An Extensive Part of the Waldes Collection Returns to Heirs

Absolute Arts 10 October 1999
On Oct. 21, 1999, the National Gallery is scheduled to return an extensive part of the Jindrich Waldes art collection to the Waldes heirs. The collection was legally restituted in 1996.

Return of this property represents a general problem since it also involves other properties of claimants still held by the state. In recent years, this issue raised much criticism and discussions about the restitution laws and how the Czech Republic lives up to them.

This part of the collection to be returned includes works of Frantisek Kupka, a prominent name in the Waldes Collection and modern art. The National Gallery in Prague has made an offer to purchase some of them, which also created a controversy. Up to the beginning of October, however, National Gallery has not been able to secure the necessary funds. It should also be noted that many of the valuable works were already donated to the National Gallery as well as other works to the Museum of Decorative Arts, for example the Karlstejn Treasure.

Since the continuation of the Waldes collection is not possible it is planned to be sold, but before the break-up takes place, it was decided to mount an exhibit. Entitled Kupka - Waldes, An Artist and His Collector, the exhibition will take place at the Rudolfinum Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic, from Dec. 7, 1999, to Jan. 9, 2000. Accompanying the exhibit will be a comprehensive catalogue and an overview of Kupka's art in the Waldes Collection.

Present at the press conference will be Jiri Waldes, Petr Meissner and Ludmila Vachtov· who will discuss issues concerning the Waldes Collection. Mr. Waldes is a representative of the heirs and son of Jindrich Waldes. Mr. Meissner is a Czech antiques and art dealer and has represented the heirs to the Waldes Collection in the Czech Republic for the past four years. Ms. Vachtov, an art critic and a writer, is one of the world's most knowledgeable experts on the work of Frantisek Kupka.
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