The Tatras have been an inspiration for tourists, recreational visitors and also artists for centuries. The year of 1916 was no exception in spite of the war. Although there is not much known about Hungarian officer Guyla Hembach, what he saw from his room number 217 and where he went to in the Tatras was revealed on his aquarelles and pen-and-ink drawings. “The original sketchbook was dedicated to the area of the Tatras and got to an antiquarian bookshop as an inconspicuous sketchbook from an anonymous inheritance from Budapest. I was immediately fascinated not only by the topic but also by the artistic quality of the drawings. It was clear that they were not amateur works but made by someone who was able to observe the reality and capture it even on a small paper format very well. He could also use the perspective and hatching. When studying the sketchbook I noticed detailed dating of individual pages which helped me find out the exact time period when exactly was Gyula Hembach staying in the High Tatras and that he was staying in the Palace Hotel (original name Palota szálló), in room number 217, that means the present-day Grandhotel Praha and room number 216. However, the project was not born overnight. I had been thinking about it for long, looking at it from various points of view. Last year, I made the final decision to travel back in time to the places our artist had stayed in along with a group of selected present-day artists and to look for the points where the original sketches had been made as places of possible inspiration. For me it was a big challenge not to miss out on the chance to see responses to the historical sketches after exactly one hundred years,“ explained Svätopluk Mikyta, the head of the Drawing and Graphic Studio at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno.
The reconstruction of the historical sketches copies the original schedule of specific days during the stay of G. Hembach in the Tatras. “I think it was very special and unrepeatable. 14 artists that had been invited to join the project had a complete freedom of choosing artistic techniques and were using the same methods as in the past, this means photos, drawings etc. Let´s say for example that a drawing was dated back to 8/2/1916 so exactly one hundred years later, i.e. on 8/2/2016, the youngest Czech present-day artist of the group – Jakub Roček set out to follow Hembach´s footsteps in Tatranská Lomnica. The theme of the Tatras of specific days and months was the source of inspiration for artists who are active in studios
all around Central Europe and presented their views of the given topic as seen by present-day artists. Maybe our Tatrahundert project will inspire artist in another one hundred years to follow the footsteps of our works of 2016. Visitors will have a chance to see for example the original Lomnica hotel on the pictures, a view of Kežmarské Žľaby, Mt. Slavkovský štít and much more. I hope they will feel enriched and perceive the area of the Tatras not only in the usual sports-recreational context,“ concluded Mikyta.
To identify the places from the sketchbook, the artists were helped also by publishers of historical publications, Mr. and Mrs. Bohuš from Tatranská Lomnica. “As we have a close relation to Tatra experts, or mountain experts and we are interested in everything that is related to the history of the Tatras, we have helped to identify individual locations, e.g. in Tatranské Matliare. Art historians taught us that there had been many skilled and talented people in the past. A very well developed fine motor activity enabled them to create authentic, literally surprising pieces of art. And this talents replaced the ability of cameras,“ added Iveta Bohušová. The programme of the exhibition is rich and the visitors will have a chance not only to have a look at the works of present-day artists but also at the historically furnished room of the talented officer. “We will try to design the room based on a sketch of Gyula Hembach and complete it with uniforms of waiters and receptionists as well as French silverware. Although Grandhotel Praha has a rich history, it keeps up with modern trends as well. During the one hundred years of its history, there has been 9 owners, twenty general managers, several extensive renovations – last time, a wellness centre with an exclusive outdoor pool was added, nowadays 20 rooms are being refurbished in a classic style,“ said Jarmila Bartoš from the marketing of TMR hotels. The vernissage of the unique exhibition takes place in the conference room II of Grandhotel Praha in Tatranská Lomnica on Thursday 7/7 at 18:00 with artists Svätopluk Mikyta, Štefan Papčo, Juraj Gábor, Peter Krúpa, Lucia Papčová, Dominika Jackuliaková, Ľudek Rathouský, Jakub Roček, Johana Pošová, Rastislav Podoba and Tomáš Džadoň. The exhibition is available in the Tatras until 24/7, then it moves to the TIC gallery in Brno and to the Central European Gallery of Banská Bystrica in spring 2017. For more details about Tatrahundert, please click HERE. ___________________________________________________________________________
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. (TMR) is the leader in tourism in Central and Eastern Europe; it owns and operates attractive mountain resorts and hotels. In the Low Tatras TMR owns and operates the resort Jasná Nízke Tatry and hotels Wellness hotel Grand Jasná, Boutique Hotel Tri Studničky, Chalets Jasná De Luxe, Hotel Srdiečko, and Hotel Rotunda. TMR is also the owner of Aquapark Tatralandia, the largest Slovak aquapark with year-round operation, which besides water entertainment includes Tropical Paradise, a special tropical indoor hall with sea water, as well as Fun Park, and accommodation in bungalows and apartments of Holiday Village Tatralandia. In the High Tat ras TMR owns and operates the resort Vysoké Tatry with mountain areas of Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec, and Štrbské Pleso, which TMR co-manages. In the High Tatras TMR also owns hotels Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica, Grandhotel Starý Smokovec, and Hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso. TMR also owns a 19% share in Melida, a.s., which leases and operates the resort Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic. In Poland TMR owns a 97% share in the mountain resort Szczyrkowski Ośrodek Narciarski S.A. (SON) and a 75% share in a company that owns and operates Silesian Amusement Park (Śląskie Wesołe Miasteczko). TMR also owns and leases hotels Slovakia, Kosodrevina, Liptov and Ski&Fun Záhradky a Bungalovy to third parties. By the end of 2015 EUR 206 mil. had been invested into development and modernisation of TMR’s resorts. TMR shares are traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw.