Department of Public Sculpture Management

Mission of the Public Sculpture Collection

In 1963, the Prague City Gallery was put in charge of the management of the Public Sculpture Collection owned by the City of Prague. The Department of Public Sculpture Management takes systematic care of the entrusted works of art and provides both routine maintenance and extensive restoration interventions that restore the material and artistic qualities of the exhibited works. The department is also engaged in exhibition and publication activities. You can visit the medium-term exhibition Stone Treasures of Prague Gardens in the cellars of the Troja Chateau. The department also deals with archiving and processing documents relating to the sculptures entrusted to it. Since 2019, it has been intensively involved in the Art for the City programme, for which it provides the conception and implementation of projects of temporary artworks and interventions in public space. It is also the centre of the working group of the Prague City Council Commission for Art in Public Space and provides expert advice to all those interested in the Art for the City programme.

The department monitors the development of the latest technologies in the field of restoration and care of historical monuments and translates new scientific knowledge and procedures into practice. The vision of the department is to be a modern and comprehensive workplace, combining professional care of exterior artworks and monuments with curatorial activities in the field of art in public space.

Public Sculpture Collection

The Public Sculpture Collection managed by the Prague City Gallery reflects, as a whole, the development of Prague sculpture from the 11th to the 21st century. It also includes one of the earliest surviving sculptural works of Bohemian provenance – a Romanesque figural relief, originally located at Judith’s Bridge. The basis of the collection, however, is mainly excellent Baroque sculptural monuments. The rich collection includes, for example, a gallery of statues and sculptural groups from the high-Baroque period lining Charles Bridge, mythological sculptures and garden vases by Matthias Bernard Braun for the Vrtba Garden, and an array of vases and sculptures in the garden of the Troja Chateau.

The social and historical interest in prominent figures of national life during the nineteenth century led to the construction of large monuments such as the Jan Hus Memorial in Prague’s Old Town Square, the statue of St. Wenceslas in Wenceslas Square, or the monument of František Palacký on the Vltava embankment. From the mid-20th century, in addition to newly built monuments to war victims and heroes, freestanding sculptural works began to be installed in public spaces. In the second half of the 20th century, the largest part of government funding of art went to artworks located in newly built housing developments and public buildings. Among the projects of the socialist period there are also quality works by contemporary artists that can bear comparison with the trends then prevailing on the international sculptural scene.

The 21st century has brought a revival of both public interest in shared spaces in the city and questions about the role of art in public space. Thanks to this, the Public Sculpture Collection at the GHMP also includes a number of contemporary works of art with current themes.