History of collection

Lacina Bohdan
Landscape with orbits, 1967
Tichý František
The Magician with Cards, 1932
Lacinová Sylva
Black Thoughts, 1963
Zrzavý Jan
Heap, 1951
Jarcovják Vladimír
Shield, 1971

A key factor in the collection’s initial years was a donation by Marie Kovaříková that added 79 artworks, mainly Czech art from the early 20th century, to what was then the collection of the Jihlava Museum. The subsequent expansion of the collection was largely dictated by how state-owned galleries were organised at the time, when they were managed centrally by the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry made special acquisitions of artworks for galleries that had only small collections and were unable to assemble more comprehensive permanent exhibitions of 20th-century art. From the start the Vysočina Regional Gallery’s collection primarily covered Czech art from the 20th century. Works by artists of national renown were bought alongside works by artists of regional significance. These early acquisitions also included the officially-approved Social Realism style. Prints and drawings were more affordable than paintings, and they formed the larger part of the gallery’s acquisitions. Sculpture accounted for the smallest number of new acquisitions, and works from the 19th century were only acquired rarely.
The gallery’s progressive exhibition work in the latter half of the 1960s resulted in many notable acquisitions that are now the pride of the collection. Up to 1989 other major acquisitions concentrated on works by the Group 42 artists, interwar social painting, and landscape artists from the Art Society and the Mařák School.
Since 2005 exhibitions at the gallery have highlighted contemporary art, especially artists from The Hard-Headed group. This has also been the focus of modest acquisitions.