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Canceled - National Treasure: The Art of Joža Uprka

Date: 19 March 2020 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Venue: Embassy of the Czech Republic

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED! The Embassy of the Czech Republic will open the exhibition "National Treasure: The Art of Joža Uprka" from the George T. Drost Collection on March 19, 2020, at 6 pm. The exhibit presents a selection of paintings by Moravian artist Joža Uprka (1861-1940), whose work documents the folk life of his region located in today’s Czech Republic.          

**************A Message from Embassy of the Czech Republic **************

Due to the growing concern of the spread of COVID-19 at large gatherings, we are canceling the exhibit: National Treasure - The Art of Joža Uprka. Thank you so much for your interest in this event. We plan to reschedule this opening for a later date.

Warmest regards,

Public Diplomacy Department
Embassy of the Czech Republic


About the event:
Uprka captures everyday people and places of his time. His pictures are rich and bright in color and influenced by the French Impressionist movement. Thanks to him, we may now enjoy and learn about the folk traditions, religious customs, social and cultural daily life, and distinctive dress “kroj” across much of Moravia in the 19th century, which have all but disappeared today, with the exception of Slovácko.    

More about the artist             
Joža Uprka was born into a peasant family in Moravia. Inspired by his father’s amateur art, Uprka studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and later the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he founded a Czech organization "Škréta." The association encouraged modern artistic thinking and included other great artists of his time, such as Uprka’s friend Alfons Mucha. Becoming familiar with impressionism in Paris, Uprka established himself as an accomplished colorist, developing a vibrant color palette characteristic of his work. Returning to his native lands, Uprka captured the ethnographic details and folk traditions of the Moravian countryside, offering a new way of seeing and portraying the otherwise familiar, strongly rural objects. Moreover, Uprka depicted rural labor, such as breaking stone, plowing and sowing fields, and harvesting, all demanding hand-on and hard physical exertion. With the use of heavy machinery, these occupations are largely forgotten today.  

More about the collector      
Art collector George Drost, who was born in Brno in the Czech Republic, has been collecting Uprka’s artwork since the 1990s and has accumulated a large collection in the United States. Drost has focused on Uprka’s art as “his work felt very familiar,” nostalgically reminding him of “traditional subject matter from the calendars” of his youth. Recognizing his intense interest in his style and theme, Drost has met Uprka’s descendants, art experts, dealers, and art enthusiasts, who share his passion for collecting the notable artist’s works of a more traditional and simpler time before the forces of industrialization and urbanization changed the landscape.

Event Details:

Date/Time: March 19, 2020, 6-8 pm

Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic
3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008

RSVP: https://uprka.eventbrite.com      

Admission is free.             
Embassy Security Policy: For entrance, all guests will be subject to a security screening. Photo ID is required. Bags and suitcase are not allowed. Only small purses are permitted but must be opened for inspection. Coat check is not available.                       

Parking: Non-metered parking is available on Spring of Freedom Street and Tilden Street.        

Closest Metro: The Embassy is about a 15-20 minute walk from the Van Ness Metro Station.