Walking through history of cultures far away from Prague is comfortably achievable in this museum which presents an extensive collection of objects connected to various ethnicities outside of Europe.
The roots of this institution can be tracked back to the second half of the 19th century when Vojta Naprstek, a true renaissance man of his time, decided to establish an industrial museum in Prague to initiate the progress of the then underdeveloped Czech industry. However, the museum gradually turned into an ethnographic one as Vojta Naprstek was, apart from many other activities, a major sponsor of Czech travellers. He bought and collected exhibits from them and also gathered large amounts of items from his own journies.
In brief, the museum introduces you to native cultures of the North and South Americas, archaeological evidence of prehistorical and ancient cultures, ethnographical and art objects of natives from the 19th and 20th century, and to cultures of Australia and Oceania showing the material and spiritual life of the original inhabitants of Australia and isles of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
Comprising of 95 000 items, there is only small part exhibited in the main museum building. Still the American and Australian collections offer a long walk round exhibits where one of the highlights is a very accurate insight into daily livelihood of various tribes from Venezuela and Columbia in the last decade of the 19th century.
As the collection also includes coins, historical photographs, stereoscopic pictures, contemporary graphic art, books of press-cuttings and gramophone records the Museum makes those items accessible to public by organizing temporary exhibitions such as the current project showing an inspiring collection of objects made of Tapa and non-woven textiles by inhabitants of Pacific islands.
|Address:||Betlemske nam. 1, 110 00 Praha 1|
|Phone:||+420 224 497 500 or 511, phone/fax: +420 222 221 418|
|How to get there:||Metro A Staromestska|
|Opening hours:||Mon to Sun 10 am to 6 pm, closed in July and August|
|Admission:||80 CZK full, 120 CZK families, 40 CZK students, children up to 6 for free|