Exhibition of Saint Wenceslaus – protector of the Czech lands

DATE 2008
INVESTOR Archbishopric of Prague and National Gallery.
LOCATION St Agnes Cloister, Prague 1

COOPERATION

DAM architekti

temporary exposition

The oldest Czech cult of St Wenceslas, continuously preserved throughout the Czech national history, was commemorated by the exhibition St Wenceslas – the Protector of the Czech Land organised by Archbishopric of Prague and National Gallery.

The exhibition took place in the Gothic churches of the St Agnes Cloister (18 Dec 2008 to 22 March 2009) established by the Przemyslids who were the descendants of Wenceslaus, the Duke of Bohemia, the first patron saint of the country. The exhibition was conceived as a cabinet display of the most valuable jewels from two major St Wenceslaus treasures – the one belonging to the St Vitus cathedral and the other belonging to the chapter cathedral in Stará Boleslav. This collection of unique items was complemented by carefully selected statues, paintings, books, and prints related to the theme of St Wenceslaus collected from the whole Bohemia. The architectural concept conformed to the sacred environment of old churches; creatively spotlighted, these churches were another exhibit in its right. A monumental altar made of glass panes was arranged on the three steps in the chancel area. The saintly relics were displayed here temporarily: the helmet, the sword, and the skull of St Wenceslaus accompanied by the rarely presented Palladium of the Czech Land. This altar architecture was accompanied by smaller glass cases with various precious items, books and prints, and simple stands supporting exhibited statues and paintings in the nave and other sanctuaries. By using minimal visual means of ascetic materialisation, we were able to underline the mystic effect of unique exhibits, so rarely displayed in such an exclusive collection.

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