New exhibition projects were realized in 15 National Museum buildings. Due to the limitations caused by the temporary closure of the Historical Building of the National Museum, the activities were concentrated in the other buildings, in particular the New Building of the National Museum, the Náprstek Museum, the Czech Museum of Music, the National Memorial on Vítkov and the Ethnographic Museum.
Key exhibition projects
The National Museum opened over thirty exhibitions in 2016. Among these, mention must be made of the largest exhibition project, “Retro”, which brought over a hundred thousand visitors to the museum thanks to its accompanying events. The Náprstek Museum was very active in preparing exhibitions. There was the exhibition “Salvaged Treasures of Buddhism” from Kabul, Afghanistan, and the exhibition “Headhunters”, illustrating the traditions and present-day life in Papua New Guinea. Among other projects organized by the Náprstek Museum was the exhibition “When the Emperor is Dying”, which opened in the Czech Museum of Music, symbolically concluding the year commemorating the King and Emperor, Charles IV. The National Museum also remained active abroad, whether this was the exhibition “Castles”, shown in two places in Malaysia, or the commemoration of Charles IV. The National Museum prepared exhibitions presenting the historical figure and the legacy of the great emperor in Estonia, Latvia and Portugal.
Czech castles and chateaus
A travelling exhibition prepared in cooperation with the National Heritage Institute, since 2014: India, Delhi, Red Fort (November 2013 – January 2014); Bhutan, Thimphu (February – March 2014); Nepal, Kathmandu (March – May 2014); India, Leh, Leh Palace (June – September 2014); India, Kolkata (September – October 2014); India, Mumbai, Nehru Science Centre exhibition gallery (November 2014); India, Goa, Panaji, gallery of Kala Academy (December 2014 – January 2015); Afghanistan, Kabul, Bagh-e Babur (February – June 2015).
In 2016, the exhibition was installed in Malaysia, at the National Museum of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (from 29. 2. 2016), from where it will continue to Philippines in 2017.
The exhibition presents a significant proportion of the castle architecture of Bohemia and Moravia, in particular the UNESCO World Heritage sites (Prague Castle, Český Krumlov, Kutná Hora, Kroměříž, Lednice-Valtice complex, Telč). There are also such important castles as Karlštejn, Křivoklát, Jindřichův Hradec, the Bezděz and Trosky ruins and Hluboká Castle. The exhibition includes examples of historical topographic maps, which show the transformation of castles and mansions throughout the centuries and allow a look into the extensive and valuable collection of 16th – 20th century prints, drawings and paintings held by the National Museum. Besides printed reproductions, visitors can see digitalized 3D models of some of the buildings.
Charles IV, Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor
A travelling exhibition, Bauska Castle, Latvia (7. 8. 2016 – 30. 11. 2016), Kiek in de Kök & Bastion Tunnels Museum, Riga, Estonia (9. 12. 2016 – 28. 2. 2017), the exhibition concept prepared by the curators of the National Museum (with the cooperation of Doc. Mgr. Robert Antonín, Ph.D.).
The aim of the National Museum's exhibition project dedicated to the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the birth of Charles IV was to commemorate Charles IV as an important European politician and the sovereign who made Prague a metropolis of the Roman Empire and the capital city of the Kingdom of Bohemia. The panel exhibition was accompanied by a set of 14 sculptural artefacts from the National Museum's collections presenting the work of the master builder of the St. Vitus Catherdral, Petr Parléř, and his workshop. The medieval originals were accompanied by plaster casts of the masks of mythical men from the eastern façade of the Old Town Square bridge tower, associated with the sculptural decorations of the enthroned figures of Charles IV and Wenceslaus IV. Two ducats from the Charles IV period were also on show. The exhibition was accompanied by a video projection, briefly introducing the visitors to selected castles, in particular Karlštejn, Radyň and Kašperk, which Charles IV had built to guard the Imperial Regalia and to protect trade routes.
Charles IV and Faith
Foreign exhibition, Museu da Presidência da República – Palácio da Cidadela de Cascais, Lisbon, Portugal (14. 12. 2016–29. 1. 2017)
Exhibition concept prepared by the curators of the National Museum (in cooperation with doc. Mgr. Robert Antonín, Ph.D.)
The National Museum’s exhibition project dedicated to the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the birth of Charles IV introduced Charles IV to Portuguese audiences not only as an important European ruler, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, but also as a deeply pious man. The panel exhibition, divided into two main sections (the reign of Charles IV, and Charles IV as a pious man and a Christian ruler), was supplemented by a small set of unique objects from the National Museum's collections: a set of goldsmith’s pieces, statues, pieces of Gothic stained glass from museum collections dating from the second quarter of the 15th century and rarely preserved in the Czech lands, a selection of copies of sculptural portraits from the triforium of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, and a 14th century aquamanile in the shape of a standing lion. The exhibition also included a video projection introducing visitors to selected monuments in Prague and Bohemia from the time of the reign of Charles IV.