Course details

Czech Art Between 1900–1945 in Contexts

1CU20st-Z FaVU 1CU20st-Z Acad. year 2023/2024 Winter semester 3 credits

The course introduces various topics from the visual arts, design and visual culture between 1900 to 1945. The lectures present programs and manifestos, collaboration and artistic collectives, institutional background of the art scenes (academies, galleries, state, criticism) and the relations to the means of production and social matrix. The course presents both progressive and revolutionary actions and avant-gardes of the 20th Century as well as survivals and revivals of the past anachronic forms. The history of the Modern Art is presented in context of political, social and economic conditions to the artistic work.
The course will be taught in the winter semester in a distant way via MS Teams.


Language of instruction




Time span

  • 26 hrs lectures


Learning objectives

The aim is to present major figures, artistic works, artistic groups, programs and institutions of Czech modern art between 1900 to 1945, to present contemporary way of thinking and characterize contemporary texts and manifestos.
Students will have a basic overview of artistic institutions, key figures and their work; they will be able to attribute key artistic works and they will be able to characterize artistic programs and groups of Czech modernism between 1900 to 1945.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic knowledge of the history of the Czech lands and their culture.

Syllabus of lectures

1. Institutions and organisations: Mánes, AAAD, Academy and Modern Gallery
2. Osma and expressionism 1907–1908
3. Skupina and cubism 1910–1914, SURSUM
4. Architecture and Design I.: Kotěra and Spolek posluchačů architektury; Artěl and Pražské umělecké dílny
5. Sculpture: Jan Štursa, Otto Gutfreund, Jaroslav Horejc
6. National Style and The Exposition of the Decorative Arts in Paris, academism as propaganda
7. Tvrdošíjní, Devětsil, Štyrský, Toyen and Czech surrealism
8. Architecture and Design II.: Klub architektů and the year 1925, interior and serial production of design
9. Civilized Woman: Women-artists and women-designers
10. Modern photography: Drtikol, Sudek, Rössler, Funke, Wiškowský, Koblic
11. Gaps in the history: Art of the Czech Germans
12. The World We Live In: Skupina 42

Progress assessment

Attendance obligatory.

Course inclusion in study plans

  • Programme BIT, 1st year of study, Elective
  • Programme BIT (in English), 1st year of study, Elective
  • Programme IT-BC-3, field BIT, 1st year of study, Elective
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