Czech Book Art

PODHAJSKA (Minka) – VYSKOCIL (Quido M.)Rytirové panosi a krasné pastyirky [Knights, Pages and Beautiful Shepherdesses: A Book of Tales].

Olomouc (Moravia / Czech Republic), R. Prombergr, (1908).

Small square 8vo, original decorated cloth boards. 78 pp., 1 unnumbered leaf. Jugendstil head-and-tail pieces and 10 colour plates by Minka Podhajska who also designed the binding and the endpapers.

First and only edition of a very scarce Czech children’s book of fairy tales (close in style to the famous Gerlach children’s books published in Austria at about the same time).

Minka Podhajska (1881-1963), born in Vienna, a student at the Kunstgewerbeschule [School of Applied Arts], whose work appeared in Ver Sacrum (1902-1903), Die Fläche (1903-1904), and Hohe Warte. She designed toys for the Wiener Werkstätte, as well as a range of books, posters, and bookplates during the first World War. After relocating to Prague in 1919, she co-founded the Czech Female Artists Association in 1921 and organized exhibitions both in Prague and Paris. She was also one of the founding members of Artel, a Czech artists’ consortium comparable to the Wiener Werkstätte. Aside from her work as an illustrator, she became known for her stylized wooden toy figures. “Rejecting the fin-de- siècle’s oversaturated civilization, Minka Podhajska tapped two main sources for inspiration: children’s drawings and traditional wooden peasant toys” (see Megan Brandow-Faller, “‘An Artist in Every Child – A Child in Every Artist’: Art for the Child at the Kunstschau 1908,” 2013).

Beautiful copy, in the rare cream cloth variant binding.

Ref. Catalogue of the Cotsen Children’s Library, 11658 / Not in Bilderwelt im Kinderbuch

Price: 950,00 euros

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