information.
The renovation work on the museum’s main building will be completed in the second half of 2016. The newly-restored premises will provide:
- Three times larger exhibition space on the mezzanine floor
- Double-size space for the Permanent Exhibition (showrooms on two floors)
- Improved quality of the museum premises for all visitors and employees
- Improved visitors’ services
- Expanded space for the museum shop on the ground floor
- Public access to the museum’s garden via a second entrance from Široká Street and a new entrance lobby
- A restaurant and café with a garden terrace
- Preservation and restoration of all the building’s historic features
Central Storage Facility
Currently under construction, the Central Storage Facility in Prague-Stodůlky will be completed in the second half of 2015. The new facility will provide:
- Cleared space in the museum’s historic building for purposes of long- and short-term exhibitions
- Standardized storage of the museum’s holdings in a modern, energy-cost-saving building
- New art conservation and restoration studios, art collections departments and servicing facilities
- New exhibition space and a café for visitors
exhibition activities — new themes
Since 1989 exhibitions presenting new trends have been included in our programme: for example post-modern applied art in 1990, and the work of living Czech artists of international standing, among them Bořek Šípek, Josef Koudelka and prominent foreign artists such as Dale Chihuly and Sheila Hicks. Exhibitions from our own collections have included: Czech Cubism, Bohemian Art Deco, and exhibitions of posters and photographs. We also wanted to pay a debt to the memory of the founders and past benefactors of the Museum in exhibitions such as: Vojtěch Baron Lanna, The Cabinets of Arts and Curiosities, 110 Anniversary of the Museum: More space for collections. The most significant collections were presented in exhibitions: The Ceramic collection of Hugo Vavrečka and Acquisitions. We try to present design exhibitions: Czech design (1999), Design for Every Body (2001), Israeli design (2002), Arne Jacobsen — Evergreens&Milestones (2002), mono + Eva Eisler (jewellery, design, tableware) (2003), Ladislav Sutnar: Design in Action (2004), Subjective X Objective. Jiří Pelcl X
the restitution processes
Following political changes in 1989, the Museum took part in the process of restitution of private individuals´ and church property, which came to the Museum through confiscation and nationalisation, rather than as a result of acquisitions by curators. This meant, of course, parting with some important museum treasures, but on the other hand new donators came forward, even from the ranks of those whose property had just been returned as a result of restitution. The “Karlštejn Treasure” donated by Jindřich Waldes in 1995 is the most significant example.
The Museum’s organisation was re-structured in 1995. There are now four curatorial departments in charge of collections, a public library, a newly established department of presentation and enlarged and strengthened economic and administrative departments. In order to further promote the Museum, the Society of Friends of the Museum was established in 1996. The establishment of a partnership with the ČSOB in 1996 was hugely beneficial rendering possible a number of projects, of which the creation of a new corporate design in 1999—2000 is particularly important. In 1998 the castle Kamenice nad Lipou was acquired to house Museum holdings. The UPM is an active member of ICOM, first of all in the Decorative Arts Committee (ICAA, and since 2001 ICAAD) and in the Textiles Committee. Both committees held their annual general meetings in Prague in 1996 and 1997 respectively.
presentation of collections
Shortage of space in the Museum building effects both the presentation and storing of collections, as well as the day-to-day functioning of the Museum, which has become a popular place for tourists as well as scholars. Each year three to four exhibitions were prepared from the Museum´s collections, often as part of major prestigious events at home and abroad. These included Rudolf II and Prague in 1996, Art Deco in 1996, Biedermeier in 2000 in Padua, Festival Europalia in Brussels 1998, Art Deco in Tokyo in 1999, Art Nouveau Prague in Amsterdam and Frankfurt in 1999—2000. Generous loans of exhibits from our collections contribute yearly to around seventy exhibition projects arranged by various organisations at home and abroad. In the year 2000, when Prague was the European City of Culture, the Museum contributed to cultural events by opening a new permanent display under the title Stories of Materials. Exhibits are arranged according to materials, corresponding with curatorial departments, and a study room has been opened for public use, with a flexible display and a multi-media programme. Our collections are also represented in a significant way in the National Gallery’s new permanent display of 19th, 20th and 21st century art at the Trade Fair Palace (Dukelských hrdinů Street) and in the Museum of Cubism in Prague (Celetná Street). In the year 2003 we opened the new permanent display in Hergetova cihelna in Prague – Prague Jewellery Collection (Cihelná Street). In order to be able to gradually re-open all the exhibition halls in the Museum building to the public, further efforts are being made to find additional display and storage space outside the main building.
During the closure of the museum’s main building, visitors are welcome to visit the Museum of Decorative Arts’ other long- and short-term exhibitions currently on view in Prague 1 and outside Prague (see "On display").