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Kotěra, Jan

Kotěra, Jan (1871–1923). Born in Brno, he studied with Otto Wagner in Vienna. From around 1898 until 1905 he was profoundly influenced by the Sezession, actively designing with Jugendstil themes well to the fore, while also taking a lively interest in the folk art of his native land and drawing upon ideas and themes connected with the English Arts-and-Crafts movement. His early work was published in Meine und meiner Schüler Arbeiten: 1898–1901 (Works of Mine and My Students—1902), dominant flavours of which were Arts-and-Crafts and Jugendstil. Typical of his designs at that time were the Peterka House, Wenceslas Square, Prague (1899–1900), and the National House, Prostějov (1905–7). A journey to the USA (1903) brought him into contact with the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and visits to The Netherlands and England led him to introduce an architecture of brick to Bohemia, as well as Wrightian ideas of space as in the Hradec Králové Town Museum (1906–12). He was an influential teacher, numbering Fuchs, Gočár, and Krejcar among his pupils (although they turned away from the elegance of his work in favour of Modernism). He made a design for the Company Town for Baťa at Zlín, which was influenced by the ideas of Ebenezer Howard.

Bibliography

Kotěra (1902, 2001);
Mádl (1922);
F. Russell (ed.) (1979);
Jane Turner (1996)

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