Databáze uměleckých výstav v českých zemích 1820 – 1950

The 35th Members Exhibition of the Mánes Association

Date:14. January 1911 – 19. February 1911

Place: Prague, Pavilion of SVU Mánes at Kinsky Garden

Exhibition design:Jan Zázvorka

Organizer:Mánes Fine Arts Association

Conception:Mánes Fine Arts Association


This Mánes Association (SVU Mánes) members' exhibition was divided into two parts. The main hall featured painters associated with the beginning of modernism at the turn of the 20th century (Antonín Hudeček, Miloš Jiránek, Max Švabinský, Karel Myslbek and several students of Mařák's landscape painting studio). Ladislav Šíma, a future member of the Skupina výtvarných umělců (Fine Arts Group), was the only young artist in this part of the exhibition. International artists were represented by Edvard Munch and Vlastimil Hoffman, a Polish painter settled in Prague. The main hall was dominated by Švabinský's monumental painting Summer, now known as Yellow Parasol

The second, smaller part of the exhibition at the rear of the pavilion was reserved for the Association's younger members who were part of the circle around Osma (The Eight) group and who had been aspiring to join Mánes. Of these young artists, Otakar Kubín was the first to exhibit at Mánes’ 1908 members' show. That same year, Emil Filla and Antonín Procházka sent a letter to Mánes in which they applied for membership. In 1909, on the occasion of the 29th members' exhibition, Jan Preisler and Miloš Jiránek arranged the admission of not only Kubín and Filla, but also Vincenc Beneš and Václav Špála. Procházka and Bohumil Kubišta joined Mánes in 1910. Linka Procházková-Scheithauerová and Jindřich Prucha also registered for the exhibition, but their paintings did not appear there. 

The rear part of the exhibition was referred to as the “neo-Primitivist pavilion,” a title derived from the exhibiting artists' agenda. For them, Primitivism was a means of liberation from the older academic tradition and from Impressionism. The goal was to find a new, authentic style. Primitivism was seen as a transition leading to the revitalization of form and its laws, based on the autonomous nature of a work of art and independent of the optical aspect of reality. Filla formulated this agenda in his article published shortly before the exhibition in Volné směry, which Antonín Matějček and Filla edited [Filla 1911, pp. 62–70]. The article was accompanied by reproductions of artworks by Czech painters, and also Georges Braque's and Pablo Picasso's Cubist paintings. This was the first time that these paintings appeared in a Czech periodical. 

The systematic effort to break with earlier tradition was also evident from Filla's poster for the exhibition, which has not survived in the original. Here, a young knight with a sword symbolizing new art is about to sever the head of an old man, the symbol of tradition, as he lay on the ground. In April 1943, Dalibor Janků used the poster as an example of degenerate art in his article for the official protectorate biweekly Zteč: “At the start, they published a poster in which they unknowingly captured the goal of their activity. In this poster, a man wields a stick while a figure of sorts wriggles at his feet. The man was supposed to stand for the new trend that would kill the old art. Such people took hold of the entire Czech art world after the First World War.” [Mrkvička 1947, p. 273]

The exhibition's simple architecture, which allowed the artworks to fully display their qualities, was designed by the architect Jan Zázvorka. The neo-Primitivist pavilion was subject to sharp criticism, especially from older and conservative authority figures, and sparked a number of heated debates. The young artists' efforts enjoyed the support of Vilém Dvořák, František Krejčí and F. X. Šalda in particular, who all criticized the older SVU Mánes artists for their stagnation. The debates of the period suggest that modern art was at a crossroads. The individual members of both camps, the conservative and the radical, were looking for arguments to support their agenda, which they perceived as the only truthful and justified one. The turn-of-the-century modernism stood in opposition to the avant-garde sensibility, with works by Filla, Kubišta and Beneš presaging the future turn to Cubism. Neither camp saw space for plurality, so the discussion escalated, leading to personal attacks and even a physical altercation – the painter Josef Ullmann assaulted Kubišta. Concurrently with the Mánes exhibition, the Topič salon exhibited the “donkey painting,” known from the previous year's Salon des Indépendants in Paris, as a mockery of the young artists' efforts.   

