Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Malá Strana and Hradčany (Prague, Czech Republic)

John Lennon Wall

After our lengthy perusal of the Musaion, we walked through Malá Strana (the Little Quarter or Lesser Town). We saw more beautiful buildings, including the Czech Museum of Music, among others, before we found our way to the John Lennon Wall.

After John Lennon was murdered in 1980, an image of him was painted on this wall (across from the French embassy), along with political graffiti and Beatles lyrics. The secret police kept whitewashing the wall, but the graffiti was always replenished. (Not only was John Lennon a pacifist hero for many young people, but most Western pop music was banned by the communists -- some Czech musicians were arrested for playing Western pop music.)

After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, much of the original graffiti was lost to weathering and additional graffiti, but now visiting tourists have contributed their own political messages and other graffiti.

Yes, the guitarist was playing a Beatles tune. And yes, we gave him some coin. :-)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vests and jackets and shawls, oh my! (Czech folk costumes, Musaion)

As I mentioned previously, the Musaion in Prague had quite an extensive collection of Czech folk costumes (see my earlier posts here, here, and here).  In this post I'll include photos of individual garments and accessories from the Musaion collection.  (You can click on the photos to enlarge them, if desired. My apologies for the poor quality of some of the photos -- what with low lighting and reflections from the glass, it's hard to get good photos in museums, at times.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Czech out these hats! (Musaion, Prague)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a bit of an obsession with hats, so I took photos of some of the Czech hats at the Musaion (Ethnographic Museum) in Prague.  (My apologies for the terrible pun in the title of this post -- I blame the t-shirts we saw in Prague emblazoned with "Czech this out!")

(Note that you can click on any of the photos to enlarge them.)

Here is a closeup of one of the hats in the wedding tableau (you can see the whole tableau in the photos at the end of my previous post). Isn't it wonderful? I love the tiny size and the elaborate interweaving of ribbon and beadwork.  I so want a hat like this -- although I know it would look ridiculous on me.  The shiny beads and ribbon remind me of some of the Polish hats I saw at the Ethnographic Museum

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Czech Folk Costumes (Musaion, Prague)

The Musaion (Ethnographic Museum) in Prague has an extensive collection of Czech folk costumes dispersed through a number of different rooms and display cases. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences from the Polish folk costumes at the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków.  I also found a list of the key differences between Czech and Slovak costumes here -- number 13 on the list is "If woman has a really giant bow attached to her head, it’s Czech."  Note the enormous bow on the costume pictured above.

I love the fanciful quality of design lines that extend well beyond the frame of the body.  It looks as if she could fly away on the first stiff wind.   Or maybe the bow can become a propeller and she just skims along the ground like a low-flying helicopter.  

(Remember that you can click on the photos to enlarge them, if desired.)