History of gallery


Since the end of the 19th century, various local associations have organized exhibitions of historical and contemporary art in Jihlava. Exhibitions took place in various places of the city, for example in the city museum, the German House, the Besední House or in school premises. This vigorous exhibition activity resulted in an unsuccessful attempt to establish a city gallery in 1926. This plan only succeeded in 1946, when Marie Kovaříková donated her painting collection to the city. The newly established gallery acquired house No. 14 on Masaryk Square for its activities.

At the beginning of the 1950s, the gallery acquired more suitable premises on the square, in houses no. 57 and 58. The foundations of the professional institution were built by the sculptor Věra Doupníková during her six-year management of the gallery. In 1961, Valdemar Radil replaced her for a short time in management. In the fall of 1964, the gallery moved to the dignified premises of the building at Komenského Street 10. From that year, Ctimír Linhart was the head of the gallery.

In the second half of the 1960s, in addition to regionally oriented themes, the Jihlava gallery devoted itself to systematic monitoring of the development of contemporary Czech art and its progressive efforts. Through exhibitions such as Computer-graphic, the Phases Group, an exhibition of Italian visual poetry or the Club of Concretists, the gallery gained international recognition. At that time, art historian Otakar Máčel worked in the gallery, some exhibitions were also prepared here by Jiří Padrta, Zdeněk Felix, Arsen Pohribný and Jiří Valoch.

Since 1988, Jiří Hyliš has been the director of the gallery. After he took office, the gallery building on Komenského Street was repaired again, and at the same time, a new building on Masaryk Square was opened after a long-lasting reconstruction. The gallery thus acquired new exhibition spaces, which were used for the installation of a permanent exhibition from the gallery's collections, presenting Czech art from the nineteenth century to the sixties of the twentieth century. Since 1991, the art historian Dagmar Jelínková has worked in the gallery, and prepared a number of interesting author exhibitions (the Club of Concretists, Drapell, Sukdolák, Boška, Dörfl). The gallery established closer cooperation with the Austrian Cultural Institute and thus brought Austrian art closer to the Jihlava environment. In the 1990s, the gallery also managed to organize four years of the international art symposium at Čeřínek, which was attended by artists from many European countries.

From the second half of the 1990s to the present day, several art historians have taken turns in the gallery, of whom Jana Bojanovská has been working here for the longest time, whose exhibition activities focus primarily on Czech art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Kalvoda, Havelka, Podloucký, Hudeček).

Jiří Hyliš was the director of the gallery until 2003, when he was replaced by Kateřina Pažoutová for less than two years. Aleš Seifert has been in charge of the gallery since 2005. At the beginning of his seven-year stay, the depositories were moved from the ground floor of the building on Komenského Street to the attic. The previously unused basement of this building was reconstructed and the Alternativa gallery was established in this space from the end of 2005. It was intended primarily for the presentation of the work of young artists.

Since 2006, the gallery has established cooperation with the Slepíši association and established a collection of sculptural works created by blind authors. This collection was presented as a permanent exhibition. The form of presentation of art from the gallery's collections underwent changes, when instead of a permanent exhibition, changing exhibitions were organized every year on the upper floors of the building on Masaryk square. In the exhibition activity, a new emphasis was placed on contemporary Czech art, especially the presentation of artists from the "Stubborn" generation. Since 2005, the gallery has a library open to the public, focusing on specialist literature in the field of fine arts.

Daniel Novák has been working in the gallery since 2006, first as a curator, and since the end of 2012 as a director.