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Conference: The Mad Silkman: Zika & Lida Ascher: Textiles and Fashion
9 September 2019 - 10 September 2019
u(p)m: The Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague
In response to the positive reception the exhibition The Mad Silkman. Zika & Lida Ascher: Textiles and Fashion has enjoyed in the Czech Republic and abroad, among scholars and the general public alike, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague has decided to host an international conference. Experts from the United Kingdom, France, the United States, the Czech Republic and other countries have accepted invitations. Talks will be divided into sections covering history, art, textiles, fashion and current student projects. The conference will also look at migration and how it can contribute to society.
Zika and Lida Ascher left Prague in early 1939 for the UK. There Zika Ascher launched a silk business that was soon thriving – and began approaching top artists, including Matisse and Henry Moore, to produce designs for a special collection of scarves, the Ascher Squares. Many of them, and other exquisite pieces produced by the company, are on show as part of an extensive exhibition in Prague. Radio interview with Peter Ascher.
Conference held under the auspices of H.E. Nick Archer, British Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and Eva Zažímalová, President of the Czech Academy of Sciences, with the participation of Peter Ascher.
“On hearing Zika Ascher’s life story, I knew at once that the British Embassy had to be part of the celebration of his achievements at u(p)m in this, our centenary year. Britain gave him a second chance when he was forced to leave his mother country. He paid us back handsomely, with a flowering of his talent there which produced some of the most stunning fabrics of the century and a great textile business, the legacy of which we now celebrate. Anglo-Czech creativity at its best. We are proud to support this magnificent exhibition, and the contemporary work of students of Pavel Ivancic’s design studio reinterpreting Ascher fabrics. This year the British Embassy is celebrating 100 years since its opening in Prague’s Thun Palace. The Embassy has supported the exhibition as part of its #STOLET campaign of cultural activities,” says Nick Archer, the British ambassador to the Czech Republic.
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