A2180-270 HP0-J24 220-301 642-357 HP2-T28 1Z0-259 920-255 A2090-610 1Z0-023 922-111 HIO-301 70-450 HP0-J45 M2040-725 250-502 000-M221 HP0-J18 000-634 050-690 000-575 250-300 000-646 3X0-202 000-883 000-563 1Y0-118 000-190 EC0-350 C2080-470 920-124 HP0-402 9L0-505 650-294 MB6-507 MSC-122 9A0-055 EX0-112 1Z1-543 HP2-E49 LOT-442 070-460 1Z0-610 C2090-611 CBAP HP0-J16 ITIL-F 0B0-108 117-201 C2040-929 000-881 HP0-093 922-109 MB6-817 E20-005 70-416 1Z1-109 A2150-006 EX0-118 MB3-210 070-671 A2180-178 642-143 70-545-Csharp 000-274 650-178 COG-132 EE0-511 BAS-012 C2020-001 70-305 A2090-730 642-617 1Z0-862 C2150-563 CX-310-345 070-178 1Z1-535 C2150-139 920-106 ST0-192 000-513 UM0-411 77-888 700-302 HP0-A08 070-663 310-025 A2180-184 1Z1-878 HP0-J34 Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
Who doesn’t know her accordion-pleated cat and inflatable Buffalo? However, fewer know that the life-work of Libuše Niklová (1934—1981) includes a considerable amount of innovative plastic toys, whose originality at the time by far exceeded the qualities of standard toy production, both local and foreign. Even fewer associate her name with the renowned visual and theatre artist Petr Nikl (1960), a member of the former Tvrdohlaví art group and author of internationally acclaimed Orbis Pictus project. Organizing Niklová’s very first retrospective exhibition was the initiative of her son whose peculiar poeticism has been greatly inspired by toys. To pay tribute to her he has designed a concurrent exhibition of his own works reflecting upon his mother’s production.

The symbolic title of the project, 200 dm³ of breath, refers to the key role which air played in all of the designer’s creations, be it little rubber figures, animals with accordion-like trunks or inflatable objects. It gave them shape and volume, allowed them to make sounds and harmonized perfectly with the elasticity and flexibility of plastic. The designer’s retrospective in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, whose rather impressive, transparent-inflatable installation made by Petr Nikl himself, presents both Niklová’s twenty years production for Fatra Napajedla, a company with which her work is inseparably linked, as well as her early designs of toys made by Gumotex Břeclav, where she commenced her career immediately after finishing her studies at the College of Applied Arts in Uherské Hradiště. At the time, the rare combination of Niklová’s imagination, incredible inventiveness and vigorous diligence were very well accepted by both her employer and in numerous competitions, owing to which the majority of her designs were put into production. This is something that even young designers today often struggle to achieve. The toys she designed from the mid-fifties until the end of her life have become popular companions to several generations of children. Whereas the small whistling rubber figures are attractive through their gentle charm, the inflatable and polyethylene toys designed for Fatra Napajedla excel in both their artistic creativity and technological ingenuity. She conceived of her inflatable furniture for children as living animals on which a child could sit and play at the same time. She transformed the bellows pipe from a flush cistern into the torso of her unique accordion-pleated animals, which produce a sound when squeezed. She also cleverly added similar sound-producing mechanisms to her inflatable toys. Through her attractive and thoughtful packaging and stylized printing on toys, swim rings, boats and mattresses, she excelled in the field of graphic design. Although this unique designer passed away at the early age of forty-seven, she left an incredibly rich pioneering work, a total of nine patents and three protected industrial prototypes, as well as the pleasure which her toys have brought to both children and adults to date.

Monograph 200 dm³ of Breath – Libuše Niklová’s Toys
A monograph will be published to mark the occasion of Libuše Niklová’s retrospective. The art historian and design theorist Tereza Bruthansová and the graphic designer Zuzana Lednická from Studio Najbrt are currently preparing the monograph. It will be richly illustrated with color and black and white photographs, and will also include a list of the designer’s works. It will be published by the publishing house Arbor vitae societas.

The second part of the project is the exhibition Petr Nikl: Dialogue with Mum in the Museum of Czech Literature – Hvezda Summer Pavilion, Prague (March 31st – May 30th, 2010).


Curator) Tereza Bruthansová
Installation) Petr Nikl
Graphic design) Zuzana Lednická (Studio Najbrt)
Organised by) Arbor vitae societas, Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague and Museum of Czech Literature

Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
Exhibition Hall
17. listopadu 2
110 00 Prague 1

Opening hours
Tue 10 a.m.—7 p.m., Wed — Sun 10 a.m.—6 p.m., Mon closed

Libuše Niklová
permanent display) 2017) 2016) 2015) 2014) 2013) 2012) 2011) 2010) 2009) 2008) 2007) 2006) 2005) 2004)
Oldřich Straka:...) Contemporary...) František Drtikol...) Decadence now!...) Glass.Classic) 100% GLASS - The...) Jan Rothmayer:...) Hunting in...) Designers and...) Neoclassicism and...) Double Fantasy) Landscape / Image...) Libuše Niklová’s...) Czech Grand...) Artěl) Life with posters...) The Schlosser &...) Herbert Tobias...) Glass Link...) Jindřich Štyrský:...) Helena Wilson:...) Interior Textiles...)