Egon Schiele Art Center, Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

The Egon Schiele Art Center (Czech: Egon Schiele Art Centrum) is a museum and gallery in Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic. The private non-profit organization deals with the Austrian painter Egon Schiele (1890-1918), with classical art of the 20th century and contemporary art.

The Egon Schiele Art Centrum was established in 1992 by a group of Czechs, Austrians and Americans. Since 1993 it has presented a permanent exhibition of the works of Egon Schiele in addition to annual displays of 20th-century art by artists such as Picasso, Dalí, and Klimt.

The creation of the Egon Schiele Art Center – 1992/93 – is the work of a private initiative of three people who, in an emergency after the fall of the Iron Curtain between Eastern and Western Europe, have been very much committed to realizing the idea of an international cultural center in one of the most beautiful Renaissance cities in Europe.

In addition to the documentation on the life and work of Egon Schiele and the yearly exhibition of his work, the Egon Schiele Art Centrum offers an area of 3,000 square meters of an exhibition of classical and contemporary art of the 20th century. In the part of the museum complex, a number of generous studios were created for longer study and work stays of young artists from Eastern and Western Europe; studios are rented to the ministries of culture or artistic institutions of different countries for ten years; there is also a suite for writers. The museum is complemented by a large museum shop and a traditional café with Czech specialties for artists and art lovers with a corresponding atmosphere.

Besides a presentation documenting the life and work of Egon Schiele and a permanent exhibition of his watercolours and drawings the ESAC presents regularly changing exhibitions. These classical and contemporary 20th century art exhibitions occupy a space of 3000 square metres. Czech representatives in particular are presented alongside international artists.

In order to encourage international exchange part of the museum complex was converted into generously proportioned studios for long-term study and working visits by East and West European artists. The studios can be leased for 10 years by international organisations and flats are currently being prepared for authors as well.

In addition an extensive museum shop and a traditional café with Bohemian specialities have been opened. They serve as a stimulating meeting place for artists and art enthusiasts.

International artists from different countries are represented by a board of trustees, see also u. a. Moldova scholarship, chosen to work and live there for a period of time. During their stay in the studios of the Egon Schiele Art Center, they have the opportunity to develop and exhibit new works.

For the planned cultural center, it was appropriate to choose an ancient complex of buildings of a former 16th century city brewery. According to Gerwald Sonnberger’s ideas and concepts, in collaboration with Serge Sabarsky and Hana Jirmus, the historic buildings, which were in extreme desolate condition, with international aid in record time of just eleven months, were partially repaired, and in November 1993 the exhibition of Egon Schiele was made available to the public.

The town of Český Krumlov made buildings available and, together with the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the South Bohemian Region, supported the reconstruction of these listed buildings. The Austrian side has received substantial support from the Federal Ministry for Education and Culture (“KulturKontakt”) and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additional contributions were provided by, for example, the Hessian Ministry of Science and Arts and a number of private firms and entrepreneurs.

Egon Schiele Art Centrum offers over 4,000 square meters of classic art in the 20th century and parallel Czech and international art in parallel. In addition to the annual exhibition, the graphic artist Egon Schiele and unique original exhibits from the personal estate, a multilingual documentary exhibition on artist’s life and work is available.