In addition to its everyday activities, the Mathilda foundation also organizes various cultural and social events. These events serve as a means of publicizing the existence of the fund, calling attention to the abilities of the visually impaired and proving that in many areas they can fully match the abilities of their healthy counterparts. Additionally, they often combine important personalities from the social, cultural or political spheres with a pleasant environment, and also good ideas with advertising or financial aid, and sometimes at least provide entertainment for the visually impaired. Art auctions are an interesting and non-traditional example of such events.
Three such art auctions for the work of visually impaired sculptors have been organized to date. This is co-organized by the Mathilda foundation and the Friends of NMWA (Friends of National Museum of Women in the Arts, Czech Republic z.s.).
The auctions were organized under the auspices of the ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the Czech Republic, Mr. Mario Quagliotti, who also allowed the use of the premises of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the Czech Republic.
Do you want to know how was the auction arranged? The Mathilda foundation contacted a number of sculptors and graphical artists with visual impairments and asked them whether they would provide some of their work for the auction for the benefit of the fund. The Friends of NMWA then contacted potential interested persons – and thus everything was set.
People at the auction could see with their own eyes that the visually impaired can create beautiful things – things that are worth having. They saw that it is worth it to help and provide support to such people. Some sculptors were already experienced and knew the world of art, but for others this was a very important experience which taught them that their work is also of interest and could be in high demand. And so everyone left with either a beautiful piece of art or at least a strong experience and good feeling.
The last event of this kind was organized in early November 2015, in the beautiful premises of the refurbished Malostranska Beseda building. 30 ceramic chamber pots were auctioned; these were decorated by well-known artists and personalities from various areas using various techniques. These chamber pots were publicly exhibited in the Museum of historic chamber pots and toilets in the summer and the earnings from the auction went to the Mathilda foundation.
Mr. and Mrs. Sedlacek, the owners of the Museum of historic chamber pots and toilets, together with the Mathilda foundation invited a range of important and well-known public personalities to attend the event. Other guests also arrived, curious and looking forward to the unusual event. The already beautiful Malostranska Beseda building was made even more captivating thanks to the „Akta Akvarela“ exhibit of the renowned graphic Jaroslav Svoboda, and the pleasant atmosphere was emphasized by the musical performances of the daughter of Mrs. Sedlackova, Alice, and our colleague Tomas Pavlan.
The large-scale but friendly battle for the most interesting pieces of the beautiful set was closely watched not only by the bidders themselves but also the other attendees, including some of the artists themselves. The atmosphere was also underlined by the excellent performance of both auctioneers and the personal commentary of the opera singer Andrea Kalivodova, sculptor Pavel Opocensky and others.
The most sought after pieces included the work of the opera singer Andrea Kalivodova, director Jiri Menzel, actor Viktor Preiss and jazz trumpet player Laco Deczi. The whole auction was a success and the total earnings amounted to several hundred thousands of Czech Crowns, representing a significant boost to future activities of the Mathilda foundation. We thank all participants of the auction, the artists and Mr. and Mrs. Sedlacek!