Alfons Mucha's posters – exhibition in Prague's Municipal House

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17. 4. 2013

The exhibition of Ivan Lendl's collection of Art Nouveau posters is one of the most important art events in the Czech Republic in 2013.

The complete collection of posters by the renowned Art Nouveau artist from the Lendl collection will be exhibited for the first time! The exhibition opens in April and will continue until the end of June. Ivan Lendl will personally participate in the vernissage and has also organized several guided tours. Alfons Mucha became famous mainly thanks to his theatre posters of Gismond for Parisian actress Sarah Bernhardt.

Ivan Lendl is a famous tennis player of Czech origin. In addition to his art on the court, he is well known for his passion for the posters of Alfons Mucha. He began collecting them at the start of the 1980s, at a time when he was ranked among the top ten tennis players in the world for 13 full seasons. Together with Mucha expert and curator Jack Rennert, Lendl has put together a unique collection, which will now for the first time be exhibited as a whole in Prague's Municipal House.

Lendl's collection of Mucha posters is extraordinary. At one point the tennis player simply fell in love with Mucha’s posters. He even custom-built his house for the posters and has been quoted as saying that his "only interests are sports, Mucha, and my family." Jiří Mucha, the son of the famous painter, helped Lendl create this unique collection.

Although the exact number of posters is unknown, it is said that the Czech painter created 154 of them. Lendl's collection consists of 151 originals, in other words most of them. Only a few pieces are missing for the collection to be complete. In an interview Lendl said that one of the missing pieces is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York and another one is in a museum in Hamburg. He has no doubt that there is still another one, but nothing has been heard about it for a long time.

Who's who

Alfons Mucha (1860 – 1939), Czech painter and designer, whose illustrations, drawings, pictures and decorations accompanied the Belle Époque and Art Nouveau eras. He worked in Vienna, Paris and the USA and was renowned in particular for his theatre posters for French actress Sarah Bernhardt. He designed the first postage stamps and bank notes of the independent Czechoslovak state and was a graphic artist and creator of world-famous Art Nouveau posters. A cycle of large canvases inspired by the history of the Slavic peoples entitled The Slav Epic is exhibited in the Veletržní Palace in Prague. On Panská Street you can visit the first museum devoted to his life and work.

Ivan Lendl (born 1960), American tennis player of Czech origin, the former world number one and one of the most renowned figures in world tennis. Tennis Magazine named him one of the ten most successful tennis players in the world.

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