Prague Kolektiv Closing & Celebration of Czech Modernist Design

Prague Kolektiv Closing & Celebration of Czech Modernist Design

Maxwell Ryan
Jul 2, 2010

My old friend Barton Quillen who founded Prague Kolektiv about four years ago (check out the opening) and is an expert in modernist Czech furniture is closing shop and throwing a party in the form of a big sale (50% off on everything).
I had breakfast with him yesterday and he is as excited about liquidating over 200 treasures of original Czech furniture, lighting, and decorative objects as he is about the next stage about his journey, which will involve transferring his substantial knowledge to the online space. With his help, I put together this post to showcase this unique sale as well as the history of modern Czech design. Enjoy!

So, for those of you who like deals, this is a great one. Prague Kolektiv has been the only company in North America that specializes in pieces representing the designs of the pre-war Czech avant-garde and mid-century social realism from the 1930s to the 1960s.

"The pre-war and post-war periods in Czechoslovakia produced outstanding designs in extraordinarily different political, social, and economic contexts. In many of the pre-war Czech pieces that we carry, the influences from the Bauhaus and architects such as Le Corbusier, Mart Stam, Adolf Loos and Mies van der Rohe are unmistakable."

I asked Bart to not only send me some images of those pieces that were going on sale, but also to send a few images of Czech architecture to give us some grounding in the style. Check it out all below and then check out the sale, which starts today. Even if you're not in NYC, you can still purchase from his remaining inventory via 1st Dibs.

(Image: CSMonitor)

"I just sent you three images i took last summer when i visited my friends who teach at the Department of Applied Design at Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic. Zlin is a sleepy city in the Moravian countryside in the eastern part of the Czech Republic but in the first half of the 20th century is was a vibrant industrial town that benefitted enormously from the design vision of the Bata shoe company that was a powerful force in the pre-war design culture of czechoslovakia. Bata endeavored to employ the most progressive design principles of the day and its efforts resulted in outstanding architectural achievements throughout former Czechoslovakia and particularly in Zlin where the whole city grew in large part around the success of this firm. It would not be exaggerating to compare the Bata company of the 1930s with Apple Computers today in terms of the significance that design plays in the culture and brand identity of the firm and the legacy it has produced."

Good Links:

>> Prague Kolektiv
>> Design for Living in Zlin, Czech Republic (NYTimes)
>> Workers' paradise: The town built by Czech version of Henry Ford (CSMonitor)
>> About Czech modernist design @ Prague Kolectiv

Bata was then the largest shoe manufacturer in the world and commissioned beautiful modernist designs for its offices, factories, workers homes, schools, and health clinis in the 1920s and 1930s Czechoslovakia. Pictured above is the Bata Company headquarters, architect Vladimir Karfik, 1938: Zlin, Czech Republic.

Stairs at public swimming pool: Zlin, Czech Republic

Contemporary architecture, Zlin, Czech Republic




ALL our items will be marked down a minimum of 50%

100 pieces of lighting & 100 pieces of furniture

July 28 - Aug 1(Wed-Sun)
Aug 4 - Aug 8 (Wed-Sun)
Hours: 11 am to 7 pm

Prague Kolektiv
During the sale our inventory will be viewable at our DUMBO, Brooklyn warehouse:
68 JAY Street, 6th floor, suite #605A (just off Front St.) note that after 6 pm and all day saturday and sunday you will need to call us to gain access into our building !

We can be reached at (917) 710 1047 or for any questions.
Most but not all of our inventory can be viewed at or

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