Karel Hojden (1893-1975)

Personality in Arts section

Focus Mode

Painter and graphic who dedicated majority of his work to his native city and mining.

He was born on 11th October 1893 as fifth children of František Hojden and his wife Marie born Pilousová. The environment of poor mining family and modest conditions impacted his life and works.

After finishing elementary school in 1908 he left for Prague to privately study painting. In 1909 he successfully passed entrance exam to School of Applied Arts. He spent first three years in general studies and then specialized by professors Schikaneder and Špillar. He received one-time scholarship for his perfect study results. In 1913 he was accepted to study AVU (Academy of Fine Arts) by Max Švabinský, yet his studies were interrupted by war. Some portraits from Dalmatia, pictures of soldiers, their families or Russian captives originated in these years. In the end of the war he created his biggest etching ever – a view on the city of Cheb.

He finished AVU in 1921, worked in Prague and from 1922 worked by patron Zlatník in Dvůr Králové where he focused on portraits and nature motifs. Thanks to Hlávek Scholarship he could go to Paris for one-year study programme. Shortly after his comeback from Paris he set off on a journey to Carpathian Ruthenia. From 1924 to 1928 he worked as a professor on Grammar School in Hlučín and Český Těšín. His first exhibition contained outputs from Paris, Carpathian Ruthenia, Těšín and its surroundings.

In 1929 Hojden returned to his hometown and topics he focused on during his studies at academy. It was miner’s work, history of the city and its traditions. His series of drawings concerning mining catastrophe named Havířské písně come from 1930s and were finished in the beginning of 1950s. In 1960s he created series of watercolours with Christmas themes documenting look of the city centre before sanitation. He focused on custom work (portraits, ex-libris, New Year's cards). He did promotional materials, posters, diplomas, contributed to magazines and prepared covers for regional publications.

Apart from custom work from 1950s to 1970s he decided to involve Biblical topics (presented to the public only in 1990 on exhibition in Ernestinum Chateau).

Karel Hojden died on 5th May 1975 in Příbram. His works include drawings and graphic works mostly connected to his native city.

Author: Hana Ročňáková, ředitelka Galerie Františka Drtikola Příbram