Exhibition and Presentation Activities of the National Museum
Exposition and exhibition projects are held in 16 buildings of the National Museum. Due to the fact that the Historical Building of the National Museum has been closed, the activities are concentrated in other buildings, mainly the New Building of the National Museum, Náprstek Museum, Czech Museum of Music and the National Memorial on Vítkov Hill. In 2015, the exhibiting activities were continued in the Náprstek Museum; then the new exhibition spaces of the New Building of the National Museum were opened to visitors while organized in a quite extraordinary way. In March, the main exhibition project was opened under the cycle called "Death", together with a smaller alternative exhibition project called "Fatal Delights". The facilities of the National Memorial on Vítkov Hill got involved in the cycle with the exhibition called "Famous Funerals". In May 2015, the mid-term permanent exhibition called "Noah’s Ark Exhibition" was opened; it primarily represents zoological topics and provides visitors with extensive zoological collections, even at the time of reconstruction of the historical building of the National Museum. Regarding regional expositions, most projects took place at the Museum of Czech Puppets and in the Circus of Prachatice. In 2015, the National Museum continued to prepare for the permanent exhibitions - some contentual priorities were revised in the case of the presentation of history and the development of Earth.
Key Exhibition Projects in 2015
In 2015, there was the main exhibition cycle of the National Museum called "Death", while using the main exhibition project in the new building of the National Museum as well as continuing further on the premises of the Náprstek Museum using the exhibition project "Rituals of Death" or opening the exhibition called "Famous Funerals" at the National Memorial on Vítkov Hill. There was an alternative exhibition called "Fatal Delights" which was presented in the new building of the National Museum. This exhibition project also included many accompanying events, discussions, lectures as well as events for children and schools. The exhibiting policies of the National Museum were limited by the partial reconstruction of the new building and with the main building closed, during 2015. Despite these limitations, the National Museum further continued in its active exhibitions. The exhibition plan for the coming years was prepared - mainly the projects associated with reminders of the anniversary of Charles IV in 2016. The anniversary of the burning of Jan Hus in 2015 was remembered in the new building of the National Museum with the exhibition called "Hussite Uniques" together with the issue of the extended catalogue.
Besides the exhibitions related to the main exhibition cycle called "Death", there was the long-planned project of the middle time zoological exposition of "Noah’s Ark Exhibition" held in the new building of the National Museum. It was meant as a key project. The project, which was held in the former House of Nations, provides the wider public with the presentation of the wealth of zoological collections, choosing the logic of each geographical area, including environmental issues. The exposition works with many interactivities. It has immediately become the target of many school trips and family visits. It includes accompanying programs, educational projects and other activities expanding the particular topic.
Regarding other exhibition cycles, the Náprstek Museum held the cycle called the "Window to the World" by presenting the exhibition project "Bhutan - Country Close to Heaven". For the first time, in the Czech Republic, visitors had the opportunity to admire the unique historical and contemporary documents of Bhutanese culture from the collections of the Royal Textile Academy in Thimph. Bhutan was also presented by pictures taken by Czech travellers who recently visited the country and decades before. In 2015, there were also intensive preparations for the exhibition of Afghan Buddhist Art which was prepared for the beginning of 2016. From October 2015, the Náprstek Museum has offered a look at older Chinese history with the exhibition of "The Middle Kingdom", within the broader series of the "Middle Ages". That was the performance called Thousand Years of China organized using the exhibits from the rich collections of the Náprstek Museum. Many of them have been exhibited for the first time ever. The international presentation also included the involvement of the collections of the National Museum in the key project of the British Museum called "Celts: Art and Identity", in London from September 2015. Similarly, preparation for the exhibition called "Castles and Manors" was carried out for the purposes of the presentation in Malaysia at the beginning of 2016. Due to the fact that the National Museum has many exposition buildings available, other (smaller) exhibition projects have been opened in the Antonín Dvořák Museum, the Bedřich Smetana Museum or the Museum of Puppets and Circus in Prachatice - the exhibition activities become a natural part of the local culture here in Prachatice.
International Exhibitions of the National Museum in 2015
The National Museum also continued in cooperation with foreign institutes and in preparation of exhibition projects.
The Story of Bohemian Glass
(10 February 2015 – 26 April 2015, Seoul, South Korea)
The unique exhibition of collections of the National Museum and the Museum of Arts and Crafts represented glass production covering a wide spectrum from the Iron Age to the end of the 20th Century. Regarding the oldest exhibits found in the Czech Republic, there are archaeological findings of glass and metal jewellery and clothing accessories from the Hallstatt period and also the uniquely preserved and almost intact drinking glass from the Roman era and the times of the migration of nations. The early medieval jewellery, from the times of Great Moravia, is also very significant. One of the unique exhibits of the exhibition is the Gothic window vitrage with the figure of the Apostle of the Church of St. Jakub in Žebnice near Plzeň from the second quarter of the 14th century. In addition to the items made of glass, the exhibition also presented Czech culture and art in a broader historical and cultural context, using a series of art and art-craft exhibits of Czech and Central European origin (paintings, sculptures, graphics, liturgical vessels, jewellery, textiles, costume jewellery, etc.).
Unique Items of the Czech and Slovak Museums
(12 May 2015 – 14 June 2015, Bratislava)
The unique items of the Czech museums can also be admired by visitors to the Bratislava Castle. The exhibition has already been held in Opava, Prague and Brno. Here in Bratislava, it was complemented by the gold bracelet from Zohor - a real treasure of the collections of the Slovak National Museum. The exhibition called the Unique Items of the Czech and Slovak Museums followed the extraordinary project called the Unique Items of Provincial Museums held in 2014.
The exhibition called Traditional Customs in the Czech Republic / Celebration! Rituals and Revelry of Life
(14 March 2014 – 11 January 2015, Iowa, USA)
The presentation of traditional customs in the Czech Republic using more than 200 collection items of the Ethnographic Department of the National Museum in cooperation with the National Czech Slovak Museum and Library, Cedar Rapids.