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26.01.2017 - 30.04.2017

Not a Single Snake in Sight

Josef Čapek – František Hrubín – Jan Skácel – Miloslav Kabeláč

The world of children is one of the areas modern art has touched with unusual intensity. The painter and writer Josef Čapek paid great attention to it. His work for children has a unique place in Czech culture. Moreover, he inspired other artists to channel their creativity into works for children: the poets František Hrubín and Jan Skácel. Their collections Modré nebe (Blue Sky, 1948) and Kam odešly laně (Where did the hind go?, 1985) were inspired by Čapek's pastels and drawings for children, shown first at an exhibition in 1935. In 1950, Miloslav Kabeláč composed the cycle of choral works for children called Modré nebe (Blue Skies) with the subtitle "a book of children's songs inspired by Josef Čapek's drawings, with poems by František Hrubín set to music". The exhibition shows these relationships in the form of a multimedia installation containing Čapek's pastels and drawings, poems by Hrubín and Skácel (including their spoken form), recordings of Kabeláč’s compositions and their juxtaposition with present-day children's drawings.

The exhibition was prepared in cooperation with the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic within the Strategie AV21 programme. The publication accompanying the exhibition not only deals with the analysis of the works exhibited, but also outlines the prerequisites for an interest in the arts for children in the 19th century, the period preceding the intense interest of modern artists in this field.