Although the exhibition, attended by 3202 viewers, became the most popular Mánes show that year and earned almost 2600 CZK, it sparked conflict within SVU Mánes itself. Older artists protested against younger artists, and also against the way Filla edited Volné směry, which was losing subscribers. On February 17, 1911, the situation was discussed at Mánes's general meeting, during which the young artists were not elected to the association's committee, in part due to the print maker Grégr. The sculptor Stanislav Sucharda was reelected as the chairman. Three days later, young artists and theorists left Mánes. While Matějček and Kubišta returned after a few months, Filla along with several other artists founded the Fine Arts Group during the summer of 1911.

Tomáš Winter

Works cited

Filla 1911: Emil Filla, O ctnosti novoprimitivismu, Volné směry XV, 1911, pp. 62–70
Mrkvička 1947: Otakar Mrkvička, Umění za protektorátu, Volné směry XXXIX, 1947, pp. 227–272

Further reading

Vojtěch Lahoda, Český kubismus, Praha 1996, p. 22
Miroslav Lamač, Osma a Skupina výtvarných umělců 1907–1917, Praha 1988, p. 177
Marie Rakušanová, Bytosti odnikud. Metamorfózy akademických principů v malbě 1. poloviny 20. století, Praha 2008, pp. 98–102
Marie Rakušanová, Kubišta – Filla. Zakladatelé moderního českého umění v poli kulturní produkce, Brno – Plzeň 2019, pp. 131–138
Nicholas Sawicki, Na cestě k modernosti. Umělecké sdružení Osma a jeho okruh v letech 1900–1910, Praha 2014, pp. 151–154
Pavel Škranc, Žlutý slunečník Maxe Švabinského a počátky české moderní malby, Studie Muzea Kroměřížska VII, 1986, pp. 67–80
Petr Wittlich, Česká secese, Praha 1982, pp. 355–356
Tomáš Winter, Palmy na Vltavě. Primitivismus, mimoevropské kultury a české výtvarné umění 1850–1950, Řevnice – Plzeň – Praha 2013, pp. 120–121
Tomáš Winter (ed.), Zajatec kubismu. Dílo Emila Filly v zrcadle výtvarné kritiky (1907–1953), Praha 2004, pp. 117–123

Archival sources

Prague City Archives, Fonds Spolek výtvarných umělců Mánes, Výstavní činnost, 4017, Členská (obra-zy) [Mánes Fine Arts Association, Exhibitions, 4017, members' exhibition (paintings)], 1911 (January-February) link at:

Exhibiting authors
The 35th Members Exhibition of the Mánes Association
Author:Filla Emil
Technique: lithograph, paper, dimensions unknown
Owner: the work has not been preserved

Hyper link at:



XXXV. výstava S. V. U. Manes (členská) [35th Members' Exhibition of the Mánes Fine Arts Associa-tion]


Publisher: Mánes Fine Arts Association

Place and year of publication: Praha 1911

Reviews in the press

anonymous author, Slůvko o „novém umění“, Směr II, 1911, appendix to no. 5, 4. 2., p. 3


V. Dol., Povážlivé zjevy, Dílo IX, 1911, no. 1, pp. 27–28

Dvořák Vilém

Vilém Dvořák, Poznámky k XXXV. členské výstavě Manesa, Čas XXV, 1911, appendix Hlídka Času no. 9 to no. 32, 1. 2., p. 5

Fiala Oskar

O. F. [Oskar Fiala], Po létech umělecké a ideové průpravy…, Dílo IX, 1911, no. 1, pp. 25–26.


B. H., Cesta k vítězství, Dílo IX, 1911, no. 2, pp. 49–54

Herben Jan

T. Klín [Jan Herben], Na tvrdé dřevo…, Čas XXV, 1911, no. 40, 9. 2., pp. 2–3

Kalvoda Alois

-da [Alois Kalvoda], Novoprimitivisté v Pavilonu „Manesa“ v Praze. – XXXV. výstava Spolku výtvarných umělců Manes v Praze, Dílo IX, 1911, no. 1, pp. 21–24

Krejčí František

Kí. [František Krejčí], Quo, quo scelesti ruitis, Česká mysl XII, 1911, no. 1, 15. 2., pp. 105–106

