Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and His by Thomas Ort (auth.)

By Thomas Ort (auth.)

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Extra resources for Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and His Generation, 1911–1938

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Courtesy of the Moravian Gallery, Brno. 3 Emil Filla, A Glass and a Bottle (1914). Oil and crushed material on canvas, 30 x 40 cm. Photograph © National Gallery in Prague, 2012. 4 Josef Chochol, apartment house on Neklan Street, Prague (1913– 1914). Courtesy of Národní Technické Muzeum (NTM, MAS, AAS Sbírka negativů [Josef Chochol]). 5 Pavel Janák, box with lid (1911). Creamware, ivory glaze, black painted lines. Courtesy of Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. 6 Josef Gočár, desk and chair (1915).

The groups to which he belonged disbanded and many of the journals for which he wrote were forced to close. Although he continued to publish during the war, he had no stable means of support and so in 1917 accepted an editorial position at Narodní listy [National News], the newspaper of the National Democratic Party. He worked there until 1920 when he resigned in protest of the paper’s increasingly conservative, nationalistic orientation and its attacks on President Masaryk. In 1921, he joined the editorial board of the independent, center-left newspaper Lidové noviny, where he remained until the end of his life.

When Czechoslovakia was forsaken by Britain and France at Munich in 1938, Čapek was devastated. Always in poor health but now depressed morally and physically, he contracted pneumonia in December 1938 and died on Christmas Day of that year. In some respects, this was a more merciful fate than that suffered by his closest peers, all of whom ended in concentration camps or in exile. Langer and Kodíček, as Jews, wisely escaped Czechoslovakia in the wake of the Nazi occupation in 1939 and spent the war years in London working with Beneš’s government-in-exile.

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