On 2 June 6 2018 the exhibition titled Hans Kudlich – the Liberator of Peasants opened at the Archbishop’s Chateau in Kroměříž. The exhibition is dedicated to the life and work of this exceptional man, as well as to his “second life” represented by memorials and observation towers built in his memory and as an expression of gratitude for his work.
Hans Kudlich was born in 1823 as the youngest eleventh child of a peasant obliged to carry out forced labour. After graduating from a lyceum in Opava, he began studying at the Vienna University. This is where he was during the 1848 revolution in which he actively participated. In summer he had been elected as a member of the newly established Imperial Assembly, which gathered in Vienna. There he became famous for his proposal of abolishing the duty of forced labour. After many debates, the law had passed, and thanks to it, Hans Kudlich became one of the symbols of Austrian parliamentarism.
When the fights broke out in Vienna, the meetings of the assembly had moved to the Kroměříž Archbishop’s Chateau in November 1848. Again, Hans Kudlich belonged to the most active members of the parliament, and soon became one of the radical supporters of the democratic reforms. As such, he had been perceived as a dangerous “element” by the emerging government led by the new monarch Franz Joseph I. In autumn 1849 the Constitutive Imperial Assembly in Kroměříž was dissolved, and Hans Kudlich had to flee abroad as the Austrian authorities issued a warrant to arrest him.
The exhibition brings Hans Kudlich back to Kroměříž after 170 years.
The Archbishop’s Chateau, in collaboration with the Palacky University in Olomouc is preparing an international conference under the auspices of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Ministries of Justice of the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary, which will take place between 19 and 20 September 2018. It is a part of a project of Olomouc Museum of Art titled Broken Times | Between Anxiety and Delight – Birth of the Contemporary Central European Citizen 1908–1928, which is supported also by the leading Austrian institutions that will lend important exhibits, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Vienna, Belvedere Gallery, University of Applied Arts in Vienna, or the Salzburg Museum. As part of the event, the Czech National Heritage Institute, Olomouc Museum of Art, and Palacky University Olomouc organise an international expert conference “Birth of the Contemporary Central European Citizen” under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic (19 – 21 September 2018, Archbishop’s Chateau in Kroměříž). The conference will open with the presentations of Erhard Busek, a former Austrian Vice Chancellor, or Petr Pithart, a former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. Presentations and lectures of leading European experts will focus on the formation and development of the Central European territory since 1848 until current day in historical, political, and cultural context. The conference will also present with the topic of the Imperial Assembly in Kroměříž and its members, i.e. also Hans Kudlich. This is why the exhibition Hans Kudlich – the Liberator of Peasants had been selected as the first of many events commemorating the meetings of the Constitutive Imperial Assembly in Kroměříž and will invite the visitors and expert public to the prepared conference. The exhibition is displayed at the Tower Hall of the Archbishop’s Chateau until the middle of September, peaking together with the international scientific conference.