CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — For decades, Master Czech Folk Artist Marj Nejdl has volunteered her time and talents in designing Christmas ornaments, egg decorating, illustrating books, buttons and more for the Czech community in Cedar Rapids, and now, pieces of her artwork are on display.
The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library held a ribbon cutting Jan. 27, 2024, organized by volunteers Joyce Langlas and Pam Lewis, for a new museum exhibit of Nejdl’s work.
Designated a “Living Iowa Treasure” by the Iowa Arts Council, Nejdl is a first-generation Czech American who learned the Czech tradition of egg decorating, called kraslice, from her mother and uncle.
Christmas ornaments designed by Marj Nejdl are among her works on display at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
She has not only taught the egg decorating art to Czech School students and others, but has volunteered for numerous Czech organizations, including Sokol, Czech Heritage Singers, the Federation of Czech Groups, Damska, CSA, the Czech Heritage Foundation and more.
Nejdl has donated her artwork to appear on Houby Days buttons, aprons, coffee mugs, and Christmas ornaments for the museum, among other works.
Dozens of friends and relatives gathered Saturday for the ribbon cutting and exhibit opening at the museum.
A new exhibit at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, honors the artwork of Marj Nejdl.
Langlas read a proclamation from Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell that cited Nejdl’s 45 years of volunteer service for the museum and other volunteer work, as well as the international acclaim brought by her artwork.
The proclamation designated Jan. 27, 2024, as “Marj Nejdl Recognition Day” in Cedar Rapids, while the museum designated the next month in Nejdl’s honor.
Learn more about the Czech artistry of Marj Nejdl, and see more photos from the exhibit opening, below: