Josef Polák – The Man Who Never Gave Up: The Story of Josef Polak (1886-1945)

Catalogue for the exhibition at the Jewish Museum's Robert Guttmann Gallery (2 February – 19 March 2006), focusing on Josef Polák, an important art historian, museum specialist and organizer of cultural life in pre-war Czechoslovakia who significantly influenced the form of the Jewish Museum in Prague. Josef Polák advocated the ideals of pre-war Czechoslovakia as director of the state-owned East Slovak Museum in Košice. There he developed very progressive and successful activities in the fields of museum management, art history, heritage protection and public education. After returning to Prague, Polák was dismissed from the civil service on account of his Jewish descent. In 1942, he became the main curator of the Jewish Central Museum in Prague, where he put together a collection-building concept and a system for sorting, describing and registering liturgical items, as well as setting out rules for the specialist care of artefacts. Despite being in immediate danger of his life as a Jew, he became involved in the resistance movement. He was arrested by the Gestapo in August 1944 and disappeared without trace in Auschwitz in January 1945. The catalogue received a special prize in the 2005 Gloria Musealis competition in the category ‘Museum Publications of the Year’. The exhibition curator and author of the catalogue is Magda Veselská.

Jewish Museum in Prague, 2004
Magda Veselská
ISBN 80-86889-22-X
paperback book, 119 pp., 21 x 22 cm, Czech-English

Price: 2,61 €
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