The Jan and Meda
Mládek Foundation


The Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation was established by Meda Mládek in 1999 in order to support fine art and make the collection of modern art gathered by Jan and Meda Mládek since the 1950’s until the present accessible to the public.

The purpose of the Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation, which oversees Museum Kampa, is to support the relationship of both domestic and foreign visitors to fine art, acquaint the public with modern and contemporary fine art, and contribute to the renewal and raising awareness of tradition mainly in artistic and cultural fields. The Foundation achieves its aims through a variety of activities: operating Museum Kampa in the building of Sova’s Mills on the Prague island of Kampa, where on display is a permanent exhibition featuring a collection of paintings, drawings and graphic art by the leading pioneer of abstract art, František Kupka, and a collection of sculptures by the Cubist sculptor Otto Gutfreund. In addition, many both monographic and thematic exhibitions representing the styles and movements of classical modern art derived from the works by František Kupka, and the works by the leading representatives of the Central and South European (mainly Czech, Slovak, Polish, Serbian and Croatian) art of the second half of the 20th century are regularly held in the museum. These short-term exhibitions with a clear thematic focus on the progressive trends of both Czech and European art of the 20th century are an essential and recognized part of the museum’s activities. In 2012, the Board of Directors of the Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation welcomed JUDr. Jiří Pospíšil as a new member, who later became its Chairman in 2016. Under his administration, the Foundation’s collection is continuously expanding and the exhibition programme has been enriched by exhibiting works by artists who left Czechoslovakia due to the totalitarian regime, and therefore their creative work is not well known to their originally domestic public. Every year, Museum Kampa is visited by about one hundred thousand visitors from all over the world, and in 2015, it was included by The Guardian among the five most interesting small private institutions in Europe.

In 2015, a further permanent exhibition featuring works from the collection of Jan and Meda Mládek was opened at the castle in Moravský Krumlov, the place where the The Slav Epic by the painter Alphonse Mucha was exhibited for several decades. You will find there works by the classics of the Central European art scene of the second half of the 20th century (Stanislav Kolíbal, Theodor Pištěk, Eva Kmentová, György Jovánovics, Stano Filko, and others), with Museum Kampa contributing significantly to the re-definition of the programme for this remarkable renaissance-baroque building. In 2017, the Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation opened the Werich Villa to the public, this charming little house can be found in the Kampa Park near Sova’s Mills (Museum Kampa). The Werich Villa was named after the famous actor, comedian, writer, author of dramas, fairy tales but also song lyrics Jan Werich, and on its premises, apart from the exhibition related to his life and work (and the work of other famous inhabitants of the villa), plenty of events take place here, including theatrical performances, author readings, discussions, and more.

The Foundation has added to its activities, the administration of the Prague summer palace Portheimka – which exhibits glass art of the 20th century. Within her patronage and collection activities, Meda Mládek has always shown a keen interest in Czech glass which attracted her as a completely unique phenomenon. Despite the difficulties limiting the possibilities of transport, especially during the era of Normalization of the 1970’s and 1980’s, she managed to collect and transport several truly remarkable works by Czech glass artists to the United States. Her experience with the immense interest in Czech glass in the world also led her to the idea of creating a space in Prague where it would be possible to become familiar with the legends of Czech art glass, and at the same time present a part of the Jan and Meda Mládek collection which is not normally exhibited. This idea was finally achievable due to the undertaking of the representatives of Prague 5 to find a decent use for the unique summer residence of Portheimka where the public could come to learn and have fun. Given Museum Kampa – The Jan and Meda Foundation’s vast experience and excellent reputation, representatives of Prague 5 invited the Foundation to cooperate with them on this project. After many discussions and searching for an appropriate project they decided for exposition dedicated to modern and contemporary glass art.  As one of the leading institutions focusing on design and its history in the Czech Republic, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague was invited to collaborate on this project. Besides its significant and extensive collections, the Museum of Decorative Arts also has exceptional expertise in research, exhibition and publication activities within this field. The result of this close cooperation between these two institutions is the concept of the exposition and other interesting projects. The model for this institution remains the same as in Museum Kampa, Werich Villa, and as in the Moravský Krumlov Castle – a quality permanent exposition accompanied by temporary exhibitions and well developed accompanying programs.

Besides its collection-forming and exhibition activities, the Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation also puts a great emphasis on educational programmes. For this purpose, the Lecture Department of Museum Kampa was created, organizing countless number of events and projects focusing on schools, families with children, students, the elderly, and others interested in such programmes from the general public. This is related also to other extra projects like concerts, author readings, multi-genre programmes but also projects like yoga in the museum or parlour games. The aim of the educational and supplementary programme is to enlarge the circle of those interested in modern art, increase the ability of perception of the exhibited artworks and interaction with them, the understanding of different forms of artistic expressions, and, on a more general level, enhance the acceptance of cultural diversity and cultural heritage throughout the world.