Macek Antonín

A. M. [Antonín Macek], Výstava Mánesa, Právo lidu XX, 1911, appendix to no. 29, 29. 1., p. 1

Mádl Karel Boromejský

Karel B. Mádl, Výstava „Mánesa“, Národní listy LI, 1911, appendix to no. 22, 22. 1., pp. 9–10

Mádl Karel Boromejský

M. [Karel Boromejský Mádl], Členská výstava „Mánesa“, Zlatá Praha XXVIII, 1910–1911, no. 22, 17. 2. 1911, pp. 261–262

Marek Josef Richard

Josef Marek, Výstavy, Moderní revue XVII (vol. XXIII), 1911, no. 5 (book 198), 8. 2., pp. 267–268

Skružný Josef

Venouš Dolejš [Josef Skružný], Výstava spolku Manes, Humoristické listy LIV, 1911, no. 5, 20. 1., pp. 61–62

Šalda František Xaver

František Xaver Šalda, Starý a nový Mánes. Dojmy a reflexe, Novina IV, 1911, no. 6, 27. 1., pp. 161–165; no. 7, 10. 2., pp. 202–207, in: idem, Kritické projevy 8, 1910–1911, edd. Oldřich Králík – Miroslav Komárek – Jiří Opelík, Praha 1956, pp. 128–139 

Šalda František Xaver

František Xaver Šalda, Členská výstava Mánesa. (Glossy k článku Starý a nový Mánes), Novina IV, 1911, no. 8, 10. 2., pp. 248–251, in: idem, Kritické projevy 8, 1910–1911, edd. Oldřich Králík – Miroslav Komárek – Jiří Opelík, Praha 1956, pp. 140–144


X, Nové české malířství?, Lidové noviny XIX, 1911, no. 46, 15. 2., pp. 2–3; no. 47, 16. 2., pp. 2–3

Views of the exhibition

View of the 35th members' exhibition of the Mánes Fine Arts Association

on the right wall: Max Švabinský, Family Portrait (Portrait of the three), Portrait of Dr. Preiss and His Wife and Self-Portrait


Český svět VII, 1910–1911

photo: ing. Kutina.

View of the 35th members' exhibition of the Mánes Fine Arts Association

on the right wall: Vlastimil Hoffman: Madonna Gaudiosa, Poet and Concert


Český svět VII, 1910–1911

photo: ing. Kutina 

View of the 35th members' exhibition of the Mánes Fine Arts Association

Max Švabinský, Summer (Yellow Parasol)


Český svět VII, 1910–1911

photo: ing. Kutina

View of the 35th members' exhibition of the Mánes Fine Arts Association

“neo-Primitivist” section

from the left: Emil Filla, Autumn and Good Samaritan, Vincenc Beneš, Vyšehrad, Bohumil Kubišta, Kitchen Still Life, Vincenc Beneš Hagar and Ismael, Otakar Kubín, Work in the Field, Václav Špála, Bay in Gruž


Český svět VII, 1910–1911

photo: ing. Kutina

Brief notes about the exhibition

Anonymous author, XXXV. čl. výst. S. V. U. Mánes…, Čas XXV, 1911, no. 13, 13. 1., p. 4

Anonymous author, Spolek Mánes otevírá dnes…, Čas XXV, 1911, no. 14, 14. 1., p. 4

Anonymous author, Dnes otvírá S. V. U. …., Právo lidu XX, 1911, appendix to no. 14, 14. 1., p. 1

Anonymous author, S. V. U. Mánes otevřel včera…, Čas XXV, 1911, no. 15, 15. 1., p. 5

Anonymous author, Dnes v 11 hod. dop. …, Lidové noviny XIX, 1911, no. 15, 15. 1., p. 4

Anonymous author, S. V. U. otevřel včera…., Právo lidu XX, 1911, appendix to no. 15, 15. 1., p. 1

an., Mluva novoprimitivistů, Dílo IX, 1911, no. 1, p. 27

Anonymous author, XXXV. čl. výst. S. V. U. Mánes bude uzavřena…, Čas XXV, 1911, no. 42, 11. 2., p. 4

Anonymous author, Dva polemické dopisy, Čas XXV, 1911, no. 45, 14. 2., pp. 2–4

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