About the exhibition
Exhibition Godmother Death (Smrt kmotřička) presents death as the inspiration for composers, painters and writers through works of art from the fields of literature, music, theatre, film and fine art, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Some of the rare exhibits on display include baroque prints, unique drawings by Josef Čapek from the concentration camp, the manuscripts of Dvořák’s Requiem and Suk’s Asrael Symphony, and the tombstone of the Little Saint Girl, wreathed in mystery. The exhibition also features original works by famous artists such as Olbram Zoubek, Vladimír Franz and Karel Stádník. The exhibition is open from 18th June 2014 to 23rd February 2015.
Classical with Dvořák’s Requiem, but also rock and detective stories
Godmother Deathexhibition at the Czech Museum of Music presents death as one of the most powerful and timeless sources of inspiration in Czech art. For a time, the former Church of Saint Mary Magdalene will be filled with precious and rarely exhibited items from the National Museum’s collections, as well as interesting works loaned by leading cultural institutions around the Czech Republic. There will be exhibits of folk literature, displays on the dance of death from the Renaissance era, Baroque hymn books and unique works by artists imprisoned in concentration camps, as well as exhibits from the present day.
The title Godmother Deathis a reference to folk songs and fairy tales. Visitors can meet the figure of Death through exhibits and snippets of music from Rudolf Karel’s opera Godmother Death. They can also recall more generally well known works such as Erben’s Kytice, which is presented in various forms, such as in a comic book. Music lovers are sure to enjoy the original scores of Dvořák’s Requiem and Suk’s symphony Asrael. The overall atmosphere is enhanced by massive tombstones loaned by Prague Cemetery Administration, featuring the unusual story of the Little Saint Girl – famously symbolising a protector of small children. Contemporary art is represented by works by famous artists such as Olbram Zoubek, Vladimír Franz and Karel Stádník.
The exhibition is livened up by a series of film, theatre and audio recordings and is accompanied by a printed leaflet which presents key topics and exhibits and provides a basic overview of the concept of death in various artistic fields and periods.