Donators, Patrons, Collectors Moravian Gallery in Brno

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Donators, Patrons, Collectors

Moravian Gallery in Brno

Governor’s Palace, Moravské náměstí 1a, Brno

19th November, 2010 – 13th February, 2011

opening 18th November, 2010 at 5 p.m.

Kateřina Svobodová


Emil Zavadil


Filip Skalák


Igor Fogaš, Julius Karcol, Miroslav Kluka, Denisa Petrová, Marie Zmydlená


Veronika Jičínská, Miroslava Pluháčková


Miloš Bartoň, Bernd Magar, Alan D. Windsor


MG Exhibition Installation Dept. (Tomáš Ferenc, Petr Kolaja, Martin Ondruš, Jiří Šujan), Miloš Měřinský, Svatopluk Máša


Simona Juračková, Martina Vašková, Lenka Vodičková


Pavlína Vogelová, Eva Strouhalová, tel.: +420 532 169 151, e-mail:


Eva Strouhalová, contact: tel. 532 169 146,

The current exhibition in the Governor’s Palace of the Moravian Gallery in Brno will please the soul of art and history lovers and not just them. Donators, Patrons, Collectors is poised to enchant everybody by romantic landscapes, impressive portraits and genre scenes that enriched the gallery collections as the gifts of Bedřich Silva Tarouca, Johann II of Liechtenstein, Eduard Sykora and Arnold Skutezky. It is thanks to them that the visitors will be able to see works by 19th century artists, such as Josef Mánes, Antonín Mánes, Josef Vojtěch Hellich, Josef Führich, Josef Bergler, Antonín Chittussi, Hanuš Schwaiger, Friedrich von Amerling, Josef Danhauser, Johann Baptist Lampi Sr., Remi van Haanen, Robert Russ, Eugen Jettel, Anselm Feuerbach, Hans Makart, Andreas Achenbach, Petrus van Schendel, Peter Fendi, Rudolf von Alt or Emil Orlik. Their oil paintings, temperas, watercolours, pen-and-ink and charcoal drawings, etchings, engravings, aquatints and lithographs invite you to take a trip into the charm and romanticism of olden times.

The rarities at the exhibition include a historical painting by Heinrich Karl Anton Mücke Dante Reading the Divine Comedy with a portrait of Bedřich Silva Tarouca, the last portrait of the poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe created during his life or the painting Dance of the Nymphs by Johann Viktor Krämer, displayed for the first time after many decades. It is difficult to ignore the painting on account of its size and by the method of its presentation as it is shown rather unusually, halfway through the restoration process.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.

An integral part of the exhibition is an interactive zone entitled Start a Collection (Cabinet of Curiosities) where visitors may try out what it takes to become a donator and co-creator of a collection. They can bring any object with maximum dimensions of 33 x 23 x 23 cm, enter it in the register, assign a catalogue number to it and display it. The resulting collection of objects will be used in accompanying educational events dealing with the phenomenon that is collecting.

Collecting has been a human activity from the beginning of cultural history. Its purpose is not the mere mechanical amassing of selected objects but an informed choice with the aim of creating a whole — a collection constituting a more valuable content than the simple sum of its parts. An important and, in terms of future development, beneficial feature of collecting is an attempt to preserve this whole and the information contained within so that it can serve to educate future generations. The collector often invests considerable sums only to graciously give up part or the whole of his collection for the benefit of society at a particular phase, thus becoming a donator or patron. It is usually museums that can serve this purpose and it should be pointed out that without the collectors and generous donators of the past contemporary museums would be considerably poorer and some would not have arisen at all. It is reassuring that after a long time of inactivity collecting has taken an upward course over the past twenty years and new private collections are emerging — foundations for future gifts and patronages.

The exhibition Donators, Patrons, Collectors presents a choice set of paintings, drawings and prints from the 19th century acquired for the collections of the picture gallery of the then Moravian Museum ( today incorporated in the Moravian Gallery in Brno) during the 19th and the first half of the 20th century from sophisticated private collections. The exhibition is one of the outcomes of the grant-supported research project 19th Century Art Holdings of the Moravian Gallery and their Formation via Private Collections and will provide the visitors with a closer look at the four key collectors mentioned above. Although Arnold Skutezky and Eduard Sykora have already been highlighted within the mini series titled Collectors and Patrons in the Drawings and Prints Room of the Governor’s Palace, the current exhibition makes it possible to present their collections from a different point of view and more extensively.“
Kateřina Svobodová

