Dr Vendula Hnídková PhD

Dr Vendula Hnídková

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow

Contact details

The Barber Institute of Fine Art
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

The main focus of my research is modern and contemporary architectural production in Central Europe as framed by questions of national identities, internationalism, interrelations between architecture and politics which leads me to rewriting art history from the margins.


  • PhD Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Prague
  • MA Masaryk University, Brno


I hold a PhD in Theory and History of Design and New Media from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague which was preceded by my Master degree in History of Art from Masaryk University in Brno. I also studied at the Aalto University in Helsinki and at the Institut für Kunstgeschichte at the Vienna University. Before joining the University of Birmingham, I worked at the Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences and at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in research and teaching positions.


I am currently researching Garden Cities Movement in the project Idea, Ideal, Idyll: Garden Cities in Central Europe 1890s-1930s, funded by the ERC (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship). This project examines processes of cultural and intellectual exchange between Britain and Central Europe, with particular regard to ideas of urban and architectural design.

In 2013-2017 I was a member of research project Prefabricated Housing Estates in the Czech Republic as Part of the Urban Environment: An Evaluation and Presentation of Thein Housing and Living Potential. The research, organized by Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, pioneered investigation of the prefabricated housing in Czechoslovakia in terms of art history and urban planning.

In 2013-2015 I have participated as a joint researcher for the project Asymetrische Kunstgeschichte? Erforschung und Vermittlung ´prekärer´ Denkmälerbestände im Kalten Krieg at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (principal researcher Michaela Marek).


Other activities

  • I am editor of RIHA Journal.
  • In 2015 I co-organised an international conference Elites in the 20th Century: Continuity or Discontinuity at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague.
  • Since 2014 I am a member of Board of Directors in a Foundation Museum Stanislav Sucharda, Prague. In the Foundation we intend to open a private house museum in an exceptionally preserved monument of early Modernism designed by architect Jan Kotěra for his friend sculptor Stanislav Sucharda.
  • In 2013 I curated an exhibition National Style. Arts and Politics in the National Gallery in Prague. It radically reinterpreted national issues in the visual culture and architecture of early Czechoslovakia.
  • In 2012 – 2018 I curated Window Gallery IAH in Prague. I focused on popularization of research outputs in a public space.
  • In 2009 I was one of the founding members of NGO Věda žije! that popularizes science among public



  • Moskva 1937. Architektura a propaganda v západní perspektivě [Moscow 1937. Architecture and Propaganda from the Western Perspective] (Prague: Prostor 2018)
  • National Style. Arts and Politics (Prague: UMPRUM 2013)
  • Pavel Janák. Obrys doby [Pavel Janák. The Outline of the Period] (Prague: Arbor vitae 2009)

Edited journal

  • Housing Policy (Brno: ERA 21, no. 2, 2018)

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals (selection)

  • “The Clementinum. A Baroque Monument in the Capital of Socialist Czechoslovakia“,  RIHA Journal [Forthcoming in 2018]
  • “Hlávkův most — betonový produkt generační obměny“ [The Hlávka Bridge – a Product in Concrete Marking a Change of Generations], Umění/Art 65, no. 1 (2017), pp. 37-51.
  • “Moskva viditelná a neviditelná. Předvoj socialistického realismu v české architektuře“ [Visible and Invisible Moscow. The Vanguard of Socialist Realism in Czech Architecture], Umění/Art 63, no. 6 (2015), pp. 458-464.
  • ”A Modern Residence Between Castle and Villa,” Centropa. A Journal of Central European Architecture and Related Arts 13, no. 2 (2013), pp. 146-161.
  • “Rondocubism versus National Style”, RIHA Journal (Journal of the Research Institutes of the History of Art) 0011 (08 November 2010) [https://www.riha-journal.org/articles/2010/hnidkova-rondocubism-versus-national-style?searchterm=rondocubism]
  • “Pavel Janák und der tschechische „Nationalstil“. Aspekte einer architektonischen und nationalen Emanzipation”, Kritische Berichte 35, no. 1 (2007), pp. 75-85.

Chapters in edited books (selection)

  • “The Municipal Building,” in Richard Kurdiovsky, ed., 100 Jahre Wiener Konzerthaus – Bautypus, Repertoire und Geschichte im Vergleich, Wien [Forthcoming in 2019]
  • “Češi mezi Čechy. Optimum existenčního minima — architektura pracovních a přesídleneckých táborů v Praze” [Czechs among the Czechs. The Optimum of the Subsistence Level – The Architecture of the Labour and Displacement Camps in Prague], in Milena Bartlová, ed., Co bylo Československo? Kulturní konstrukce státní identity [What was Czechoslovakia? Cultural Construction of State Identity], Praha: UMPRUM 2017, pp. 195-201.
  • “Náš socialistický realismus” [Our Socialist Realism], in: Lucie Skřivánková, Rostislav Švácha, Martina Koukalová, Eva Novotná, eds., Paneláci 2. Historie sídlišť v českých zemích 1945-1989 [The Paneláks 2. History of Housing Estates in the Czech Lands 1945-1989], Praha: Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum 2017, pp. 78-89.
  • “Horejc a svět moderní architektury” [Horejc and the World of Modern Architecture], in: Jaroslav Horejc (1886-1983). Mistr českého art deca, Praha 2016, pp. 66-83.
  • “Architecture and Political Power”, in: Milena Bartlová, Jindřich Vybíral et al., Building a State. The Representation of Czechoslovakia in Art, Architecture and Design, Praha: UMPRUM 2015, pp. 39-44 (with Jindřich Vybíral).
  • “Die An- und Abwesenheit der Villa Tugendhat im Kontext der tschechischen Architektur”, in: Kerstin Plüm, ed., Mies van der Rohe im Diskurs. Innovationen-Haltungen-Werke-Aktuelle Positionen, Bielefeld: transcript 2013, pp. 159-170.
  • “Der Artěl und Pavel Janák”, in Jiří Fronek, ed., Artěl 1908 - 1935. Tschechischer Kubismus im Alltag. Leipzig: Grassi Museum 2011, pp. 51-58.

View all publications in research portal