Josef Lada Exhibit

 

Josef Lada (1897–1957 Czechoslovakia) artist, illustrator, writer, news and book caricaturist. The art and artifacts came directly from Prague Museums of Art, Literature, Art Galleries. Josef Lada is best known as the illustrator of Jaroslav Hašek's WWI novel The Good Soldier Švejk.  Born in the small village of Hrusice in a cobbler's family, he went to Prague at the age of 14 to become an apprentice binder. Entirely self-taught, he created his own style as a caricaturist for newspapers, and later as an illustrator. He produced landscapes, created frescoes and designed costumes for plays and films. Over the years he created a series of paintings and drawings depicting traditional Czech occupations, and wrote and illustrated the adventures of Mikeš, a little black cat who could talk. Lada produced nearly 600 cartoons of the Švejk characters, depicting Austria-Hungary officers and civil servants as incompetent, abusive, and often drunk.  All subsequent editions of Švejk used Lada's illustrations, except for the 2008/2009 Czech edition illustrated by Petr Urban. The exhibit remains in place through February 2017.