Lidice Collection of Fine Arts
The permanent exhibition of the Lidice Collection is currently under reconstruction. It will be opened for the public on June 9, 2017, at 18:00.
In 1966 Barnett Stross made an appeal to the artists all over the world to mark the 25th anniversary of the Lidice tragedy with donations of art pieces in protest against bestial atrocities and violence.
His idea met with a strong response, hence visitors to the Lidice Gallery have the opportunity to see works of art by authors from 29 world countries. All donated items are, and always have been, individual expressions of free will of the artists, bound by neither theme nor kind nor material nor technique. Hence, the collection is made of artefacts of various themes, forms and orientations. Besides the works responding naturally to what happened in Lidice, we can find artefacts in the collection that reflect similar violent acts against humanity, which have been perpetrated up to the present days. However, the collection does not just testify to the protest of the artistic public against war and violence, rather, it opens a view on a whole range of artistic trends, particularly of the 2nd half of the 20th century.
A special place deserves the successful collection of Czech Artists (Jan Smetana, Karel Souček, Vojtěch Tittelbach, Václav Kiml, Pravoslav Kotik, František Gross, Jitka and Květa Válovy, František Foltýn, František Mertl, Olbram Zoubek, František Jiroudek, Cyril Bouda, Karel Svolinský Adolf Hoffmeister, Josef Jíra and others.). In the European context we can name Marian Bogusz, Endre Nemes or Renato Guttuso.
Another prominent group consists of donations of German artists, brought in 1968 by the Berlin gallery owner René Block. The dominant feature of this part of the Lidice collection is a painting by Gerhard Richter Onkel Rudi, as well as works by Joseph Beuys, Wolf Vostell or Sigmar Polke. In the 90s he have added a new generation of German artists, among them Dagmar Demming, Astrid Klein, Inge Mahn, Karin Sander, Katharina Sieverding or Rosemarie Trockel.
To the present day, the total number of works is around 500 exhibits. Thus, the underlying idea of its origin has come to fruition; moreover, a more general appeal has been made, referring to the ethical imperative binding also on future generations to keep the memory of the victims of Lidice as well as all other victims, so that atrocities on our planet would pass away for good.