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Gloria Musaealis Award for the Jewish Museum in Prague

Textiles from Bohemian and Moravian Synagogues

.The Jewish Museum in Prague received first prize – the Gloria Musaealis Award – in the category Museum Publications of 2003 at the awards ceremony of the second Gloria Musaealis festival, an annual competition for museums in the Czech Republic, which was held on 18 May at the Pantheon of the National Museum in Prague. The award was for the catalogue “Textiles from Bohemian and Moravian Synagogues”, which was published for last year’s exhibition of synagogue textiles from the collections of the Jewish Museum in Prague at the Imperial Stables of Prague Castle. As part of the award, the Museum was given a trophy, diploma and a prize of CZK 50,000.
The competition is organised by the Czech Ministry of Culture and the Czech Association of Museums and Galleries in the Czech Republic. It comprises three categories – the Museum Publications of the Year, the Museum Exhibition of the Year, and Museum Achievement of the Year. The aim of this project is to draw the public’s attention to the contribution of museums towards making accessible, and making use of, the cultural heritage and highlighting the most notable achievements of museum institutions and their staff. This year, twenty-nine museums and galleries from throughout the Czech Republic entered the competition and forty-five projects were presented.

This is the second award that the Jewish Museum in Prague has received recently for this publication. On 22 April 2004, the Museum gained the Main Award in the Most Beautiful Czech Books of the Year competition for 2003 in the specialist and scientific literature category. This competition is organised by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic in association with the Museum of Czech Literature. It consists of seven categories: scientific and specialist literature, belles lettres, children’s and youth literature, textbooks, pictorial publications, bibliophilic books and catalogues. The main prizes bring financial rewards of CZK 30,000 for the publishers. In total, 770 publishers entered 157 publications, of which 45 were short-listed. The awards ceremony of the 39th competition was held at the Strahov Monastery.
The catalogue of synagogue textiles is a deluxe large-format book (360 pp.) containing a thousand select examples, presented in both texts and illustrations. It is edited by Ludmila Kybalová, Eva Kosáková and Alexandr Putík.
The accompanying texts are written by a group of specialists from the Jewish Museum in Prague, with two contributions by external specialists. They include essays on the history and structure of the textile collection, the meaning of symbols, donation inscriptions, donors in historical contexts, specific iconography of mantles, Moravian and Oriental textiles, and collection points.
The 500 full-colour reproductions in the catalogue enable one to get a comprehensive idea about the diversity of the Museum’s textile collection. All the full-colour reproductions were prepared by the Museum’s photo department.
This catalogue is a particularly important contribution for specialists dealing with Jewish material culture and for specialist administrators of textile collections in specialised museums across the world. An appreciation of the textile collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague will considerably add to the studies completed to date. The catalogue will also be a useful tool for the general public – artists, teachers, students and art lovers.

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