Mission of gallery

The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen is the most important gallery institution in the Pilsen Region. This prestigious position results not only from the scope and quality of the collections, but also from the demanding exhibition programme and the quality of the professional background. Through its professional and publishing activities, the gallery is an irreplaceable institution in the region and an important partner of prestigious academic institutions in the Czech Republic.


The collections of the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen rank among the most important visual art collections of the Czech Republic. They are composed of up to 10,000 graphic, painted and sculptural works, to which an architecture collection was added in 2009, comprising documentation, drawings and photographs, as well as models of buildings. The core of the collections is Czech art of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. Drawings and paintings of the 19th century and the art of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries are represented by the names of, for example, Karel Purkyně, Antonín Chitussi, Mikoláš Aleš, Josef Mánes, Jan Preisler, and Antonín Slavíček. The art of pre-war modernism is represented in a unique collection of cubism (Josef Čapek, Emil Filla, Otto Gutfreund, Bohumil Kubišta, Václav Špála); art from between the wars and after World War II is represented by Jan Zrzavý, Josef Šíma, Jindřich Štyrský, Toyen, František Hudeček, and František Tichý. Czech art of the 1960s also has a quality representation (Jiří John, Adriena Šimotová, Josef Istler, Jan Koblasa, Jiří Kolář, Mikuláš Medek, Zbyněk Sekal and others). Although smaller in number, the collection of ancient arts, comprising medieval, Renaissance and Baroque paintings and sculptures, features prestigious works, such as the Madonna of Dýšina from the circle around the Master of the Madonna of Michle, dated around 1340, the Votive plaque of Kašpar Kašpárek by Master I. W. of the circle of Lucas Cranach the Elder, dated 1538, and the sculpture of the Annunciation of Our Lady by Matyáš Bernard Braun from 1720–1725. A complement to exclusive works in Czech art is a remarkable collection of regional art from the 19th and 20th centuries, comprising the works of Augustin Němejc and the Špillar brothers, as well as the inter-war productions of members of the Association of Visual Artists of West Bohemia in Pilsen (Sdružení západočeských výtvarných umělců v Plzni) (Josef Hodek, František Koliha, Bohumil Krs, Josef Tetínek, sculptor Otokar Walter, and architect Leo Meisl). Presently, the construction of a new building is being prepared for the purposes of a permanent exhibition of the collections of the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen, which shall be located in the area of “U Zvonu” in the centre of the city.


The acquisition programme of the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen is subject to the artistic value and research importance of each artefact. It is focused on acquiring the works of authors of national and European importance and the works of important authors related to Pilsen and its broader region. Since 2009, part of the Gallery’s acquisition strategy has been creating a collection of architecture. In the field of completing and extending its collections, the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen cooperates with a purchasing committee, formed by respected experts. EXHIBITION PROGRAMME The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen prepares exhibitions of old, modern, and contemporary art. By means of sophisticated dramaturgy, attractive artistic design and an explorational approach, it endeavours to provide visitors with an intense, artistic experience, including a deeper insight into the artistic production with context. The exhibitions therefore feature text elements and are accompanied with expertly prepared catalogues and other publications. The exhibition programmes include projects of European, national and regional importance. Large exhibitions in the white space of Masné krámy have their counterpart in the intimate atmosphere of “The 13” Exhibition Hall. Since 2009, a regular part of the exhibition dramaturgy has been an exhibition prepared for the occasion of the Interdisciplinary Scientific Symposium on 19th Century Culture, which takes place in Pilsen annually as a part of the Smetana Days festival. Distinct among other exhibitions is a special programme of one-day exhibitions of a single artefact from the collections of the Gallery, the purpose of which being to provide the public with the option of a thorough acquaintance with selected artefacts which usually remain in the depository, as the Gallery lacks space for a permanent exhibition of its collections. These exhibitions, named One Work / One World ( Jedno dílo / Jeden svět) take place the first Wednesday of each month.

The purpose of the exhibition programme of the Gallery is to contribute to the creation of the cultural identity of the city and region, to educate the public and refine their taste, and to offer vintage cultural experiences to local visitors as well as to tourists both from the Czech Republic and abroad.


The editorial programme of the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen comprises catalogues and other publications issued on the occasions of particular exhibitions, either individually or in cooperation with some of the most prestigious publishing houses. The main principle of the publishing activities of the Gallery is a high standard of expertise and graphic design of the publications. The editorial programme encompasses exhibition catalogues, artistic monographs as well as publications dealing with more general topics of the history of art. The catalogues of the exhibitions organized to accompany the Interdisciplinary Scientific Symposium on 19th Century Culture form a special edition line.


The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen was included in the list of research institutions in Phase 1 by the Research, Innovation and Development Council (Rada pro výzkum, vývoj a inovace) in its sessions on September 30th, 2011, and January 27th, 2012. The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen initiates and takes an active part in research projects supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic. Since 2009, it has been actively participating in the annual Interdisciplinary Scientific Symposium on 19th Century Culture programme by preparing a thematic exhibition and catalogue. Thanks to its continuous tradition since 1981 and its high standard of expertise, the symposium belongs among the most significant projects of its kind in the country. Since 2009, the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen has been a member of the international College Art Association (CAA). This membership keeps the Gallery in contact with current developments in the world and allows it to subscribe to prestigious periodicals on art history (The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, CAA News).