Museum Kampa, Prague

Just south of the hustle and bustle of the crowded Charles Bridge, on the west side of the Vlata river, lies the Kampa, a man made island separated from the bank by a narrow stream, the Devil’s Stream,  which was created in the 12th century as a millrace. At the north end there’s a pleasant square of hotels and restaurants that can be accessed by descending steps down from the bridge or by a road that is crossed by it. To the south is a very pleasant park, which, on the day we went, was almost free of tourists and frequented mainly by locals enjoying the sunshine.

In the park, on the banks of the river is the Museum Kampa, a modern art gallery featuring works by Czech artists. It’s housed in an old mill building, Sova’s Mill.

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(Picture source: Wikipedia)

Standing on the banks of the river, it was affected by the floods during JUne this year. Damage on the ground floor was evident during our visit. It looked as if a number of art works had been moved out and the lift wasn’t working. Fortunately most of the art is on the upper floors.

The museum was opened in 2003 and houses the collection of works by Czech, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian and Yugoslavian artists, dating mostly from the 1960s and ’70s, originally owned by a wealthy Czech émigré to the USA, Meda Mladek, which was donated to the city of Prague.

We visited the museum, which hardly features in the guide books and tourist information, during the afternoon of our last day in Prague as we’d seen a poster advertising the temporary exhibition of works by Klimt, Mucha and Kupka. More about that in a future post.

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We also had a look around the permanent collection. There was a large number of paintings and sculpture on three floors and in the stairwell.

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We really needed more time to look around, we were rushed as we had a plane to catch early evening, as there were some excellent works. These are just a few of them

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Bez Nazvu (2005) by Zdena Strobachová

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Cum Tacent Clamant – Although they keep silent, they cry aloud; their silence is more expressive than words. (1978-1984) by Josef Lukomski.

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Figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz

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Aspects of the consciousness (2004) A 3-dimensional “molecular structure” by Aleš Hnízdil

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Bez nazvu (1967) by René Roubíček.

We particularly liked these red aliens by Karel Nepraš, which reminded me of the old “Smash” instant mash Martians (showing my age now!)

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I didn’t make a note of the titles or the artists for the following works

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There were many others too, but we really needed more time to look round and take some more (and better!) photos.

Projecting from the first floor of the building was a cantilevered platform,

(Picture source Avantgarde Prague website)

which itself was a work of art – one you could walk on!

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The museum is well worth a visit by anyone interested in Modern and Contemporary art who’s on holiday in Prague. Some interesting, accomplished works, a relatively peaceful oasis and an opportunity to get away from the crowds.

There’s a good view of the river and the Charles Bridge

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and the Castle as well.

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