Václav Havel From Dissident to President

April 27 – September 29, 2024

April 27 - September 29, 2024

Anderson Gallery

The exhibit chronicles pivotal moments in the life of Václav Havel as a pre-revolutionary dissident, playwright, and as the first President of the Czech Republic following the collapse of the communist regime after the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Václav Havel was a playwright, essayist and philosopher, Charter 77 spokesman, prisoner of conscience, a leading figure in the political changes of 1989, President of the Czech Republic, and a global political figure who played a crucial role in bringing the Czech Republic into NATO, marking the beginning of a new chapter in relations between Czechoslovakia and the United States.

Key quotations from the major works, essays, and speeches of Václav Havel—The Power of the Powerless 1978, Letters to Olga 1980, Speech at Wenceslas Square 1989, and Joint Address to Congress 1990—are exhibited with a narrative recounting key dates in the history of the Czech Republic and in the life of Václav Havel.

Support is provided by: Betterlife, CRST, Cedar Rapids Hotel Motel Tax, Iowa Arts Council, which exists within the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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