• Steven Heller

Pilsen’s Hometown Hero: Ladislav Sutnar

The life and work of a significant Pilsen native, the industrial and graphic designer, educator and painter Ladislav Sutnar, was the focus of an extensive initiative to reintroduce the man and his work back into the Czech Republic since it was expunged by Communist regimes. The Return of Ladislav Sutnar is one of the flagship initiatives within the Pilsen – European Capital of Culture 2015 project. The goal is both the return of this famous Pilsen native son—this brilliant designer, deliberately neglected and virtually wiped out from the cultural history—to Pilseners, and the return of Pilsen as his native town and the Czech Republic as his native country.

The Return of Ladislav Sutnar project was conceived and is headed by the Dean of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, Josef Mištera. It is implemented by the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art in cooperation with the West Bohemian Museum, the Gallery of the City of Pilsen and the Pilsen 2015 association.

While the artist’s name is known especially in professional circles and to design students in the Czech Republic, in the United States of America, where Sutnar became famous after his immigration there, he is, to this day, considered one of the most distinguished postwar designers in America. He substantially modernized toy, glass, porcelain, metal, textile, graphic and exhibition designs, founded information design as a branch, and is considered a forerunner of internet information solutions.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →