Supervision: Helena Koenigsmarková
Exhibition concept, specialized guidance:
Radim Vondráček
Concept, curatorial expertise:
team of curators of UPM
Exhibition design: 20YY Designers, Petr Bosák, Robert Jansa, Tomáš Varga, Adam Macháček, Jakub Jansa
Photos: Gabriel Urbánek, Ondřej Kocourek

The permanent exhibition of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague aims to present a vibrant, multi-dimensional image of European applied arts from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

The core theme focuses on art in the motion of life.All things around us enter into human life, accompany it, and transform it both functionally and symbolically. Art and design thus co-influence lifestyles and the scenarios and models of human behaviour. They are involved in rituals and celebrations, in discovering the world and controlling it. Art transforms these facets of life into myriad manifestations, be they liturgical objects used in processions and Holy Mass since the Middle Ages, artefacts in Renaissance cabinets of curiosities that intimate microcosmic enigmas, 19th-century heirlooms entwined with the proximity of the family hearth, or clothes and jewels that adorn and form the human body. The same can be said of the output of modern and contemporary design and its grand social ambitions – the effort to satisfy ever-growing needs and the desire for a better world.

The exhibition thus follows the specific and fascinating nature of applied arts and design, which transcend mere visual experience and shape the full range of human situations. The existential meaning of items, their purpose, the who, how, and why of their creation are all the more important than in other areas of art. However, these circumstances should not eclipse the quality of the exhibits themselves, the excellence of unique works and their creators, or the poetics and mysteries of everyday objects.

The museum’s collections show just how much applied arts and design impact humanity’s real and fictional worlds. The Museum of Decorative Arts has systematically examined this creativity and its societal benefits since its founding in 1885, thanks to generations of curators, experts, benefactors, and collectors. This exhibition is a tribute to all of them.​

The Museum of Decorative Arts – main building

17. listopadu 2
110 00 Prague 1

Opening Hours
Tuesday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Wednesday – Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Monday closed

full CZK 250 | concession CZK 120 Kč