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News Release

CZECH AVANT-GARDE BOOK DESIGN, 1922-40 Reflections on European Art and Photography

Curator, Zdenek Primus, Vysoká Skola Umeleckoprumyslová, Prague

Czech artists were passionate participants and innovators in the avant-garde movements that transformed European art in the years between the two World Wars. The period saw a flowering of Czech culture parallel to that of the Weimar Republic in Germany. This exhibition presents the brilliance of Czech graphic design, illustration, photography, and photomontage in the 20s and 30s. It is comprised of approximately 800 books and journals generously loaned from the collection of Czech scholar and author Zdenek Primus. The exhibition is circulated by Curatorial Assistance, Los Angeles, and will be presented in two parts.

The exhibition highlights the work of several masters of Czech book design, including Karel Teige, Jindrich Styrský, Toyen, Ladislav Sutnar, Vít Obrtel, Zdenek Rossmann, Otakar Mrkvicka, Frantisek Muzika, and many others. Most of the artists represented in the collection were members of the 1920s avant-garde association Devetsil. The collection is the largest of its kind and is one of the most complete in the area of Czech avant-garde book production.

Payne Gallery is located in the Priscilla Payne Hurd Center for Music and Art, on the Church Street Campus of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Payne Gallery is open 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, except Mondays and major holidays, and is free of charge to the public. Bethlehem is sixty miles north of Philadelphia and ninety miles west of New York City.