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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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4 Best Prague Museum Bookshops

Published on September 18th, 2014 in Shopping

  

DOX Book Shop and Design Shop (photo courtesy of www.qubus.cz/)

 

When I am on the hunt for some new books on design, art or architecture, or am just looking to browse for inspiration, some of my favorite spots are the lesser-known shops inside Prague’s museums. Not only do they offer some of the best selection in the city, but also the majority of the books are in English or both Czech and English and they have international titles as well. Beyond books, these shops also offer an array of interesting items from cards, stationary and other paper products to design items, from jewelry to home décor. You don’t need to visit the museums to visit the shops, but if you’re not in a rush, why not, as the shows and permanent exhibitions at these institutions are usually very worthy. Here are four of my favorite museum bookshops.

 

 

The Museum of Decorative Arts bookshop

You’ll find the bookshop, a compact but inviting space, just to the left when you come inside the museum. As with all the museum bookshops many of the titles are from current or past exhibitions, but they also offer a number of other selections reflecting the museum’s focus – applied arts, design and historical and contemporary crafts – along with a few surprises. (Don’t miss out on the exhibition catalogs as you won’t find them anywhere else and the print runs are usually very limited so get ‘em while you can!) Among the title’s that caught my eye were Go Home: Walks Through New Prague in the area of Wenceslas Square (149 CZK) from the Centre for Central European Architecture, 500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Exploration of the Human Form (550 CZK) and The History of Modern Furniture Design (570 CZK) by the museum’s curator Daniela Karasová. Their selection changes every two to three months and also includes post cards, posters and Papelote paper products. On the opposite corner you’ll find design wares for sale. The shop in its entirety is run by Modernista.

 

 

Left: The History of Modern Furniture Design (photo courtesy of www.artbook.com)  |  Right: Votive Hall (photo courtesy of The Museum of Decorative Arts)

 

The Museum of Decorative Arts

17 listopadu 2, Prague 1, Staré Město
www.upm.cz
tel 251 093 111
hours Tuesdays: 10-19:00, Wednesday – Sunday: 10-18:00
metro Staroměstská
tram 17,18 to Staroměstská
Credit card payments accepted, excluding American Express.

 

 

Gallery Rudolfinum bookshop

Just across the street inside a beautiful Neo-Renaissance building, which is home to both the gallery and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, you’ll find another bookshop run by Modernista. Previously located on the upper floor, the shop was recently relocated to the lower level by the café in what is a new more spacious and inviting space. On the day of my most recent visit, I browsed a monograph of sculptor and painter Jaroslav Rona (1,315 CZK) and The Global Art Compass: New Directions in 21st-Century Art (690 CZK). As the Rudolfinum’s focus is on contemporary fine art, so is their book selection.

 

 

Left: Rudolfinum Lobby (© Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar)  |  Right: The Global Art Compass (photo courtesy of ikon-gallery.org)

 

Gallery Rudolfinum

Alšovo nábřeží 12, Prague 1, Staré Město
www.galerierudolfinum.cz
tel 227 059 205
hours Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday: 10-18:00; Thursday: 10-20:00
metro Staroměstská
tram 17,18 to Staroměstská
Credit card payments accepted, excluding American Express

 

 

Kampa Museum bookshop

The bookshop of Kampa Museum, which houses the private art collection of Jan and Meda Mládek who built up an impressive collection of Czech and Eastern European art while living abroad in the U.S in the 50’s and 60‘s, is tucked away into an inviting corner space on the opposite side of the museum’s courtyard from the main building. What I like in particular about this shop is that they have broken down the selection into categories (architecture, photography, design & theory, sculpture and so on) and they have a nice selection of children’s books. I happily stumbled upon Lumír Včelaří (295 CZK), which although only in Czech can be enjoyed for it’s whimsical illustrations of Lumír the beekeeping bear.

 

 

Lumír Včelaří (photo courtesy of www.knihydobra.cz)   |  Kampa Museum courtyard (photo courtesy of ŠJů, Wikimedia Commons)

 

Kampa Museum

U Sovových mlýnu 2, Prague 1, Malá Strana
www.museumkampa.com
tel 420 257 286 147
hours Daily 10-18:00
metro Malostranská
tram 12,20,22 to Hellichova
Credit card payments accepted, excluding American Express

 

 

BenDOX at DOX

This shop, without a doubt offers the largest and widest selection. Located inside DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, BenDOX offers everything from coffee table books from international publishing houses like Taschen, Braun and Phaidon, to monographs on Czech artists and architects, children’s books, the latest issues of UK lifestyle magazine Monocle and a variety of sketchbooks and paper products. I picked up Cirkus Ulice (300 CZK) from Czech publisher Baobab, which is a children’s flipbook that allows the little ones (or me) to create 402750 Combinations, as it says on the cover, of different outfits and people. As a bonus, the DOX design shop by Czech studio Qubus is on the other side of the store. Here you can find one of the largest selections of jewelry and decor items from the the biggest names on the Czech design scene.

 

  

Left: BenDOX (photo courtesy of DOX)  |  Right: Cirkus Ulice  (photo courtesy of Baobab)

 

BenDOX at DOX

Poupětova 1, Prague 7, Holešovice
www.dox.cz
tel 295 568 114, 602 373 874
hours Mon, Sat & Sun: 10-18:00; Weds-Fri: 11-19:00
metro Nádraží Holešovice
tram 5,12,15 to Ortenovo náměstí
Credit card payments accepted
 

 

 

 

 

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