annual report 2017


The Historical Museum

The year 2017 was very successful for the Historical Museum in terms of acquisitions. With the grant ISO/C from the Ministry of Culture, five portraits were purchased for the collection of the Department of Early Czech History: Johanna Jungmannová, Božena Němcová, Vojtěch and Josefína Kablík and a posthumous portrait of Josef Pankl (CZK 240,000). In addition, a portrait by Hugo Boettinger of Josef Jan Frič, the founder of the Observatory in Ondřejov, was purchased using funds from the Hlávka Foundation (80 000 CZK) for the Department of Early Czech History.

With its own resources the National Museum bought: jewellery for the Department of Early Czech History (CZK 60,000); an interesting statue of St. John of Nepomuk for the ethnographic collection (CZK 15,000); cast metal quadrans of the Roman Republic from 225-217 BC (9,000 CZK); a collection of Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins from the collection of Ing. Lukas (46,500 CZK) for the numismatic collection; and a set of 30 scenic and costume designs by Jaroslav Malina for 16 plays from several theatres for the Theatre Department (CZK 74,800).

Significant free-of-charge acquisitions should also be mentioned – e.g. archaeological finds from Hostín, Tmaň, Liboc/Vokovice, Klecany, Praha-Vinoř, Praha-Kyje, Praha 1-Nové Město and Minice, and a series of donations, mainly clothing, textiles, fashion accessories and articles of common use for the textile collection of the Department of Modern Czech History, especially from private donors.

Preventive protection and treatment of the collections

The Historical Museum continued the treatment of collections in 2017, especially the work of its own restorers, putting priority on preparing items for exhibiting and lending. The restorers participated in installing exhibitions in the Historical Museum, regularly checked the state of items on long-term loan in the exhibitions of other institutions (together with the curators), and performed the cleaning of the Historical Museum’s own permanent exhibitions. The optimization of the long-term storage of collections at the Central Depository in Terezín continued.

From the National Museum's resources, 2 paintings, 2 garments and 5 pieces of seating furniture from the historical collections for the Memorial exhibition to F. Palacký and F. L. Rieger were externally restored. The restoration of the marl Gothic window was completed. Further, the restoration of the flag of the American Czechs from the National Museum’s theatrical collections continued. As part of the NAKI project, "A Trip to the Theatre", two additional sets of theatre notices from the Provisional Theatre were restored. From ISO D/c resources, 6 portraits from the National Museum’s historical collection were restored as well as 6 theatre costumes from Kačina Castle for the National Museum’s theatre collection.

In 2017 there was cooperation with Higher Vocational Schools (VOŠ) of textile crafts and the graphic arts; local students restored 2 pieces of archival material and 3 collection items from the National Museum’s modern Czech history collection within their of their seminar papers and theses. About 60 items were preserved or restored in the National Museum’s Volunteer Programme in 2017. Volunteers participated in basic care and preservation of items in all the collections managed by the Historical Museum.

The restorers of the Historical Museum also conserved and restored 5 plaster statues for the Czech Museum of Music in 2017. Furthermore, they created 2 frames for a chasuble for the Moravian Gallery in Brno. In “Masaryk as a Phenomenon” a marble bust from the collection of the Museum of Czech Literature was exhibited, as well as a patinated plaster model of the equestrian sculpture of T. G. Masaryk from a private lender. 

Professional management of the collections

In most departments of the Historical Museum, collections were inventoried in the Central Registry of Collections in the standard way. In the Department of Early Czech History, a general revision has been taking place since 2015. In the Department of Modern Czech History the general revision was completed in 2016, and 2017 was intended for surveys and other actions related to its completion. In the usual way, the continuous organization of collections has been ongoing in the form of systematic second degree cataloguing in the DEMUS and Bach databases and cataloguing in the library database KP Win.

The year 2017 was rich in domestic and foreign loans, both from the National Museum (771 items and archival records) and to the National Museum (797 items and archival records). Also, in 2017 the Historical Museum recorded a high interest in the provision of reproductions for exhibition and publishing purposes (200 contracts for the provision of visual material).