Department of Collections
The Collections Department is dedicated to three main areas as part of its management of the collections of the Prague City Gallery – the department professionally processes the collections, takes care of their correct storage and systematic registration, and presents them in the form of exhibitions, publications, texts, lectures and other activities aimed at both the professional and general public. The GHMP manages collections ranging from the Middle Ages to the present, with the main professional interest of the institution being directed towards the period from the second half of the 19th century to the current art scene. In its projects, it seeks to respond to and anticipate different methodological approaches and issues, striving for interdisciplinarity and the interconnection of institutions and individuals. An important part of the work of all the professional staff is the perception and understanding of the city of Prague (i.e., the place that to some extent determines the activities of the GHMP) as a natural artistic centre of the Czech Republic but also in its wider context of Europe. This is also related to the turn to the public space and its artistic, social and communicative function.
A good knowledge of the collection’s holdings also underpins other activities of the Collections Department, in particular the definition of priorities for acquisition activities – each newly acquired work must meet the criteria of quality, displayability, and its contribution to professional appreciation, while at the same time it must show evidence of the significant artistic expressions of its time. At GHMP, the collections are managed and stored separately within sub-collections of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and a collection of photographs and new media. Each sub-collection has its own curator, though in terms of acquisitions and wider professional appreciation, curators work across collections according to their professional interest.
The curators of the Collections Department, together with the management of the GHMP, prepare the concept of the exhibition programme. This follows several directions (current art, various forms of sculpture from the 19th to the 21st century, projects thematizing the role of the capital city of Prague on the art scene, etc.), while at the same time trying to participate in the formulation of topical themes important both for society and for the field of art exhibitions itself (climate crisis, sustainability, the situation in museums and galleries after the pandemic, the transformation of the viewer into a “digital nomad”, and so on). An important activity of the entire curatorial team is the joint discussions, which represent an important internal critical reflection of their own activities. The GHMP cooperates with both Czech and foreign institutions as well as individual experts in the field, and initiates and participates in research and exhibition projects of various types, ranging from art-history projects to those that emphasize methodological and society-related themes.
All members of the department work closely with other units of the GHMP, and the individual projects under preparation are a joint output of the entire institution.