National Museum and National Gallery welcome first visitors after months of lockdown

Kings of the Sun

Two leading Czech cultural institutions, the National Museum and the National Gallery, opened their doors to the public on Tuesday. Among the major attractions is the ongoing exhibition Kings of the Sun at the National Museum’s historical building on Wenceslas Square and a retrospective of Toyen’s art in Prague’s Waldstein Riding School.

Museums and galleries in Prague and another six regions were allowed to re-open at the start of the week after being closed for several months.

One of the major events is an exhibition at the National Museum in Prague, Kings of the Sun, which welcomed its first visitors on Tuesday.

Kings of the Sun | Photo: Kateřina Šulová,  ČTK

The project got underway last September, but it was forced to close down before the end of the year due to the worsening Covid-19 situation.

The exhibition showcases treasures unearthed by Czech archaeologists in Egypt over the past 100 years, including hundreds of ancient Egyptian artefacts, which had never before left Cairo.

The artefacts for the exhibition, which has been in preparation for several years, were loaned by the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Great Egyptian Museum in Giza, but also museums in Germany.

Kings of the Sun will run at the National Museum only until June 6 and visitors are allowed only with an online ticket with time reservation.

Kings of the Sun | Photo: Kateřina Šulová,  ČTK

Another major cultural event, which gets underway at the National Gallery on Tuesday, is an exhibition dedicated to Toyen, one of the most original and best-known Czech artists of the 20th century.

The event was organised by the National Gallery in Prague in cooperation with the Hamburger Kunstahalle and the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art. It was officially launched on April 9 and until now, had only been available online.

Toyen: The Dreaming Rebel | Photo: Ondřej Deml,  ČTK

Curator Anna Pravdová:

“Toyen was a unique artist, whose work was very consistent. She has never made compromises, both in her personal life and in her work, and I think that's what makes her very inspiring.

“The exhibition is unique in that it presents her whole work. Many of her artworks are already very well-known and there was a large retrospective exhibition 20 years ago. But I think that for the younger generation, it will be interesting to see how her art developed.”

Toyen: The Dreaming Rebel | Photo: Ondřej Deml,  ČTK

The last exhibition of Toyen’s work was held in Prague in 2000 and in 2002 in Saint-Etienne in France. However, there has never been a broad retrospective of her work showcased in Paris and she still remains largely unknown in Germany.

That is about to change, however. After closing in Prague on August 15, the exhibition will travel to the co-organising galleries in Hamburg and Paris.

Among other institutions that have re-opened to the public is Prague Castle, which offers a major exhibition on Comenius at the Prague Castle Riding School.

Also accessible is the Karel Zeman Museum, dedicated to the great Czech filmmaker, or the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague’s Holešovice district.

Toyen: The Dreaming Rebel | Photo: Ondřej Deml,  ČTK