History of the exhibition
The predecessor of the international exhibition was the Exhibition of children’s Artistic Expressions under the name Our Childhood is Different, which was shown in the Klement Gottwald Museum in Prague in 1967. The organizers were the Central Committee of the National Front of the CSSR and the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Works of children from Czech schools were exhibited there. Also children’s literary attempts – fairytales, letters, rhymes and poetry - were presented besides drawings, prints, paintings, sculptures, ceramics and applied arts. The secretary and an “ideological leader“ of the exhibition was Jaroslav Puchmertl.
The ceremonial opening of the following Exhibition of Children’s Artistic Expressions was held in the community centre at Lidice which was owned by the Local National Committee at Lidice.
The birth of the international exhibition – the 1st edition of the International Children’s Exhibition of Fine Arts (hereinafter ICEFA) Lidice.
Organizers of the exhibition were as follows:
- Central Committee of the National Front of the CSSR, CSR and SSR
- Lidice Local National Committee
- Czechoslovak Commission for UNESCO
- Ministry of Education of the CSR and SSR
- Ministry of Culture of the CSR and SSR (from 1981 only Ministry of Culture of the CSR)
The ceremonial opening of this edition was held again in the Community centre at Lidice. There were entries from children from 15 countries there, 224 of them were awarded.
1974 – 1990
2nd – 18th Editions
In this period the exhibition became international in the true sense of the word – it was regularly taken part in by children aged 5 to 15 years from more than 60 countries. Information on the exhibition was spread in invitations to participate printed in many languages. After the closure in March the children’s works were assessed by a panel of expert judges, the best works being awarded certificates and top 20 artists obtaining the “Lidice Rose” medals. Ceremonial openings and main displays of the exhibition took place in the Lidice community centre from May to October.
In 1985 Ľubica Riedlbauchová took the place of Jaroslav Puchmertl as the secretary.
In 1986 the Czechoslovak Peace Committee became the next organizer of the exhibition.
Since 1987 the number of awarded medals has not been limited any more.
In 1990 The Czechoslovak Peace Union replaced the Central Committee of the National Front of the CSSR in organizing the exhibition.
The committees of NF ceased to exist and OVNF changed into the Association of Political Parties and Movements. This association was not able to finance the exhibition for financial and operational reasons.
After the meeting of the co-organizers ICEFA Lidice was temporarily transferred to publishing house Mladá fronta (state-owned at that time), which showed interest in it and thereby enabled it to continue.
New organizers were as follows:
- Publishing house Mladá Fronta (since 1993 Mladá fronta a.s. Praha)
- Ministry of Culture of the CR
- Ministry of Education of the CR (till 1990 ME CSR and SSR, since 1991 ME CR and SR)
- Czechoslovak Commission for UNESCO (since 1993 Czech Commission for UNESCO)
- Lidice Community Council
- Czechoslovak Foreign Institute (since 1993)
1992 - 1994
The ceremonial openings and the main displays of the 20th and 21st editions of ICEFA 1992 and 1993 took place in the Lidice Memorial – in a room opposite the museum, because the exhibition had to leave the Lidice community centre on grounds of bad condition of the building in 1991. However, this solution was unsatisfactory, because the room was damp and devoid of windows. As all winning works could not fit into the room, a part of them was simultaneously exhibited at the Most Primary Art School Gallery in 1992 – 1994, on the basis of the offer made by a member of the panel of judges – the headmaster of the Most Primary Art School Josef Zedník.
The ceremonial opening of the 22nd edition of ICEFA 1994 took place in the Lidice community centre and in the Most Primary Art School.
The ceremonial opening of the 23rd edition of ICEFA 1995 took place at the Chateau Gallery of the Kladno District Museum. However, the District Museum was transformed into the Municipal Museum afterwards and the exhibition could not be held there any more.
Since 1995 the exhibition has been moving to the Most Primary Art School Gallery after the end of the main exhibition, where it lasts from February/ March to May of the following year.
The ceremonial opening of the 24th edition of ICEFA 1996 took place at the Sítná Gallery at Kladno, which, however, ceased to exist afterwards as a result of economic changes. Upon agreement with representatives of the Strakonice District School Office the exhibition was moved into the Strakonice Castle.
1997 – 2001
The ceremonial openings of the 25th and 29th editions of ICEFA 1997 – 2001 took place in the Museum of Central Otava Basin – Strakonice Castle under the auspices of the town of Strakonice and the Strakonice district authorities. Besides the exhibition grounds for 8 weeks the Museum provided also storage facilities, finance for printing posters and the ceremonial opening, arranged the programme, transportation and manufacturing of new exhibition panels.
In this period, children from 55 – 60 countries took part regularly in the competition, with 1,200 – 1,500 works awarded every year.
Another organizer of the exhibition was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the CR from 1997 and then, in 2000, Museum of Central Otava Basin – Strakonice Castle took its place.
In 2001 the age limits for participants widened – children 4 up to 16 are allowed.
In 1996 – 2001 the exhibition was installed not only at the Most Primary Art School Gallery after the end of the main exhibition, but also in Czech Centres (Sophia, Bucharest¨, Bratislava) and at other towns in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. Many partial exhibitions took place at Czech towns (Opava, Olomouc, Blatná) and galleries (Gallery Na schodech, Prague 5, Gallery of Česká pojišťovna and Gallery Fronta in Spálená street, Prague 1). Czech and Slovak works from the exhibition archive, later only the Czech ones, were on display at many foreign international children’s exhibitions of fine arts.
The ceremonial opening of the 30th edition of ICEFA 2002 took place at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague. Thanks to the large exhibition grounds, record-breaking 1577 children’s works from 71 countries could be put on display.
The role of the curator of the exhibition was assumed by Iva Brothánková that year.
The ceremonial opening of the 31st edition of ICEFA 2003 took place at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague and simultaneously in the newly rehabilitated building of Lidice Gallery at Lidice. Organizers for that year were Mladá Fronta a.s. Praha together with Lidice Memorial with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the CR, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the CR and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the CR.
At instigation of the director of the Lidice Memorial, Ing. Marie Tělupilová, a new constitution of ICEFA has been drafted and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and UNESCO in 2003.
2004 - present
After a complicated legal transfer the exhibition returned to Lidice in 2004 to the Lidice Gallery, which was established for that purpose in the remodelled Lidice community centre (2003).
Since 2004, the 32nd edition of ICEFA, the only organizer of the exhibition has been the Lidice Memorial, a subsidized organization of the Ministry of Culture of the CR (established in 2001) with the year-by-year support of the Ministry of Culture of the CR, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the CR, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the CR and the Czech Commission for UNESCO.
Since that year the ceremonial openings have been taking place in the grounds of the Lidice Gallery from June to October.
There are excellent financial and organizational conditions for that exhibition in the Lidice Gallery, there is a spacious, functional depository where all awarded two-dimensional works are stored.
In 2006 the new constitution of the exhibition was modified and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and UNESCO.
Since September 2007 - December 2017 Ivona Kasalická was the curator of the exhibition.
Since 2013 is exhibition also under auspices of Czech Centres.
Since 2016 is exhibition in the Lidice Gallery extended from June to November.
In the last years children from more than 70 countries have been participating in the exhibition, sending in 25,000 works every year. It has been awarded 1,300 works, of which cca 200 has been obtaining medals.
After the end of the main exhibition at Lidice, ICEFA Lidice has been installed at exhibition halls and galleries in the Czech Republic and abroad, particularly in Czech centres. Therefore, many children and friends of children’s artistic expressions have had an opportunity to see the exhibition both in our country and abroad.