Designed for future…

Designed for future…

Zora Valentová

Right from the establishment of the ÚĽUV, work of visual artists has been an integral part of the complex system of folk art production preservation. Linking research, development, production and sales has continued to be the prerequisite for folk art production development. Visual art activity started to exist in the ÚĽUV right from the establishment of the organisation in 1945. The first group of visual artists who started to implement developing objectives of the newly established organisation consisted of the professional visual artists who were also active outside folk art production (Júlia Kováčiková-Horová, Viktor Holubár-Holešťák, Viera Škrabalová).

Václav Kautman was the leading visual artist of the 1950s in the ÚĽUV. Besides, it was the time when future long-term cooperation of visual artists with the ÚĽUV was brought into existence. This occurred due to a simple course of events – starting from 1954, the ÚĽUV and individual makers cooperated. Simultaneously, visual artists cooperated with individual makers, too. Decades of cooperation often transformed into friendships. Nice and homely atmosphere helped to establish links that have kept visual artists and others in the ÚĽUV for decades or for their entire professional career. In addition to personal contacts, visual artists continued to work for the ÚĽUV because of the unique type of work they were doing.

High creative potential was required from the visual artists in the ÚĽUV. Unfortunately, they often produced anonymous designs. Thousands designs of products were produced which we know well from the ÚĽUV shops. General people know hardly any of visual artists who designed them. Designs of new products were created and disseminated with no copyright and licensing rights. The ÚĽUV provided the designs to many folk art makers who transformed designs into real products. Unfortunately, makers often made their copies and imitations outside the ÚĽUV. The fact that some products had been made by a specific visual artist became unknown due to the long-term production and dissemination among makers.

Opened to establish cooperation among the ÚĽUV, designers, schools and makers, the Open studio has been established to make links to the work of the last visual artists of the ÚĽUV.