Josef Hoffmann: Inspirations

Permanent Exhibition
Josef Hoffmann Museum
náměstí Svobody 263, Brtnice u Jihlavy (opening hours)

curator
Martina Straková
opening 14/6/2009

Entrance fee
Admission - ticket for the whole building including a guided tour
Full 40 CZK, Concessions 20 CZK, Group 20 CZK, Family 70 CZK 

The permanent exhibition is to open in the Birthplace of Josef Hoffmann. Timeless Design its predecessor in Hoffmann's house in Brtnice is being replaced by Inspirations. From 16th June, 2009 the visitors to Brtnice will again be able to visit the museum to learn about the wide-ranging inspirations behind the work of this important architect and designer of the first half of the 20th century. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with short chapters describing the different sources and rich photographic documentation. The exhibition is being prepared by the Moravian Gallery as a joint project with the MAK in Vienna and with financial support by EU Culture 2007.


Josef Hoffmann was an architect and designer of considerable international renown in the first half of the 20th century. The Birthplace of Josef Hoffmann in Brtnice is one of the places known to art theoreticians, designers and architects, but the wider public in the Czech Republic is not as familiar with the place as it would deserve.

The concept of the permanent exhibition is based on this paradox, and the show should thus satisfy all those interested in the work of Josef Hoffmann. Its main subject is inspiration. It follows from any viewing that Brtnice is a principal inspirational motif in Josef Hoffmann's work, as a place he loved deeply, something he expressed in the opening section of his autobiography. The collections in the Birthplace of Josef Hoffmann also feature a unique series of ethnographic objects (folk embroidery, furniture, etc.). The series represents only a fragment of the collection that Hoffmann built in order to create a reservoir of sources for his own work.

Alongside these motifs, the exhibition introduces other, better-known inspirations for Hoffmann's work (the influence of Otto Wagner, British culture, etc.) which is presented though examples of architecture and arts and crafts. Apart from Hoffmann's most important realisations (the sanatorium in Purkersdorf; Stoclet Palace, Brussels; the Sonja Knips House, Vienna), emphasis are placed on the buildings that Hoffmann designed on the territory of the Czech Republic (Poldi House, Kladno; Primavesi House, Kouty nad Desnou; Fritz Grohmann House, Vrbno pod Pradědem; Sigmund Berl House, Bruntál). The architect's most outstanding creations  are presented in the form of models and will be supplemented by examples of arts and crafts, photographs, drawings and texts.

The exhibition will be in 2010 accompanied by a catalogue with short chapters devoted to individual subjects, with a rich pictorial section. The Autobiography of Josef Hoffmann is also being prepared for publication.

The exhibition is organised by the Moravian Gallery in Brno in collaboration with the MAK -  Austrian Museum of Applied / Contemporary Arts, Vienna. The project is financially supported by EU Culture and Czech architecture Foundation.

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