curator Moravian Gallery in Brno

A collection, i.e. a set of objects worth preserving, for various reasons, and being shown to the public is the precondition of the existence of any museum and its story is the most absorbing tale in the history of the institution. When they are, in addition, highly varied collections at the birth of which stood important and original individuals, such as is the case of the institutions historically preceding the present Moravian Gallery in Brno, the narrative about the origins is doubly attractive. Through this project we can learn more about the history of collecting and the cultural institutions in Moravia and Brno, and get an insight into the reasons, extent and conditions of the magnanimous gifts and legacies, the significance of which has not been surpassed to this day. I should add that it is not just a homage to the cultural and economic elite of the past but also a gentle reproach — or a prod — to the elites of today. By the exhibition and publication Donators, Patrons, Collectors the Moravian Gallery in Brno on the one hand closes a long term research project studying the history of the formation of its collections, but on the other hand it is something of a halfway stage, beyond which we would like to explore the history of our museum within an extended scope. We are still much indebted to those who de facto made it possible for the collections to come into being and those who were entrusted with the care for them, their further expert evaluation and presentation to the public.”

Marek Pokorný

director Moravian Gallery in Brno
Bedřich Silva Tarouca (11. 12. 1816 Čechy pod Kosířem – 23. 6. 1881 Brno)

A member of an old, originally Portuguese family, who settled in Austria and later in Moravia in the 18th century and in Czech history books is firmly linked with the renowned painter Josef Mánes. He was the first collector to donate a numerous set of works of art from the 19th century to the collections of the Moravian Gallery. In 1859, in connection with his departure to Italy where he volunteered as a military chaplain in Austrian military field hospitals, he donated to the museum part of his library and collections of coins, engravings, old prints and works of art. Bedřich Silva Tarouca was engaged in the patriotic activities of the Czech and Moravian society. He was a co-founder of patriotic educational societies in Brno and to one of them — Matice moravská — he bestowed all of his collections of coins and antiquities and most importantly the extensive (almost two and a half thousand items) collection of drawings and prints by various artists from the 16th to the 19th century. Matice moravská was in charge of the collection until 1920, when based on the decision of an extraordinary general meeting of 10th December, 1919, it handed over the society’s library to today’s Moravian Library, while art and other collections were transferred to the Moravian Museum. From Tarouca’s collection we show works by Czech artists — Josef, Antonín and Václav Mánes, Josef Vojtěch Hellich, Antonín Chittussi and Josef Bergler, works by Austrian and German artists and examples of the collector’s own works.

Eduard Sykora (5. 6. 1835 Moravec – 25. 8. 1897 Brno)

A painter and sculptor but only as a labour of love, who showed a talent for fine arts from his early youth. Personal difficulties prevented him studying painting. His unquestionable artistic talent is confirmed by the fact that although completely self-taught in sculpting he successfully created a number of portrait busts, and even felt a greater affinity to sculpting and achieved better results in it than in painting. Eduard Sykora built up his own collection for over three decades and during this time he put together, apart from a collection of paintings, an extensive collection of coins and most importantly prints containing a numerous set of European prints from the 15th to the 19th century. Roughly a fifth of the total of 2279 sheets is made up of works by 19th century artists. The journey of this set of prints to the then picture gallery of the Moravian Museum was similar to the case of the Gomperz gallery which progressed via the municipal collections, from where both sets were taken over in 1922. In the 1930s other parts of Sykora’s paintings collection were added to it. The exhibition displays a selection of works mainly by Austrian and German artists (Friedrich von Amerling, Jakob and Friedrich Gauermann, Andreas Achenbach, Johann Adam Klein and others) and two works by Sykora himself.

Johann II of Liechtestein (5. 10. 1840 Lednice – 11. 2. 1929 Valtice)

A member of the ruling branch of the dynasty, the 12th ruler of the House von und zu Liechtenstein from eighteen years of age. But most of all, he was interested in art and science and he was a patron in the true sense of the word. He promoted the idea of founding museums as educational institutes and contributed financially to their establishment (in the Czech Lands specifically the Museum of Applied Arts in Brno, today part of the Moravian Gallery in Brno, and today’s Silesian Museum in Opava). He generously purchased works of art and items of arts and crafts, partly to enrich his own collections and partly as gifts for the museums in Vienna, Linz, Graz, Bolzano, Prague, Brno, Olomouc and Opava. He aimed both at expanding and multiplying their collections and at the same time taking into account links with local artists. Most of his gifts were works by artists of European renown and the items even today are much prized in the temporary and permanent exhibitions of those museums. Thanks to his donations, the collections of 19th century art of the picture gallery of the Moravian Museum acquired, between 1881 and 1913, i.e. over more than three decades, a numerous set of oil and watercolour paintings and drawings by Austrian (Robert Russ, Eugen Jettel, Wilhelm Bernatzik, Remi van Haanen), German (Gustav Holweg, Hubert Salentin), Flemish (Petrus van Schendel, Jakob Josef van den Eeckhout, Florent Willems) and Bohemian and Moravian artists (Hanuš Schwaiger, Josef Straka, Ludvík Ehrenhaft), most of which are presented at the exhibition. Two of the works can be seen in the permanent exhibition on the first floor of the Governor’s Palace.

