Saturday, 24 March 2018

Czech Exlibris Celebrated


Tomorrow an exhibition of Czech exibris (bookplates) until 1945 opens at the National Monument at Vitkov in Prague and I will definitely be going. The exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the SSPE (the Association of Collectors and Friends of Exlibris). On display will be 365 exlibris created in the first half of the 20th century by ninety artists, as well as the equipment used to create them: printing blocks, presses and other tools. The final part of the exhibition is about the origin and development of the art of exlibris in the Czech Republic. 

I have very much caught the exlibris collecting bug. I tend to collect exlibris since 1945, but some of my favourite artists will be featured. For Christmas my husband gave me some exlibris by Anna Mackova, whilst the among the first exlibris I ever bought was one by her life partner Josef Vachal.  Both were amazing artists and exlibris is the only way I could afford their art. 


Vachal exlibris

The exhibition is open Wednesday - Sun 10.00 - 16.00, from 25th March to 9th September, at the National Memorial on Vítkov Hill U Památníku 1900, Prague 3 (metro Florenc). 

Friday, 2 March 2018

Bottle stoppers and puppets.


As a former arts manager I have always got a buzz with helping my creative friends, especially if I can do so by introducing them to each other. So when my friend Kristina, who runs my favourite hotel in Prague, was asking me about identifying Czech crafts to sell to her customers, I immediately suggested the work of my neighbour.

I have talked before about  Jitka, and the easter eggs she paints and the puppets she carves.  Both the eggs and the smaller puppets would make excellent gifts for Kristina to sell. Having organised tours to the Czech Republic I am very much aware of how little space there is in some guests' luggage, especially the luggage  of those of us who travel on budget airlines. Stuffing a bulging bag full of treasures into an overhead locker can be alarming. Small non-breakable souvenirs are what is needed. Jitka has come up with  solution - hand-carved bottle stoppers. They are just wonderful - you will find more examples here on Jitka's website. I gave a load to my family and friends one last Christmas and they went down a storm.

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