The Karel Zeman Museum Expands its Exhibition and Celebrates its First Birthday!


From October 8, the Karel Zeman Museum will be exhibiting original costumes from Karel Zeman's films. Ludmila Zemanova, the daughter of the director, is flying specially from Canada to open the newly extended exhibition. Visitors to the Museum can enjoy a variety of support programs to mark its first birthday: film, art and music workshops inspired by Zeman, costume hire or samples of other film crafts. The celebrations will culminate in a multimedia concert by Clarinet Factory on the Čertovka (The Devil's Channel).

One year ago in the Lesser Side of Prague a unique interactive exhibition presenting the work of the world-renowned filmmaker Karel Zeman was opened. Visitors are taken through the world of Zeman's imagination and introduced to the technology behind the special effects which made Czech cinematography famous. In its first year the museum was visited by more than 50,000 visitors.

Exhibition of Original Costumes from Zeman Films

To mark its first anniversary, the Karel Zeman Museum, in cooperation with Barrandov Studios, has prepared a special exhibition of original costumes from Zeman's films. In the Museum visitors will now find a selection of costumes from the films The Fabulous World of of Jules Verne, The Fabulous Baron Munchausen and On The Comet. Most of the costumes on exhibition are taken from the film The Stolen Airship, publication of a digitized version of which is being prepared by the Museum for the end of this year.

The exhibition of costumes features a selection of suits, dresses and negligees in which Miloš Kopecký, Jana Brejchová, Magda Vašáryová and other stars of Czech and Slovak film played their memorable roles in Zeman's films. Also on display are interesting costumes used by extras, which likewise contributed to the exceptionally complex art design of these films.

"For my father, costumes were absolutely crucial. They were an integral part of the visual concept of the film. It was important for him in his period films that they gave a true reflection of the time in which they are set. He was inspired by how the world's greatest artists depicted the period atmosphere. For The Fabulous Baron Munchausen that meant not only by Gustav Doré, but also by pictures by the famous Baroque masters! In The Fool's Chronicle, he was inspired by Renaissance painters, in The Stolen Airship by the Art Nouveau period and the impressionists like Georges Seurat. In the movie On The Comet he returned to the old engravings that had influenced the aesthetics of The Fabulous World of Jules Verne and that epitomized Verne's novels." commented the director's daughter Ludmila Zemanova about the importance for him of costume design, adding: "Even while writing the script, father was selecting types of actors and drew designs for their costumes. The special effects team in the Zlín studios was then involved in the preparation, including the animators. They worked with the director on all the components of the film. The hardest part was put live actors in costumes that fitted in perfectly with the cartoon background. There followed a lot of camera and photographic tests, before the director could decide how each costume was to looks. Later, in the case of the other combined action films films, that were made by my father partially in Prague (The Fabulous Baron Munchausen, The Fool's Chronicle, The Stolen Airship and On the Comet), for the live action he was assigned some of the Barrandov staff, which included a costume designer. The director gave him his suggestions and drawings that were then drawn in detail and prepared for sewing up in the workshops. I remember my father overseeing the selection of materials."

"There are dozens of the costumes from Zeman's combined action films, made in the 1960's in

Prague, in the Costume and Props Department at Barrandov studios, maybe even hundreds. However, since each individual component of any costume is categorized by type of clothing and its particular historical period among thousands of costumes from other films, it is not easy to re- assemble the original outfits. We trace all the 240 thousand pieces of costume that we have in storage with the help of stock cards, but most often when we were preparing this exhibition of costumes we had to compare the selected pieces directly with footage or stills from the movies." said Věra Krátká, head of the Barrandov Costumes and Props Department, describing the painstaking work that preceded the exhibition.

"Costumes created for the films of Karel Zeman, whose existence was until recently hidden from visitors in the storerooms of the Barrandov Costumes and Props Department, were later used in other films. For example, Jana Brejchová's costume as Bianca (in The Fabulous Baron Munchausen) was used in all versions of the popular fairy tale Give the Devil his Due (S čerty nejsou žerty)." Věra added.

The exhibition of costumes will remain part of the museum long-term with different outfits on display every few months. The rental of the costumes for the exposition is the start of an on-going cooperation between Barrandov Studio and the Karel Zeman Museum, part of which will be even larger exhibition projects and activities aimed at jointly promoting Prague as a tourist destination for cineastes and an expansion of the combined range of services on offer to the general public from the Czech Republic and beyond." explained Jakub Matějka, Director of the Karel Zeman Museum.

Special Events to Celebrate the First Birthday of the Museum.

October 12 and 13

Become an actor in the films of Karel Zeman

Over the second weekend in October, inspired by the presence of the Zeman film costumes, visitors to the museum will be able to rent film costumes and take part in make-up and hair stylist demonstrations from Barrandov Studios. There will also be creative workshops in which people will be able to try to prepare film materials in the style of the Karel Zeman films. There will also be a children's competition and the chance to make their own short animated film and a photography workshop. Visitors to the museum can dress up in period costumes and using the decorations of the Museum can make pictures with an authentic Zemanesque atmosphere.

October 19 and 20

The following weekend will be marked by two extraordinary events. In collaboration with the Strings of Autumn Festival we have planned a creative weekend program for children in the Minor Theatre followed in the evening by a multimedia program on the Čertovka.