Arnold Skutezky (29. 12. 1850 Lomnice u Tišnova – 16. 12. 1936 Brno)

An industrialist (owner of a prospering hat factory in Rajhrad) and collector Arnold Skutezky showed interest in art from his studies onwards but only after building up a career for himself was he able to devote himself full time to his passion. The result was, alongside a collection of antiquities and coins, a numerous set of paintings and an extensive and continually expanded collection of drawings, amounting as a whole to almost 1000 items. Although Skutezky concentrated as a collector on an earlier period, from the 16th to the 18th century, artists from the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century were represented equally well, though less numerous. In 1923 Arnold Skutezky offered the first part of his collection – paintings – for purchase to the picture gallery of Moravian Museum securing in this way its preservation for the future. Guided by the same intention, he decided to place the second, more numerous collection into a museum institution as well, this time by offering an option to buy to the Moravian-Silesian Land whereby the proceeds were to be used to establish a fund supporting cultural and social activities of Czech, German and Jewish associations. After his death, the remaining part of his collection was therefore temporarily stored in the picture gallery of the Moravian Museum (drawings, paintings) and in the Museum of Applied Arts (medals, coins and porcelain) and later purchased. The collector’s wish to keep the collections together and accessible to the public was thus fulfilled. The exhibition offers a representative selection of paintings and drawings by artists from the whole of Europe, such as the renowned Austrian portraitists Johann Baptist Lampi the Elder and Friedrich Amerling, Barbizon painters Narcisso Diaz de la Peña and Constant Troyon, as well as Angelika Kauffmann, Heinrich Füger, Anselm Feuerbach, Dutch landscape painters Hendrik Frederik Verheggen and Arnold van’t Zant and others.

Saturday 20/11/2010 10 a.m.

Collectors and their collections

Saturday art workshop for children / Gabriela Imreczeová

Governor’s Palace, Moravské nám. 1a

Admission 40 Kč.

Tuesday 18/1/2011 3 p.m.

Collecting, passion as investment

Creativ 60+ / Olga Buciová

Governor’s Palace, Moravské nám. 1a

Collecting can be an entertaining hobby … in every period. Tour of the exhibition of works originally in private collections and now enriching the collections of the Moravian Gallery in Brno.

Admission 40 Kč.

Wednesday 26/1/2011 4.30 p.m.

Guided tour / Kateřina Svobodová, curator of the exhibition

Governor’s Palace, Moravské nám. 1a

Free with an admission ticket

The beginnings of the Old Masters collection are connected with the foundation of the Franz Joseph Museum in Brno in 1818 (the emperor granted approval in 1817). The very first acquisitions of the new museum included some works of art. The development of the art collection was encouraged by the establishment of the Artists’ Association in 1829 that bought mainly contemporary works at exhibitions and auctions in Vienna. However, the Association was soon dissolved in the 1840s and a typical feature in extending the collection throughout the 19th century was the dominant majority of acquisitions through collectors over own purchases that too frequently suffered from insufficient funding.

An independent development of the picture gallery did not come about until 1923, when the newly introduced statutes of the Moravian Museum laid the foundations for a systematically built collection. The original holdings were subsequently expanded by the City Gallery of Heinrich Gomperz and in the 1920s the museum acquired the collection of the industrialist Arnold Skutezky, which focused on Dutch painting. The tenure of dr. Albert Kutal is principally connected with creating the collection of medieval art coinciding with the exhibition of Gothic art in Moravia and Silesia in 1935–1936.

Many of the heritage monuments that were mostly borrowed for the exhibition from church and private property, became, over time, part of the collection of Old Masters. The acquisition of these collections helped set criteria for new acquisitions. The documentary mission of the picture gallery was augmented by a programme of acquiring the most significant works of Moravian provenance, both old and new. An important contribution to the building of the collection of the Old Masters can be credited to dr. Vlasta Kratinová. In addition to the programme-based extending of the existing collections she deserves credit for creating the unique collection of, until then neglected, Baroque art in Moravia.

The establishment of the Moravian Gallery in 1961 facilitated the structuralization into the individual collections following the engagement of the, formerly independent, Museum of Applied Arts from where works of non-commissioned art were transferred to the picture gallery,

The recent developments of the collection were given by the changing political situation after 1989, when the Moravian Gallery acquired the Governor’s Palace to serve its needs. The expanded exhibition spaces made it possible to present the collection of the Old Masters on a large scale. The current permanent exhibition covering art from the Gothic to the 19th century was opened in 2001.




Lenka Vodičková, public relations, +420 724 516 672, +420 532 169 174

5 budov, 1 galerie.

Pražákův palác Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum Místodržitelský palác Jurkovičova vila Rodný dům Josefa Hoffmanna

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