There's a lot I have to tell everyone!': Medals by Marie Uchytilová-Kučová
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‘How could an unknown girl from a tiny country tell something to the world and be heard?’ This was the question that preoccupied Marie Uchytilová (1924-89), twenty-one years old and living in war-torn Czechoslovakia in 1945. The answer came through art, ‘which can speak all the languages of the world’, and she duly embarked on a successful career as a sculptor, medallist and coin designer, becoming famous in her homeland for several high-profile public commissions. Today she is best-known for her monument honouring the child victims of the Lidice massacre (a Czech village destroyed by the Gestapo in 1942), the creation of which dominated the last two decades of her life. While recognising the impact of the memorial on Uchytilová’s career and artistic legacy, this article focuses its attention on her work as a medallist. Assessing this somewhat overshadowed aspect of her oeuvre, it suggests that her substantial medallic output is stylistically innovative and historically revealing, shedding light on the culture of commemoration that permeated the arts in Czechoslovakia during the post-war recovery and socialist period.