Prague Spring in the Drawings of Karel Otáhal
|Keywords||musical iconography – portrait drawings – sculpture – musical performers – Prague Spring – Karel Otáhal – Jan Kubelík – autographs of musicians|
|Citation||PAULOVÁ, Eva. Prague Spring in the Drawings of Karel Otáhal. Musicalia. Journal of the Czech Museum of Music / Časopis Českého muzea hudby . Prague: National Museum, 2016, 8(1-2), 6-21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/muscz-2017-0001. ISSN 1803-7828 (Print), 2533-5634 (Online). Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/mjotcmom/8-1-2/prague-spring-in-the-drawings-of-karel-otahal|
This study reports on interesting holdings in the musical iconography collection of the Czech Museum of Music. Drawings by the sculptor Karel Otáhal (1901–1972) that are related to music and musicians were created for the most part at concerts of the Prague Spring festival between 1946 and 1969. He had already begun making portraits of musicians by the end of his studies, when he created a sculpture of Jan Kubelík. His works are a specific expression of portrait realism and of the ability to capture the typical movement and characteristics of the person depicted. He met in person with musicians, and his drawings bear valuable dedications and commemorative musical quotations by important figures of Czech and foreign music. U nlike the other creators of such drawings, he was merely an enthusiastic observer, but not a caricaturist. Otáhal’s drawings serve as a unique source on the history and dramaturgy of the Prague Spring festival, including its politicization in the 1950s.