Above: An exhibition of photos by Vladimír Birgus at the Museum of Decorative Arts – House at the Black Madonna in Prague

Top 10 Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries in Prague

For the art lover, Prague should rank among the top of the world’s must-visit destinations. This city of about 1.3 million people punches far above its weight class when it comes to modern and contemporary art. Tourists in Prague crowd themselves into three places: the castle, Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. But I found no fewer than 10 museums and galleries rich with world-class art, all of which were deliciously quiet. They ranged from converted palaces to vast and airy industrial buildings.

The first exhibition of contemporary Czech art I ever saw was at the House at the Golden Ring, now the City of Prague Museum. But then, it belonged to the Prague City Gallery, and it put on an engrossing show amid the vaults of its cellar. Some of the works had an ironic edge, and many of them were downright creepy, a feeling only enhanced by the setting.

More than 20 years later, a great deal of contemporary Czech art still has an eerie sensibility, a quality I quite enjoy. Czech artists also have a great affinity for glass. Numerous artists there, both modern and contemporary, work wonders with it. Bohemia is famous for its crystal, and local glass blowers and sculptors have deeply explored the medium, creating a panoply of stunning objects.

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