Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty launches at the Russell-Cotes Bournemouth in Art Nouveau style.
1 April 2015: The brand new exhibition Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty opened its doors at the Russell-Cotes Bournemouth attended by Mucha’s grandson John Mucha and his wife Sarah, from The Mucha Foundation. For the first time in 15 years, Alphonse Mucha’s work returns to the UK in this specially-commissioned exhibition full of his iconic paintings, poster designs and package design.
Running from Wednesday 1 April to Sunday 27 September 2015, Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty brings a comprehensive retrospective of the Czech master of Art Nouveau. Mucha is renowned for his distinctive and still influential style which explored feminine beauty through advertising, magazines and, even, biscuit tins. The opulent aesthetic of the Russell-Cotes, full of exquisite items from around the globe, offers the perfect backdrop for Alphonse Mucha’s pivotal work.
John and Sarah Mucha, Alphonse Mucha’s grandson and his wife and the Directors of The Mucha Foundation, commented; “It’s a privilege for us to be exhibiting in this extraordinary museum. I had little idea what a rich gold mine this is! For example, this museum has the second biggest collection of Japanese art in the UK. It is important this museum is protected looking ahead. I hope you will find the exhibition interesting and challenging and see that his art today is very influential still.”
Sue Hayward, Museum Manager, said; “Merton Russell-Cotes and Alphonse Mucha had a lot in common – as you can see both men shared a passion for beauty. We’re so fortunate to have his work here at all – the story of saving Mucha’s artwork has all the makings of a Hollywood movie.”
Law firm and sponsors of the exhibition, Humphries Kirk worked with the Mucha Family to preserve the Mucha Collection and the artistic heritage of Alphonse Mucha. James Selby Bennett, senior partner at Humphries Kirk solicitors, said; “Now we here, and millions like us, can marvel at Alphonse’s work and can understand his artistic heritage, only because of that extraordinarily brave and selfless decision by the family in times of great political stress and danger. Humphries Kirk helped them to do it and I am therefore particularly proud to be able to stand beside them today in this wonderful exhibition.
Mayor of Bournemouth, Councillor Chris Mayne said; “It’s fantastic the Russell-Cotes is able to host this and to see the Mucha family here. Like everyone else, I’ve seen prints of the artist but didn’t know the history, so it is good to learn about it. “
Lily-Rose, aged 9, who saw the exhibition for the first time, enthused; “It was really nice – there’s loads of cool stuff in the gift shop. I liked the [Mucha-designed] biscuit box – it looked delish!”
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum’s new exhibition, Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty opens on Wednesday 1 April to Sunday 27 September 2015. Entrance to the Russell-Cotes includes the exhibition and costs £6, with Gift Aid. Concessions are available for groups of 10+ people – book in advance on 01202 451820.
April 28, 2015
Image shows Alphonse Mucha ‘Cycles Perfecta’ 1902 ©Mucha Trust, 2003.