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Exhibit: "Style and Fashion of the 60’s"

Published on April 04th, 2013 in Sights

  • Radios

  • Dining & Living Room

  • Bathroom

  • Wrapping Paper

  • Plastic!

  • Cigarette Machine

  • Garden Furniture

  • Stylish Moped

  • Kitchen


**Note from ARTĚL Style Blog team: While many of our posts are Prague-centric, we will occasionally feature out-of-town events that are worth the trip. This exhibit at the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava is one of them! Who better to review it than Slovak Socík Style blogger and retro enthusiast Adriana Oravcová? (For more about Adriana read our interview with her here.)


Once again, after a long time, Bratislava is hosting a retro exhibit. This time it’s the “Style and Fashion of the 60’s” show at the Slovak National Museum.


Since the Czechoslovak era is a long-time interest of mine, I’ve seen lots of exhibitions on the subject throughout the Czech and Slovak lands, and am able to provide an objective review.


I took a few photos at the exhibition as well, but because I wasn’t certain if taking pictures was allowed, I didn’t take my professional camera, just my point-and-shoot. Therefore, I apologize for the poor photo quality.


First of all, I would like to emphasize how wonderful it is for the exhibition to take place at all. Secondly, the admission fee is very affordable, although the exhibit is not the most comprehensive I have seen on the subject. However, it does cover a very wide range of different topics.


The two sections I consider to be the best are porcelain and contemporary interiors. The interiors feature many interesting details. The collection of porcelain is of a fine quality. You’ll find tea and coffee sets designed by Jaroslav Ježek, and his typical figurines. Figurines and vases in the Brussels style are an essential part of the exhibition.


There is a very nice collection of old radios. For example you will see a Tesla Máj cable radio in a variety of colors and finishes. There is also a quite decent section of musical instruments, watches, and clocks. Marginally, the exhibition touches on the area of contemporary fashion which you will find all in one big showcase.


Textiles are represented by approximately six pieces of fabric samples (although they are hung a bit too high for one to fully appreciate them). I especially missed a better representation of fabric, lamps, toys, and glass.


The poor toys collection is, very unfortunately, displayed in a tiny case and glass is only represented by a few pieces of blown glass and blown multi-colored fish figurines, which must be among the most hideous items produced at this time. This is a real pity since Czechoslovakia was considered a world-class glass manufacturer and there must be a great number of beautiful artifacts available from that time.


What I really missed at the exhibition was a collection of the contemporary plastics which experienced an incredible boom back then. Relatively little is on display in the contemporary graphic-advertising and movie posters section.



Let me point-out the most interesting exhibits: A vending machine for soda and cigarettes,Jawa motorcycles,ČZ motorcycles, and an exhibit devoted to Bratislavská Lyra, which was the biggest, best pop-music festival competition in Czechoslovakia from 1966–1989. It features an eye-catching showcase of costumes from Slovak pop singer and 1970 competition winner Marcela Laife.


There are some really exciting little things in some of the smaller showcases, like wrapping paper, napkins, coasters, match and cigarette packets, stickers etc…


You will see several glass lamp-shades hung next to each other in the corner of the room, but unfortunately there is no description and therefore many visitors will have no idea what they are.


What really confused me at the show (and not only me) were the scenes from Czechoslovak tramping culture, which do belong to this period, but also to many other periods throughout our history up until today.


Perhaps the greatest shortcoming of the exhibition is that many of the individual exhibits are missing descriptions. Completely absent is information about the production design and the names of the designers of various pieces. Regarding the exhibition labels, there are about three general descriptions of the 60’s period but that’s about it. The graphics are below average and I think could have been done much better.


The general descriptions may be enough for young people who are not so deeply interested in retro artifacts and this time period, and who do not follow the history of Czechoslovakia, but came to the exhibition out of curiosity. For people like me who make this era their hobby or even experts, there is no new information to be learned.


Overall, if I had to summarize and compare this exhibition with others I have seen in the past, I must conclude that it was just better than average. However, for many people, especially young people, who came just to recall the old days and remember what surrounded them a few decades back, this exhibition will be very enjoyable.


Many visitors laughed and chatted about what they once had at home, what they still have, and what their grandmother threw away. People who will see such an exhibition for the first time or tourists will definitely enjoy it. I also recommend this exhibition to the elderly, who should take their children and grandchildren with them, explain how they lived and tell them stories which many of the display will surely recall. This way the youngsters will learn how their parents or grandparents grew up and will discover a bit more about our history.



Slovak National Museum

Vajanského nábreží 2, Staré Mesto, Bratislava
Exhibition Ends September 30, 2013
tel +421 220 469 148
hours Tues–Sun: 9:00am–5:00pm
tickets 3.50 EUR (adults); 8 EUR (family); 2 EUR (students, seniors)
bus or tram to 4, 5, 9, 12, 13, 50, 78, 95 to Šafárikovo námestie


This post originally appeared on Socík Style. Images courtesy of Adriana Oravcová.