History

The House of Artists (originally named Kaiser Franz Josef-Jubiläums-Künstlerhaus) was built in 1910 following long-term initiatives of the Moravian Art Association (Mährischer Kunstverein) according to the design of the Viennese architect Heinrich Carl Ried. It was opened on 25 March 1911 with an exhibition of the Association of German-Moravian Visual Artists (Vereinigung deutsch-mährischer bildender Künstler). Members of artists’ associations and art clubs from Moravia and Silesia, Austria, Germany and Bohemia exhibited there in a wide range of programmes including solo and group exhibitions. There were also thematic exhibitions related to various fields and periods of visual culture of Europe and the world.

The year 1939 is associated with changes in the management of the Moravian Art Association that was the owner of the House of Artists since its construction; beginning with 1940 it was governed by new statutes, and Nazi organizations had their say concerning the exhibition programme. In 1944, the organization of exhibitions was prohibited; the Association was then abolished by the Directorate of National Security (based on the decree of the President of the Republic from 25 September 1945) and at the proposal of the Provincial National Committee in Brno from 6 March 1946.

After the liberation of the city in 1945, the House of Artists was taken over by the Brno City Administration, and the National Committee of the Provincial Capital of Brno handed it over to the artists under the name of the Brno House of Arts. Since 1946, the institution has been administered by the Municipal National Committee – the Department of Education. The building, slightly damaged by bombing in 1945, was reconstructed in 1946–1947 according to the design of the Brno architect Bohuslav Fuchs and acquired its current functionalist appearance; a less significant reconstruction of the interiors took place in 1971. The latest reconstruction with more fundamental interventions in the original architecture occurred in 2008–2009, designed by the architects Petr Hrůša and Markéta Hrůšová.

Since 1958, the Brno House of Arts has been in charge of the Renaissance palace named House of the Lords of Poděbrady on Dominikánská Street No. 9/348. An exhibition programme has been launched there in the same year. From 1959, the name of the palace changed to the House of the Lords of Kunštát. In the rooms on the ground floor, a unique grouping of exhibition rooms serving various artistic disciplines was established – a Cabinet of Prints, the Jaromír Funke Cabinet of Photography and the Cabinet of Architecture; solo, group and thematic exhibitions were held in the exhibition halls on the first floor. In 1990, the building was closed due to reconstruction; after its completion in 2003, the exhibition activity was resumed on the premises with changed layout. The Cabinets on the ground floor of the building ceased to exist, the Trojka Café was newly opened, and the G99 Gallery was moved to the basement; from 2007 onwards, it has realised its projects on the ground floor of the building. Since 2017, artists in residency working in the studios in the attic have been exhibiting in the G99 Gallery.

Throughout its existence, the House of Arts has operated as a Kunsthalle with no collections of its own; by 2020, over two thousand exhibitions with an emphasis on visual arts of the 20th century and the current art scene of Czech and European provenance have taken place there. With its programme and realized exhibitions, the Brno House of Arts constitutes an important part of the cultural history of the city of Brno, but also in an international context.

You can purchase books about the history of House of Arts Brno in our Bookshop.

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