Strings for Children with Karel Zeman

As part of the Strings for Children project, the Minor Theatre will host musicians, designers and other artists inspired by Karel Zeman. This will include a series of music, art and film workshops, theater performances and film screenings for inquisitive children and their playful parents. There will also be selected animation scenes from the movie Journey to the Beginning of Time.

For the first time in Prague we are presenting the new photographic trick Escape from a Dinosaur which uses the principle of the inclined camera. Children can try out Zeman's film tricks for themselves during the day at four workshops with teachers from the Ultrafun Association who

perform now regularly in the Karel Zeman Museum. Visitors can either make a short animated film with puppets and dinosaurs or in the undersea world full of fantastic Zemanesque fish and submarines.

The Factory Clarinet Quartet together with the percussionist Alan Vitouš will be conjuring up two interactive concerts inspired by the movies Journey to the Beginning of Time and The Stolen Airship, the first of these films will have its own separate Sunday afternoon screening at the Great Hall at the theater.

The designer Barbora Čechová will help children make a mobile or pocket theater inspired by the magic world of the film by Karel Zeman.

Concerts on the Čertovka

Celebrations for its first year in operation at the museum will culminate with two concerts by Clarinet Factory performed as part of a unique outdoor audiovisual experience. The concerts will take place on Prague's Devil's Channel. The magic genius loci of this beautiful place will be underlined by thousands of floating candles and a fire show. The Čertovka will be brought to life in a variety of themes from the films of Karel Zeman. Both concerts are free. It will be possible to listen to the music and see Zeman's film imagery becomes part of one of the most beautiful corners of water in Prague from Charles Bridge, in the area next to the Čertovka, or from the gangway at the Velkopřevorský mill wheel.

This event will be held as part of the accompanying program of the SIGNAL festival. In addition to the music of the Clarinet Factory, the son-et-lumiere event will be masterminded by the creative team behind the creation of the Karel Zeman Museum – Jakub Fabel and Ondřej Beránek - developing on their series of projects called Echoes of Stone (Ozvěny z kamene) presented in recent years in a flooded granite quarry near Něčín.

"In October, there will be many reasons to visit the Karel Zeman Museum. Due to the attractive novelties and outstanding activities it will be well worth coming back to us even a second time. In addition to the exhibition, adult visitors can enjoy our film workshops or a boat trip on the solar-powered ElektroNemo along the Čertovka." said Jakub Matějka, Director of the Karel Zeman Museum, about this special effects heaven, and on the first anniversary he added: "We are delighted that the exhibition and a wide range of regular programs the museum attracts not only families with children and school groups from across the country, but that the phenomenon of Zeman's talent and Czech film-making has been able to attract foreign visitors to the city and film school students."

For the complete program of workshops, film screenings, concerts and all the events planned to celebrate visit

Karel Zeman Museum – the Museum of Film Special Effects

The interactive exhibition presents the work of world-renowned filmmaker Karel Zeman and his cinematic special effects which helped make Czech cinematography famous.

The exhibition follows Zeman's creation of his first animation and puppet films in the forties of the last century to the creation of his last creative period. A substantial portion is devoted to his most quintessential films – Journey to the Beginning of Time The Fabulous World of Jules Verne and The Fabulous Baron Munchausen.

The museum is unique in its playful approach. It offers visitors the opportunity to get involved and

try out on their own cameras and camcorders the special effects Karel Zeman used in his films. In the newly extended exhibition, visitors can also find a selection of original costumes from the films The Fabulous World of of Jules Verne, The Fabulous Baron Munchausen, On The Comet and The Stolen Airship.

The Karel Zeman Museum

Prague 1 – Malá Strana, Saská 3, Saský dvůr – just a few steps from Charles Bridge, tel 724 341 091, e – mail: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!,

Open daily from 10 to 19 h

Admission: 200 CZK, children up to 1m tall free, children under 15, seniors over 60, students and disabled 140 CZK, family tickets (2 adults and 3 children) 490 CZK; discounts for schools and groups of visitors.


Saturday workshops in animation.

Shoot your own film using the same tricks as Karel Zeman!

The popularity of the Animation Workshops continues. For reservations call 724 341 091

Dates: 5.10, 26.10 at 10:00

Sunday screenings.

In the camera room, which is part of the museum, we project Zeman's most famous movies! Watch the film, before visiting the exhibition!

Every Sunday except 13.10.

Cruises on the ElektroNemo along the Čertovka and cruises on the Moldau

The ship – which seemed to be just escaped from one of Zeman's films – sails daily between 11.00 and 17.00. The stylish captain will take you along the Čertovka – the Venice of Prague – and the Moldau by the Charles Bridge. You will experience this, the most attractive part of Prague's national monument area, from an entirely new point of view, along with a guided commentary.


October 12 and 13, 2013 from 10:00

A Birthday Party for the Karel Zeman Museum

Throughout the day there will be a festive program celebrating the 1st year anniversary of the opening of the Karel Zeman Museum! Visit the exhibition extension with original costumes from Zeman's films, with costume hire to the public. Experience how the movie stars dressed and used make up! Take a picture in historical costumes, compete for great prizes! This program has been prepared in cooperation with Barrandov Studios.

19.10 and 20.10, 2013 from 10:00

Strings of Autumn for Children with the Karel Zeman Museum and the Minor Theatre

Music and art workshops, film screenings

19.10 and 20.10, 2013 from 19:30

Concerts on the Čertovka

A multimedia project on water

with Clarinet Factory


Last modified on Freitag, 23 Mai 2014 10:32

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