The life story of František Vladimir Foit
The nine-panel exhibition "The life story of František Vladimir Foit" tells the fascinating life story of the Czech academic sculptor Foit and his wife Irene, which was full of adventures and unexpected twists and turns, and brings to light the circumstances of their arrival in Velenje, where his life path came to an unfortunate end.
Foit, a sculptor and traveller, is one of those Czechs who have made an important mark on Slovenian cultural history.
Foit's great enthusiasm for African art, which fascinated him already during his studies, led him to travel to Africa. First trip was made possible by Charles University, as the co-founder of the Hrdlička Museum expressed an interest in busts of Africans to complement the museum's collections. František Foit went to Africa for the second time, accompanied by his wife Irena. The second trip, which was to last a year, was extended by 23 years due to the social and political situation in Czechoslovakia at the time.
The exhibition presents their stay in Africa, introduces František Foyt as an artist, researcher and professor, and describes the circumstances of 1968 as a turning point in Czechoslovak history. The events of 1968 also had a profound impact on the lives of the Foit couple, who settled in Velenje in 1971 after being forbidden to return to Czechoslovakia, where they donated a significant part of the material and documentation they had collected in Africa to the local museum.
The František Foit Collection, one of the most important African collections on Slovenian soil, was considered by experts to be one of the largest in Central Europe at the time. It was first put on display in 1971 and is now part of the permanent exhibition at Velenje Castle.
The idea for the exhibition was conceived by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Ljubljana, Juraj Chmiel, and the authors of the exhibition are Veronika Bělecká and Katija Gale, employees of the Embassy, together with the curator of the Velenje Museum, Tanja Verboten, who provided all the necessary materials. The exhibition was translated into Slovenian by Ksenija Mravlja and graphically designed by Tereza Tejklová. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic funded the exhibition.
The exhibition is on view until 16 June 2023: Monday – Friday: 9.00 – 19.00
Slovene Ethnographic Museum (administartion building SEM, 2nd floor), Metelkova 2,