Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary

Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary, opened at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky on the 21 October and will run until 22 January 2023.

The Speed is one of only two museums in the United States to host this exhibition, highlighting 124 pieces from the Mucha Trust, which comprises the Mucha Family Collection. The exhibition features an array of works in various media representing the wide-ranging scope of the artist’s production, including his iconic theatrical and advertising posters, ornamental objects, sculptures, and photographs. Also included are rarely exhibited preparatory drawings and the artist’s lesser-known publications Decorative Documents and Decorative Figures (design manuals for young artists) and his deeply spiritual visual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer, Le Pater.

Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary draws on the latest research to examine the theoretical aspects of his style, which evolved as a language for communication with the wider public.

According to Speed Director Raphaela Platow, “Mucha was so much more than a designer of advertising posters with commercial purpose. From a cultural perspective, Mucha held deep-felt convictions that art could be used as a catalyst to improve society and that art should be accessible for everyone. The artist relied on posters that could be multiplied by the thousands to move his works from museums and galleries into the public sphere.” She adds that “with his posters, Mucha knew that the streets of Paris would be transformed into a public art display where everyone could enjoy and be inspired by them,” she said.

The artist’s grandson John Mucha, President of the Mucha Foundation, said, “We have never exhibited the Mucha Family Collection in Kentucky before, and we are thrilled to be able to work with a Museum as highly regarded around the world as the Speed. Whether they are seasoned Mucha enthusiasts or coming to his work for the first time, we hope that the public in Louisville will find this exhibition surprising, stimulating, and challenging. As Raphaela Platow says, my grandfather believed passionately that art should be made easily available to the general public. We hope that with this exhibition we are continuing in his footsteps, and communicating anew the interests, passions, and concerns of his artistic vision.”