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There’s no denying Prague’s impressive array of museums. It’s quite difficult not to gape at the elegant National Museum looming over Wenceslas Square, for instance, and many an art fan has wiled away an afternoon at the Mucha Museum.
But the city also presents a less formal, burgeoning art gallery scene. To plan your own Prague gallery-hopping excursion, and to keep up with openings and ongoing exhibits, take advantage of the following resources:
Art gallery listings
Prague’s galleries are clearly marked on the annually released ArtMap, available online as a free PDF and at most tourist kiosks and galleries throughout the city. The ArtMap also includes listings of gallery shows by month, with brief descriptions of each show in Czech and English, plus gallery hours and addresses.
A complete and oft-updated list of Prague galleries and current exhibits is also provided on PragueTV, an invaluable Web site for visitors. Both gallery and non-gallery events are listed on this site.
Not all of Prague’s galleries are so easily located, however, as Evan Rail explained in a 2009 piece for The New York Times. According to Rail, Prague is still “trying to recapture an artistic vibrancy it possessed 70 years ago,” and it seems much of that energy can be found outside of the main tourist center. So don’t forget to pack your map when you head out in search of some free exhibits.
Here are a few galleries not to miss:
Hunt Kastner Artwork, a “gallery for contemporary and emerging art,” is situated in the Holesovice district, a working-class neighborhood on the north side of Prague. Check the Web site for current and upcoming exhibitions.
DOX Center for Contemporary Art is housed in a former sheet-metal plant. The striking building, with various floors housing smaller galleries, is reason enough to visit. Exhibits by local, regional and international artists are displayed, and run the gamut from futuristic photography to vintage sci-fi posters. Exhibits and events are listed on their website.
Karlin Studios holds 17 different studios occupied by Czech and international artists of varying ages and persuasions. The sprawling renovated factory is located in Karlin, or what the Times piece calls “the neighborhood probably closest to developing into an arts district” in Prague.
Karlin Studios is also home to the Foundation for Contemporary Art, where “an extensive archive” of progressive works by contemporary Czech artists is held. Learn more on the Karlin Studios site.