‘Those Children Keep on Playing’
opening: 5/11 2016
dates: 6/11 – 12/3 2017
curators: Pavla Pečinková, Richard Drury
The exhibition ‘Those Children Keep on Playing’ highlights the important contribution made by Josef and Karel Čapek to the development of children’s literature during the First Czechoslovak Republic of the 1920s and ’30s. It also shows the significance of the world of children in the Čapek brothers’ work. On display are paintings, drawings, sketches, children’s books in various language versions and Josef’s fabric designs. The exhibition also includes works from the 1910s to the 1940s that have never before been shown to the public.
The Čapek brothers contributed in an exceptional way to the identity of autonomous Czech culture and its incorporation into the international context. Although they strictly opposed all nationalist conceptions of artistic expression, it is their work that is acknowledged as the Czech nation’s special contribution to the cultural heritage of the 20th century.
Out of the diverse and versatile work of the Čapek brothers, GASK is presenting their art and literature devoted to children’s themes. The Čapek brothers’ work is not simply presented here as an exemplary but concluded chapter of Czech cultural history, but as a living part of contemporary cultural awareness. For precisely this reason, its conception isn’t just aimed at Čapek experts and admirers but above all at children and young people to whom it seeks to provide a different approach than the encyclopaedic one to learning about this treasure of our national cultural tradition.
The exhibition is divided into several thematic fields and an important part of it is an interactive area providing children and adults alike with space to play. The GASK Learning Centre has prepared a programme of original accompanying events for visitors of all ages, including school groups. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring reproductions of the exhibited works that is aimed at enriching our knowledge about the relationship of the Čapek brothers’ work and the world of children, a topic that specialist literature has very much overlooked during the past fifty years.