Events September 2023


Jaroslav Josef Polívka, Frank Lloyd Wright, and New York

September 28, 2023

This talk presented by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, New York Chapter will bring to light lesser-known facts about the design and construction of the Guggenheim Museum between 1946 and 1949 when a Czech structural engineer, Jaroslav Josef Polívka, masterminded the iconic spiral diverging ramp without inner supporting columns. Between 1946 and 1959, Polívka was a structural engineer for another eight of Frank Lloyd Wright’s projects. Historian Ladislav Jackson will discuss Polívka’s unique influence on Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, specifically the Guggenheim Museum and the unbuilt Belmont Racetrack Pavilion.

Ladislav Jackson (formerly Zikmund-Lender) is a visual arts and architecture historian. Since 2018, he has been an assistant professor at the Department of History and Theory of Art, Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology, where he teaches global and local 20th-century Art and critical theory (feminist, queer, and critical race studies). His research focuses on 20th-century architecture and design; and gender and queer studies in art history. In 2016, he was a Fulbright scholar at the University of California in Berkeley. Jackson also curates exhibitions on architecture and design and has written, edited, or co-edited about twenty books, including Hotel Praha (2019), Villas and Family Houses in Hradec Králové (2020), Myth of an Architect: Jan Kotěra 150 (2021), The Church of the Divine Heart: 1928‒1932 (2022) and his latest Philosopher of Structures: Architect and Engineer Jaroslav J. Polívka (1886–1960). He is an executive director of the Society for Queer Memory in Prague.

This event is organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in New York with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association.

Thursday September 28, 7:00 – 9:30pm
Bohemian National Hall
231 E. 73rd Street, Manhattan