Château Cramirat Collection

There’s something so inventive in early- to mid-20th-century Czech illustration, probably resulting from the remarkable meeting point between writers, illustrators, typographers, and publishers of that time and place. That’s why we cherish vintage Czech book design in our Château Cramirat Collection.

On the heels of the founding of Czechoslovakia, local creatives used the momentum to define a distinctive national cultural identity. Books emerged as a perfect medium for this exploration, particularly because storytelling is an imaginative endeavor and book covers and pages are excellent canvases for visual inventiveness.

Bohumil Štěpán was a collagist, graphic designer, film artist, and cartoonist with a special gift for surreal absurdity and whimsical Dada drawings. He artfully built his illustrations by montaging graphic elements to express peculiar black humor.

Renowned artist, Josef Čapek, was heavily influenced by Cubism, and while his work spans painting, poetry, cartoons, and writing (he invented the term “robot”), he also illustrated many books by his friend, French poet and writer Guillaume Apollinaire, the driving force behind Cubism.

The polyglot Adolf Hoffmeister worked on countless collaborations with leading figures of the 20th century. He is known to have also shaped Czech avant-garde, and as a constant fixture on the global cultural and political scenes, his visual commentary is a distillation of influences.

The Château Cramirat Collection is a treasure trove of art and design housed in a 12th-century Templar landmark in the Valley of Mankind, Périgord, France.

Dan Alexander Chateau Cramirat
Dan Alexander Chateau Cramirat

Poláček, Karel. Štěpán, Bohumil (illustrations). Vše pro firmu (Everything for the Company). Prague: Východočeské nakladatelství, 1966.

Apollinaire, Guillaume. Čapek, Josef (illustrations). Kaciř & spol (The Heresiarch & Co.). Prague: Státní nakladatelsvi krásné literatury a umění, 1965.

Wells, Herbert George. Hoffmeister, Adolf (illustrations). První lidé na Měsíci (The First Men in the Moon). Prague: Státní nakladatelsvi krásné literatury a umění, 1964.