29th June 2022 - 26th March 2023 - “HARDTMUTH: from Charcoal to a Pencil Empire”
“HARDTMUTH: from Charcoal to a Pencil Empire” is the newest and for year 2022 the most significant exhibition opened by National Technical Museum. Within the exhibition its visitors may admire the wide scale of Joseph Hardtmuth personality, since he was an architect, inventor and successful entrepreneur, founding successful company, worldwide renowned for its history and production.
Complex information is accompanied by interesting ceramic exhibits from 19th century – so called „Vienna stoneware, the oldest preserved product of Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth – pencil box from 80s 19th century, collection of pencil production since 20th century until 1990, models of buildings or replica of Ducal hat of Liechtenstein and Prince crown of Liechtenstein from 17th century. The exhibition was prepared in cooperation of three national cultural institution, namely by National Technical Museum, National Museum of Agriculture and National Heritage Institute.
First part of the exhibition is focused on Joseph Hardtmuth personality an architect, who left significant mark on Southern Moravia and Northern Austria, where he worked for House of Liechtenstein family. Also, his cooperation with landscape architects need to be mentioned. We can see very clearly his influence in Lednice-Valtice area – on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. Worth mentioning are as well his urbanistic inclusion of buildings into the landscape. Visitors may see numerous of unpublished projects of constructed or non-constructed buildings linked to Joseph Hardtmuth, all above proves the wide scale of competencies of his. Joseph Hardtmuth is very well known thanks to preserved constructions such as Minaret or aqueduct in Lednice park or Belveder near Valtice, although little is known about his plans for another constructions, the palaces, churches, schools, ruins, obelisks and other artificial venues for romantic landscapes. Almost forgotten is the fact that Joseph Hardtmuth was not exclusively focused on projecting representative building but also did his deed for projecting utilitarian building.
Second part of the exhibition is then focused on Joseph Hardtmuth as an entrepreneur, inventor and founder of Vienna company, which his son moved to town of České Budějovice, where the company still works. Joseph Hardtmuth without any formal education in technical skills area , came with plenty of innovations. One of them was the idea how to produce graphite for pencils from less quality graphite base, he presented new method of dishes fabrication, so called Viennese stoneware, including unleaded glaze, artificial pumice or Naples yellow.