Alphonse Mucha, the greatest of Czech artists, will be featured in this exhibition both as an artist and as an inspiration for his granddaughter’s work in glass, jewelry and sculpture. A selection of Mucha’s legendary Art Nouveau posters will be on display in this never-before-seen exhibition, which will also highlight Mucha’s significant presence in Chicago. Invited by his patron, Chicago philanthropist Charles R. Crane, Alphonse Mucha lived, taught, and worked in this city. Five enormous paintings from Mucha’s monumental work, “The Slav Epic”, sponsored by Crane, were on display at the Art Institute in 1920 to great critical and public acclaim. Mucha’s depiction of Crane’s daughter, Josephine, as the goddess Slavia, was featured on the 100-crown note of the Republic of Czechoslovakia that will also feature in the exhibition.
Mucha’s granddaughter, Jarmila Mucha Plocková relied, in her work, on a printed collection of Mucha’s designs known ad the Documents Décoratif and on his conceptions for a jewelry boutique in Paris. She first recreated Mucha’s works while remaining faithful to the originals, and then she used her grandfather’s work as an inspiration for her own art. By participating in the exhibition, she pays tribute to her grandfather in a city of real significance in his career. The exhibition will include a sculpture titled “Nature”, that she recreated, from the originals made by Alphonse Mucha, in cooperation with the Prague sculptor Peter Nižňansky. The sculpture will be displayed during Prague Days for the first time with both sculptors present.
The project was made possible thanks to the support of the Maya Polsky, Richard and Inese Driehaus and Mr. Rolf Achilles, curator of the exhibition.