The professional gallery’s activity in Zlín started on 26th April 1936 by opening the first of eleven Zlín Salons organized by the Thomas Bata’s Company (from 1946 renamed as the National Bata’s Company). The Salons took place regularly till 1948. Regular purchases of art works for these exhibitions of contemporary Czech art (1939 - 1944) became the basis of a new art gallery collection. This gallery interrupted its activity in 1948 and was reopened under new historical circumstances in 1953, named as the Gallery of Fine Arts of the Gottwaldov Region. It was temporarily placed in the Kroměříž château. In 1957 the gallery was moved to the former memorial of Thomas Bata in Zlín – the today's House of Art - and remained there till now. In 1990 it started to work under patronage of the Ministry of Culture as the State Gallery, in 2001 it was renamed as the Regional Gallery of Fine Arts and since then it has been administered by the Zlín Region. Since 1st 2013 the gallery has been located in the new interiors of the building No. 14 in the Zlín factory area.
After Thomas Bata's tragic death (on 12th July 1932) a memorial was built in his honor in 1933. The building, reflecting the functionalistic spirit of the city of Zlín, was designed by a famous Zlín architect František Lydie Gahura. The building's standardized construction module (essential for all functionalistic buildings in Zlín) was combined with glass, the inner hall space was divided only by simple pillars and by a stairway with a one side banister, which resulted in extraordinary purity of the space. In 1948 the memorial was rebuilt to the House of Arts. In the 50s the building’s appearance was devalued by senseless extensions and interior adaptations. The House of Arts was the seat of the Regional Gallery of Fine Arts until the spring 2013. The Symphony Orchestra of Bohuslav Martinů was located here until 2011. Nowadays, it is housed in the new Congress Center.
The history of the château building dates to the second half of the 15th century, which is proved by many archeology excavations at the south side of the today’s building. A former fortress was rebuilt into a comfortable renaissance mansion by Anna from Kunovice in 1578 - 1580. The baroque appearance was added to the building in 18th century by Maria Theresa, the last heiress of the House of Rotal. From 1904 to 1905 an industrialist Štěpán Haupt made the building modernize, which damaged the historical look of the château remarkably. Leopold Bauer, Vienna's famous architect, was the author of the reconstruction. In 1929 Haupt sold the building to the city of Zlín and since then it was used for various culture activities. From 1958 the château became home of the South-Eastern Moravia Museum and its expositions and of the depository of the Regional Gallery of Fine Arts.
Both institutions left the interior of the castle in the spring of 2013. At present the gallery and the museum are located in the reconstructed building No. 14 of the Zlín factory area at the address Vavrečkova 7040.
Regional Gallery of Fine
Arts in Zlín, p.o.
760 01 Zlín
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