Visitors to Plzeňský Prazdroj will be able to admire the beauty of Konečný's advertising posters, which are over a half a century old. The exhibition runs from May 14th, 2010 through May 31st, 2010, 8.30 am until 6 pm daily. Entry to the museum is free of charge. The posters are part of a collection owned by František Ulč. The exhibition was put together by Jan Hosnedl.
Visitors will see 23 original printed posters from the ‘50s, as well as samples of books and magazines illustrated by B. Konečný. The biggest attractions will be two original posters made for Plzeňský Prazdroj and a few original drawings by Bohumil Konečný.
During the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to see a documentary by Ladislav Moulis – “BIMBA – a story of a forgotten painter.” The film won an award last year at London's international film festival, ARTS & FILM.
In addition to exhibition author Jan Hosnedl, and representatives of Plzeňský Prazdroj, the painter's wife, Dr. Eva Konečná, will also be at the exhibition. Music will be provided by singer/songwriter Jaroslav Samson Lenk. The exhibition will end with a screening of the movie, “BIMBA – a story of a forgotten painter.”
Bohumil Konečný, also called Bimba, created his first advertising poster for the Department of Advertising at Baťa. Bimba won a competition for a painter working in advertising and lived and painted in Zlín for about two years. He was very well paid, but he didn't really save a lot of money. Some people claimed that he invited the renowned Karl Vlach orchestra to one of his “parties.”
His employment at Baťa came to an end in 1942, when the Department of Advertising was abolished due to the war and lack of finances. Bimba worried about being drafted and moved to Střela, where he stayed until the end of the war, “employed” by the Lego bed and breakfast.
A second wave of interest in Konečný's posters came at the beginning of the ‘50s. Traditionally, he was hired to paint posters of smiling workers and farmers, water dams and factories, but in the socialist era of the ‘50s he was given the opportunity to branch out. Companies conducting international business commissioned him to paint posters in the style of so-called American advertising. Attractive pin-up girls, as if taken from American magazines, were used in international markets to promote jewellery from Jablonex, beer from Prazdroj, Petrof pianos and much more. The posters were then admired in South America, Spain, England and in other countries around the world.
The above mentioned posters of workers were a result of a team effort. Bimba created the people and his friend – painter Miloš Novák – then added the background (mines, dams, power plants…)
In just a few years, Bimba painted about a hundred posters, which are highly appreciated by collectors to this day.
The export posters weren't very well known in the Czech Republic. František Ulč is responsible for their salvation. In Marketing Magazine, he recalls: “Sometime in the mid ‘70s I was visiting Bimba. They still lived, the Konečný family, at Varšavská Street in Vinohrady. Mrs. Konečná and the children had already lived in Kožlany for two years, Bimba worked in Prague and he commuted to Kožlany every week by car. I was visiting him and he was slowly packing things, so that they could be brought to his wife in the Western Czech Republic. The room was full of boxes, bags with different things, but mainly boxes with books. I noticed a big piece of rolled up paper by a window. To my surprise, I discovered that the rolled up papers were hundreds of prints of advertising posters. I asked which box I should put them in, and Bimba said that he wouldn't bother dragging them to Kožlany, that he would simply recycle them! I thought that would be a shame. And then Bimba said that if I wanted them I should take them! Obviously I took them, and I came into possession of more than sixty posters, each one better than the next! The majority of them were completely unknown in the Czech Republic…”
The first project BIMBA- the forgotten painter, Bohumil Konečný, took place in 2007 and 2008. The project portrayed the life and works of one of the forgotten illustrators of the second half of 20th century, who painted adventures in Foglarovky, tales by Otakar Batlička, and also drawings of attractive pin-up girls. The project included an exhibition in the Plzeň Museum in the Western Czech Republic, an exhibition at the community hall in Prague, a monograph of a historian of art, Tomáš Pospiszyl “Bohumil Konečný” and a documentary film by Ladislav Moulis, “BIMBA – a story of a forgotten painter”.
Vladimír Jurina, Plzeňský Prazdroj, Ph.no. +420 724 617 975
Jan Hosnedl, author of the exhibition, Ph.no. +420 606 652 680,
Photos can be downloaded at: www.bimba.cz/novinari
Notes to editors:
- Activities of the Plzeň Prazdroj for visitors of the city of Plzeň include a Visitors' Centre, a sight-seeing tour of Pilsner Urquell, the Beer Museum and the historical underground area in the city centre.
- The brewery is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Czech Republic.
- One of the services and features offered by the brewery is the cultural and event centre, Secese, which can be used for various parties, for cultural and educational events and for presentations.
- The beer museum in Plzeň is situated in the original brewery, which has been kept in its original state at Veleslavínova Street. It was first opened in 1959, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Pilsner beer brand.
- The 800 meter long sight-seeing tour of the Plzeň Historical Underground can be accessed from the building of the Beer Museum. A labyrinth of halls, cellars and wells was built under the city of Plzeň by the 14th century and these are tied to the history and existence of the city.
- In 2009, More than 216, 000 visitors from all around the world visited the brewery, the Beer Museum and the Historical Underground.