1918-1938: The First Republic – An Exhibition Project of the National Gallery in Prague
The exhibition project has the character of a medium-long collection exposition on the 3rd floor of the Fair Trade Palace in Prague, installed at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic. The exposition presents the rich and cosmopolitan art and the artistic business in the twenty years of independent Czechoslovakia, between 1918 and 1938, including the French collection that the country purchased five years after it was founded. You can explore the works of Gauguin, Picasso, van Gogh and Matisse, next to the art of Čapek, Špála and Toyen. The exposition does not solely focus on artwork; it goes beyond disciplines – starting with book typography to applied design.
The exhibition is interdisciplinary, presenting not only visual artworks but also other cultural forms that flourished during the first republic, such as book illustrations, design, graphic design, etc. Using art topography, it shows the diversity of the art production and the lively cultural scene of the period. The exhibition presents the art of the first republic through the eyes of a 1920s and 1930s art goer and introduces prominent galleries, art clubs and institutions, as well as the important cultural centres of the young state. It primarily concentrates on Prague as an art centre with lively exhibition activity that focused not only on local artists but also on the most progressive names from all around Europe. However, the exhibition also addresses other centres such as Brno, Zlín, Bratislava, Košice and Uzhgorod. The curators partly reconstruct important exhibitions that were held in these centres during the first republic period (the exhibition of the Tvrdošíjní group, the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno, Poesie 32, the First Exhibition of Surrealists in Czechoslovakia).
The exhibition introduces important cultural events of the period and emphasize the first republic's cosmopolitan and multinational character. This approach aims not only to show with historical accuracy how wealthy and diverse the culture of the young state was but also offer inspiration for the present where the lack of historical knowledge often results in xenophobic attitudes. The new permanent exhibition is accompanied by an extensive educational program.


Prague, Trade Fair Palace, Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Praha 7