An exhibition presenting the reflection of tramping in popular culture from the historical and ethnographic points of view
In English, the word tramp most commonly denotes a vagrant, a down-and-out or even something worse. However, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia it has acquired a different meaning. As early as the time of the First World War, young people who were inspired by the romantic idea of the Wild West and set off at weekends to camp with their friends began to call themselves by that label. Bordering on scouting, tourism and hiking, a new popular subculture was soon born, with its own music, its own art and its own view of life. Since then, tramping has been a part of Czechoslovak history, influencing the lives of tens of thousands of people. For some, it was mostly a way of relaxing and spending their leisure time; for others, it became a lifestyle, a social activity and a sport. It was commercialized and persecuted; it merged with the leftist avant-garde and anti-Communist underground.
Our exhibition presents the reflection of tramping in popular culture from the historical and ethnographic points of view. It gives space to the voices of both the professional public and the tramps themselves. It presents selected objects from the holdings of the Ethnographic Department of the National Museum and other institutions. Some of them are truly unique, while others show the everyday lives of tramps life in the turbulent history of Czechoslovakia.
In the Kinsky Summer House there are, for example, objects from the estates of musicians and writers (such as Géza Včelička, Jaroslav Velinský and Wabi Ryvola), a number of hand-written and illustrated journals, a unique set of flags confiscated by the Communist police, and a totem carved by one of the very first Czech tramps. You can also explore the history through rare photographs, drawings and literary snippets. You will learn how tramping influenced Czech popular music, how it left its mark on the landscape, and be able to see and try historical camping equipment and learn about the present state of tramping.
As generations of Czech and Slovak tramps can attest, an adventure can start at the nearest train station, with a small back-pack on your back. One just needs to discover the right romantic mood in one's heart, the longing for unknown horizons, meetings by camp fires and the freedom and independence of tramps. Neither age nor origins matter.
Take the first step towards adventure – come and be inspired in the Kinsky Summer House.
from January 13 to January 21, 2020, the Ethnographic Museum will be closed to the public for operational reasons. We apologize and thank you for your understanding.
You can buy a ticket at the ticket office or online on this page.
Groups: 10% discount from the standard admission fee – for an organised group of 30 or more people with collective paymen (except for school groups).
Free admission: Children up to 6 years; children from children’s homes or SOS children’s villages; holders of physical disability cards (ZTP/P and people accompanying them); ICOM, the National Museum Society; holders of the Benefit card of the European GNSS Agency – the Ministry of Transport, Prague Card.
Filming, taking photos (no flash) for noncommercial use – free with valid ticket.
The ticket must be kept for the duration of the visit.