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Sutnar lives on!

Yes – Ladislav Sutnar lives on, not only through his comprehensive oeuvre, but also through the work of new generations of young artists inspired by him. The Sutnar Foundation is committed to protecting and developing his legacy.

The SUTNAR foundation was established on 7th March 2018 in order to look after the spiritual legacy of Ladislav Sutnar, a brilliant Czech and American designer born in Pilsen.

For more than forty years, Ladislav Sutnar’s son Radoslav and his wife Elaine have been looking after the artistic legacy of Ladislav Sutnar and spreading his spiritual legacy. Their names became a part of the Sutnar – Radoslav and Elaine Sutnar Foundation which carries on with their work.

The foundation established in the year marking the 120th anniversary of Ladislav Sutnar’s birth resides directly in the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen and manages paintings, graphics and materials acquired from the Archives of American Art in Washington. Letters, photographs, sketches, personal notes, books and other archive material from the inheritance of this famous artist will soon be made available to researchers.

The foundation’s primary aim is to look after the spiritual legacy of Ladislav Sutnar, a brilliant Czech and American designer born in Pilsen, spread awareness of his work and life and support his hometown by initiating “Sutnar tourism”. In its founding statute, the foundation also pledges to support student competitions and design in general, particularly in relation to students, pedagogues and institutions.

The foundation will also aspire to hold a permanent exhibition of Ladislav Sutnar’s work in the planned new building of the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen.

Activities 2018 - 2022

Along with Design Cabinet CZ and DEPO2015, the foundation has been organising the Czech National Award for Student Design, a prestigious student competition with a long tradition. The first National Award for Student Design was awarded by Design Cabinet CZ in 2008. The award follows up on competitions organised between 1991 and 2007 by public institution Design Centre CZ. The competition is open to students of design from Czech and foreign universities and schools focusing on design. The aim of the competition is to create a platform for connecting design schools and students with industry, manufacturers, companies and studios in the Czech Republic as well as abroad.

The foundation also provides significant support to the Ladislav Sutnar Gallery in Pilsen which was established in 2011 by transforming the original university gallery. In collaboration with the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, the foundation uses the gallery to hold regular exhibition Graphic Art of the Year and Vladimir Boudník Award which the Hollar Foundation moved from its traditional home in the Municipal House in Prague to the Ladislav Sutnar Gallery. Since 2019, the foundation has been a partner of the awards for intaglio and serigraphy. In the premises of the Ladislav Sutnar Gallery, the SUTNAR Foundation also organises many other exhibitions of domestic and visiting pedagogues and students, associated foreign artists, designers and institutions.

The foundation also supports and initiates publication activity. One of its successes is the re-edition of Ladislav Sutnar’s publication Transport Design with a follow-up exhibition and Philip Pearlstein’s publication Telephone Calls. The foundation also supports projects directly referring to Ladislav Sutnar’s work and life such as replicas of his toys, tea sets and watch series Graphic Sutnar – Bohematic.