Press Release | 26. 10. 2016

Palace of Olomouc Museum of Art

27. 10. 2016 – 12. 2. 2017

EXHIBITION DESIGN | Petr Šmalec, Tomáš Lampar, Klára Jeništová
GRAPHIC DESIGN | Vladimír Vaca
INSTALLATION | Vlastimil Sedláček, Filip Šindelář
PUBLIC RELATIONS | Petr Bielesz, Pavel Konečný

In 1246, on the boundary of two municipal districts, the spital of the Holy Ghost was founded, with a small church, as an asylum for impoverished burghers of Olomouc. In 1785, under the Enlightenment reforms it was abolished and later it was used as a cadet school and later as a seminary, until 1841, when all the buildings were demolished. On the site of the spital, by 1845, a Late Classicist law court and prison was built, designed by Franz Brunner. 

In 1915 it was purchased by Adele and Moritz Donath, who had the prison part rebuilt as a distillery and the street wing was converted into their flat. The author of the Neoclassicist design with Cubist details on the main front was an Olomouc architect, Jaroslav Kovář, Sr. In 1926–1927 the upper floors of the middle wing were rebuilt and completed after the design of Emil Kugel and turned into a variety theatre and Radio-bar, while the underground was adapted into the Central cinema. In 1943-1944 the cinema was again adapted, after the design of the Prague architects Karel Škvor and Jan Zázvorka, Jr. After the war the premises were nationalized. 

In 1967 the former variety theatre was restored into the Theatre of Music. In the 1970s and 1980s it became one of the alternative scenes of independent arts and culture. In 1989 the whole Donath palace was acquired by the Gallery of Fine Arts Olomouc (now Olomouc Museum of Art), which for some ten years has been restoring it for the purposes of exhibitions, depository and administration of the Museum. 

Since 2006 the Museum in the adjoining vacant site, which arose by the demolition of five houses in 1969, has been preparing to build an annex for the Central European Forum. The Forum began to collect the visual arts of the Visegrad Four countries, Austria and part of Germany in the years 1945-1989. The design for the completion of the construction of the Museum and the vacant site is the work of Michal Sborwitz and another Prague architect, Jan Šépka.