Overview

Prague Kolektiv is the only enterprise in North America specializing in original Czech furniture, lighting, and decorative objects. Our pieces represent the designs of the pre-war Czech avant-garde and mid-century social realism.

Prague Kolektiv is a collaboration between Barton Quillen, a New York native, and Italian architect, Giovanni Negrisin. Both partners lived and worked for over 10 years in the Czech Republic, Quillen as a manager of major building restoration projects and director of an art center and Negrisin as an architect and interior designer on commercial and residential projects. During this period they were introduced to the remarkable achievements of Czech modernism and are active collectors.

The showroom is located in the Dumbo section of the Brooklyn waterfront which over the years has been home to many artists. More recently, the area established itself as a center for furniture and home design. Prague Kolektiv�s 3,000 square foot space occupies the ground floor of one of Dumbo�s 19th century warehouses. Its industrial aesthetic provides a complementary backdrop for the collection. Pieces include furniture, lighting, glass and other decorative objects displayed in illuminated lacquered boxes and on movable platforms throughout the space.

The Prague Kolektiv showroom is available to organizations that need open-format, attractive space for promotional events and other activities.

what is czech design? The pre-war and post-war periods in Czechoslovakia produced outstanding designs in extraordinarily different political, social, and economic contexts. In many of the pre-war Czech pieces that we carry, the influences from the Bauhaus and architects such as Le Corbusier, Mart Stam, Adolf Loos and Mies van der Rohe are unmistakable. As Kenneth Frampton noted in his work Modern Architecture: A Critical History �The one country which has always been inadequately represented in any account of the International Style is Czechoslovakia.� Czech pieces from this period imbue interiors with an elegance and simplicity that are as appealing to our senses today as they were eighty years ago.

Some people may be familiar with the tubular chrome-plated steel and lacquered wood typically used in functionalist furniture design in Czechoslovakia as elsewhere in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, but most people are not familiar with the designs that emerged in Czechoslovakia during the 1950s and 1960s. While the Communist rule of that period did have an impact on much of the creative and entrepreneurial activity in Czech society, sensible and attractive designs in the decorative arts continued to emerge.

Czech pieces won 27 gold medals at the 1958 Brussels Expo. The designs from that period reflect a simplicity of form and playful detail that are a distinct trait of twentieth century Czech design.