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Sep 10, 2020 5:00 PM

Ticket to the New World

Ticket to the New World tracks the fates of 16 significant figures of the First Czechoslovak Republic’s cultural life – artists, who at the beginning of World War II decided to leave the country, either out of fear of persecution or because they refused to live under a totalitarian regime. They frequently emigrated to the US – an initially neutral country which protected and cherished its democratic values. Their voyage ticket foreshadowed their entrance to the American cultural scene, which they later significantly influenced and contributed to with their creativity.

Online discussion: Ticket to the New World

September 10 at 5 PM (EDT)


Hosts: Eva Heyd, Marek Milde

Guests: Julia Hammid, Véronique Firkušný, Ladislav Zikmund Lender


The multimedia project is organized in collaboration with the Czech National Trust, and will continue as an eponymous exhibition project in the Bohemian National Hall. The exhibition Ticket to the New World that will open in the fall of 2021, will be collaborated on by BBLA, DAHA, and other Czech institutions in America.


The journey to exile was not an easy one, given the highly charged atmosphere of the late 1930s and the early 1940s – but that was just the beginning. Once the Czechoslovak émigrés arrived in their new homes, they had to find a job, learn the language, and get familiar with a whole new culture. The artists, often well-known back home, had to start from scratch; competition in the arts world was tough, however, especially since there was often no liaison network to rely on. Yet they managed to succeed and significantly enrich the American melting pot.

  In this online presentation of Ticket to the New World, Julia Hammid and Véronique Firkušný will recall their exceptional fathers – photographer and documentarist Alexander Hammid and piano virtuoso Rudolf Firkušný. Ladislav Zikmund Lender, a Czech architecture historian, will talk about the life and career of architect and engineer Jaroslav Polívka, who cooperated on several projects with the famous Frank Lloyd Wright. A short film about the project, produced by the Czech National Trust, will also be shown during the discussion, followed by a Q&A.


Frank Lloyd Wright & Jaroslav Polívka: Butterfly Bay Bridge. Credit - Ron Polívka Archive


Archival photographs: J. J. Polívka, Berkeley, 1952, Ron Polívka Archive; Alexander Hackenschmied: From the US Roadtrip, 1936, Gallery Artinbox Archive; Rudolf Firkušný & Bohuslav Martinů, 1943, photo credit Miloš Šafránek.




 Born in Prague and graduated from Charles University, Eva Heyd began her career as a professional photographer and journalist in what was then Czechoslovakia. In 1985 she emigrated to the United States, where she lived for twenty years, working as a photographer for prestigious museums and galleries in New York. 2005 she returned back to the Czech Republic where she settled in the small town in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem, Central Bohemia.Currently she works as a volunteer manager of several projects of the Czech National Trust organization which takes care about cultural heritage. She is also active as a journalist, photographer, and writer. She teaches and curates art shows - she is often focused on projects connecting Czech and American culture.In her own artwork, she concentrates on art projects experimenting with the use of photographic images. She has exhibited in leading galleries in New York as well as other parts of the United States and Europe

Eva Heyd, Photo: Petr Makovička

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Sep 10, 2020 5:00 PM


Czech Centre

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