The Lost Diorama

The Lost Diorama
ISBN: 978-80-7247-160-7
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Markéta Formanová, Zdeněk Kuchyňka

The Lost Diorama

The young Czechoslovakian Republic wanted to demonstrate its achievements in business and cultural areas on the 1939 New York World's Fair. The beginning of the Nazi occupation in March 1939 put a stop to this idea. However, thanks to the efforts of the new American Exhibition Committee the Czechoslovakian pavillon has been successfully opened and it has been opearated as the memento of the occupied Czechoslovakia during the whole duration of the extended exposition. One of the exhibits meant to captivate not only the children in the audience was a large diorama on the topic of "Inauguration of Geroge Washington on April 30th 1789". The idea came from the Commissioner General of the Czechoslovakian Exhibition Committee Hugo Vavrečka, funding was provided by the factory owner Jindřich Waldes and the authors od the Diorama were Václav Fiala, Minka Podhájská, Václav Nejtek and Evžen Březinský. With almost 9 metres in length, the diorama included a realistic New York seafront as well as over 200 figures made according to period engravings. The diorama was to be gifted to the City Museum of New York after the exhibition, but at this time it is unknown where it was really placed. The subject of our research is to describe the story of the unique exhibit and to contextualise it with the greater circumstances surrounding the Czechoslovakian participation in the 1939 New York World's Fair.


The Czechoslovak Exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City
The Inauguration of George Washington in New York Diorama
People Involved with the Inauguration of George Washington in New York Diorama

    Hugo Vavrečka (Markéta Formanová)
    Václav Fiala (Zdeněk Kuchyňka)
    Minka (Vilemína) Podhajská (Markéta Formanová)
    Václav Nejtek (Zdeněk Kuchyňka)
    Evžen Březinský (Zdeněk Kuchyňka)
    Josef Franěk (Zdeněk Kuchyňka)

List of Illustrations
Selected Bibliography - Czechslovakia
List of Cooperating Institutions

Musem of West Bohemia in Pilsen, 2019, 220 x 220 mm, 138 pages, Czech and English, ISBN 978-80-7247-160-7