After more than six months of reconstruction, Bílek’s villa in Prague’s Hradčany will reopen to visitors on Tuesday.
The unusual building was built by the sculptor and graphic artist František Bílek (1872-1941) according to his own plans.
Today it serves as a monument to his work, and houses exhibitions related to his projects. During this last reconstruction, non-original elements created during the previous renovation were removed from the house.
Bílek’s villa has been managed by the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague since the 1960s. According to them, the creation of a new exhibition also serves to arrange the exhibits so that each space represents a specific theme of his work.
“These are monumental works in Prague and the beginning of his work, while we tried to install the second part of his work in Chýnov and accentuate historical issues,” said Martin Krummholz, Ph.D. Bílek’s works from his peak creative period are presented in the permanent exhibition.
According to Bílek, the Prague villa was supposed to express “Life as a field full of ripe ears of corn, providing nutrition for the brothers every day.”
Many ears of corn are tied in sheaves–forming a pillar. Some of the columns are unfinished because they do not carry anything. The overall design of the building can be interpreted as a scythe, harvesting grain.
From the very beginning, Bílek’s work was shaped by deep piety, and in addition to biblical themes, Bílek was also interested in the national history and ideas of Czech religious reformers. friendship with the painter Zdenka Braunerová, with the poets Julius Zeyer, Jakub Deml, and especially with Otokar Březina, whose poetry Bílek often accompanied art artistically informed his work.
The Villa reopens today, June 21st with both the new and permanent exhibitions open to visitors.