The Moravian Gallery – Czech Art, from Medieval to Modern

Part of the permanent exhibition in the applied arts section of the Moravian Gallery.
Part of the permanent exhibition in the applied arts section of the Moravian Gallery.

A Showcase of Style

Every nation produces artists and every artist has their own style. In the global picture, Alfons Mucha and his contributions to the Art Nouveau movement are probably the best known examples of a Czech artist and their work. However, the Czech lands have produced many more artists who practiced many more styles; The Moravian Gallery in Brno is one of the best places to become acquainted with them.

The Moravian Gallery has five buildings under it’s management, but this article will focus on three buildings within walking distance of each other in Brno’s city centre. Each building hosts a display focusing on a different era and aspect of art and all three buildings have both temporary and permanent exhibits.

Pražák Palace – Contemporary and Modern Art

The surrealism section of the gallery's modern art exhibition.
The surrealism section of the gallery’s modern art exhibition.

A late Renaissance style building dating to 1874, Pražák Palace serves as home to the gallery’s library and display of 20th Century art. It is located on Husova street on the west side of the city centre.

The selection of paintings and sculptures features examples of major art movements such as Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism; it also goes on to mention to roles Czech artists played in these movements.

All information accompanying the various pieces is completely bilingual in Czech and English and non-flash photography is permitted.

Museum of Applied Arts – The Middle Ages to the Seccession

An early 20th century glass vase from the Bohemian regions on display in the applied arts museum.
An early 20th century glass vase from the Bohemian regions on display in the applied arts museum.

Two doors away from Pražák Palace on Husova street, you will find the gallery’s Museum of Applied Arts. As the name indicates, this particular collection focuses on art as a design element in everyday decorative and functional items.

Several art movements which span a number of eras are featured here. Exhibits include not only examples of items from the various eras, but also a great deal of information on how artists drew design inspiration from the natural world.

On display is an impressive array of items from wood, glass, metal, textile and ceramic to name but a few.

As with Pražák Palace, all information is fully bilingual in Czech and English and non-flash photography is allowed.

Governor’s Palace – Medieval to 19th Century

Wood sculptures of Saint Barbara and Saint Dorothy on display at the Governor's Palace location.
Wood sculptures of Saint Barbara and Saint Dorothy on display at the Governor’s Palace location.

A short walk from Husova street to Moravian Square will get you to the Governor’s Palace and its displays of Medieval and 19th century art. The Governor’s Palace is located in part of a former Augustinian Abbey which is attached to the St. Thomas church.

This display walks the visitor through Medieval religious inspired pieces carved from wood, some of which still retain their original paint and gilt coatings.

The Governor’s Palace exhibition also features a collection of paintings of Moravian, Italian, German, Austrian, Dutch and Flemish origins which include themes of landscapes, still life and ancient myths among others.

The exhibit information in this part of the gallery is not so completely bilingual as in the other two, but it is sufficient for you to get the gist of things.

Photography is a bit more complex a matter here as some items can be photographed non-flash, while others can’t be photographed at all. The ones that can’t be photographed all have a small symbol to indicate so on their adjoining information panel, so take a moment to look for that before training your camera on anything.

Visiting the Gallery

Stained glass panel at applied arts museum.
Stained glass panel at applied arts museum.

The three sections of the Moravian Gallery featured here are open from Wednesday to Sunday and easy to access due to their very central location.

As they are all physically separate, you can buy an individual ticket at each location or you can purchase a single ticket for all three. If your time permits and your interests span all three locations, I suggest the latter option; even if you don’t see all three in one day, the ticket will be good for three days.

All three locations have cloak rooms and souvenir shops.

For complete details, follow this link to the gallery’s website:

http://www.moravska-galerie.cz/?lang=en

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