By Cindy Hadish
CEDAR RAPIDS – Visitors can experience folk traditions and customs from the Czech Republic in a new exhibition shown exclusively at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.
“Celebration! Rituals and Revelry of Life,” explores a years-worth of holidays through colorful Czech masks, costumes, religious artifacts and other items directly from the National Museum in Prague.
“This exhibition is prepared only for this museum,” visiting curator Petra Červinková said Monday, as preparations for the exhibit continued. “These 19th Century artifacts don’t like much to travel.”
Červinková, who manages the ethnographic department at the National Museum, and Monika Tauberová, the National Museum’s textile curator, arrived from Prague to help prepare the exhibition, which opens with a special event on Thursday, March 13.
“Several years ago, the National Museum offered several exhibitions to prepare for us,” said Stefanie Kohn, curator for the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. “This one sounded like something our visitors would like, to connect to their Czech heritage and also to learn about other customs.”
More than 200 items are on display, following a year of sacred and whimsical holidays and traditions, from Easter customs through the winter celebrations of St. Nicholas Day, Advent and Christmas. Several kroje, or folk costumes, represent traditional dresses worn for weddings and other events in various regions of the Czech Republic.
Read more about Celebrations in the upcoming edition of the Corridor Business Journal.
The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, at 1400 Inspiration Place SW, will offer a special opening night for the ribbon-cutting of the exhibition on Thursday, March 13. Complimentary Czech food and drink will be available, along with a masquerade of costumed players to help bring the exhibit to life.
Museum members receive free admission. For non-members, admission is $10.
Schedule of events for Thursday, March 13:
5:30 p.m. Doors Open
5:45 p.m. Welcoming remarks & ribbon cutting
7 p.m. Exhibit lecture by Petra Červinková of the National Museum in Prague
Programming for the Celebration exhibit is sponsored by Don & Irene Hamous.
Regular hours for the exhibit galleries are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
(photos (c) Cindy Hadish/Homegrown Iowan and Corridor Business Journal)Ribbon-decorated shoes that represent a traditional gift from a Czech man to his fiancee are among more than 200 items on display in the “Celebrations!” exhibit at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Stefanie Kohn, curator for the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, finishes preparations for “Celebration! Rituals and Revelry of Life,” a new exhibition that explores folk traditions through colorful Czech masks, costumes, religious artifacts and other items directly from the National Museum in Prague. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Visiting curator Petra Červinková holds up an anděl, or angel, one of three characters from the Svaty Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) holiday celebrated in the Czech Republic. The new exhibition at the museum explores a years-worth of Czech holidays and customs.(photo/Cindy Hadish)
A beaded bridal cap is among the artifacts on display in “Celebration! Rituals and Revelry of Life,” a new exhibition at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)