Josef Hoffmann Museum

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náměstí Svobody 263, Brtnice, Czech Republic
phone: +420 567 216 128
e-mail: brtnice@moravska-galerie.cz

Opening hours:
November - March Saturday - Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
April - June Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
July - August Daily 10 am - 5 pm
September - October Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 5 pm

Last entry at 4 pm. Entry outside opening hours with prior arrangement by telephone +420724543722, e-mail brtnice@moravska-galerie.cz

Entrance fee
Admission - ticket for the whole building including a guided tour
Full 40 CZK, Concessions 20 CZK, Group 15 CZK, Family 90 CZK

The Josef Hoffmann Museum
Ground floor:

- library
- information centre - tourist information, brochures and souvenirs, projection of video films on Brtnice, museum box-office
First floor:
- Josef Hoffmann Museum - permanent exhibition Josef Hoffmann: Inspirations
- current exhibition
- Museum library - reference only

The permanent exhibition is to open in the Birthplace of Josef Hoffmann. Timeless Design its predecessor in Hoffmann's house in Brtnice is being replaced by Inspirations. From 16th June, 2009 the visitors to Brtnice will again be able to visit the museum to learn about the wide-ranging inspirations behind the work of this important architect and designer of the first half of the 20th century.

The Hoffmann house, No.263, fronts the eastern side of the Brtnice square. The building was probably created by merging two smaller houses. The foundations of the northern house date back to around 1500, the Late Gothic core being still visible in the massive walls and the barrel vault of the cellar. After a fire of 1760 the exterior of the houses was unified by a Baroque re-building.

The house was owned by several generations of ancestors of the architect Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956). His father, Josef, was one of the most honoured burghers, and presided over Brtnice as mayor for 36 years. The family lived on the floor, the vaulted rooms at the ground level and the passage way served the family's working purposes.

After the death of their parents the children continued to come to a re-union in the house for the summer and, sometime between 1907-1911, Josef Hoffmann, then a renowned Viennese architect, refurbished the house. He concentrated on the interior, designed new pieces of furniture and had the walls in the rooms painted in vivid colours. The small room on the ground floor adjacent to the passage way was converted into a study with walls lined with wood panelling, and added a staircase. In the court yard, part of the building was turned into a summerhouse and fitted with new garden furniture. The outside appearance of the house changed very little. It was only later, after a fire of 1934, that the original mansard roof was given today's form. 

The Hofmann house was confiscated in 1945 by the state and Josef Hoffmann never returned to Brtnice. The building, which later passed into the possession of the local branch of the Communist Party, turned into a state of disrepair and the furnishings disappeared. The vivid colour design was hidden under whitewash, which, paradoxically, helped to retain it until today.

After 1989 the house was transferred into municipal property and discussions concerning the necessity of its reconstruction began soon afterwards. The project design was commissioned to the office of the Brno architects Hrůša & Pelčák. With the drawings completed between 1995-1997 the project was finally realized in 2003. The restoration work was based on surviving period photographs, which Josef Hoffmann had commissioned after he finished his work and which he published in the contemporary press. The architect's study on the ground floor was painstakingly brought to its original state, including the furniture. The ornamental wall-decoration on the first floor was revealed and restored. The reconstruction also involved the barn at the back of the plot, while it is hoped that the summerhouse will be restored in the future.

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The birthplace of Josef Hoffmann is the property of the town of Brtnice, and since January 1st, 2006 it has been under the administration of the Moravian Gallery in Brno. The Josef Hoffmann Museum is a joint branch of the Moravská Galerie in Brno and the MAK, Vienna.

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