Museum of decorative arts

The tall narrow Museum of Decorative Arts stands opposite another of Prague’s cultural landmarks, the Rudolfinum. UPM is devoted to the applied arts, and the range of items offers something of interest to everyone.

Founded in 1885, the Museum was designed to showcase the best of modern art of the time, resulting in a fascinating collection from Art Nouveau vases to Cubist clocks. The Neo-Renaissance building was designed by Josef Schulz, who was also one of the architects of the adjacent Rudolfinum. The richly decorated structure, with rows of large windows, is striking, and features mosaics, stained-glass and sculptures.

The Museum boasts a rich permanent collection, including decorative and applied arts, and examples of design from Late Antiquity to the present day. Emphasis is on items from Europe, especially arts and crafts objects, particularly arts and crafts from the Czech Lands.

The Stories of a Fibre charts the story of textiles, the Arts of Fire section is devoted to everything to do with glass, ceramics and pottery, and the prints and images room is devoted to Czech photography. All kinds of curiosities, from mosaics to garnet jewellery are on display in the treasure hall. Look out for the Cubist items such as a bookcase, examples of the Czechoslovak Cubist movement, which was not just devoted to painting.

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