The Válová Sisters

From Obscurity to Rediscovery

Jitka and Květa Válová

In 1938, the family of Jitka and Květa Válová — twin sisters known as ‘Válovky’ in public and among friends — moved to Bendlova St. 6 in Kladno, and the artists spent the rest of their lives there. It was a small house, but they had space for their studios and even a small garden.

The Válovás lived and worked in Kladno, somewhat isolated and set apart. They were often visited by Ester Krumbachová with whom they were friends since the 1950s. Other artists included Jiří Sopko, whose mother was a teacher who came from Kladno. “We never went to his studio,” said Jitka on the topic of visiting Jiří Kolář, “even though everyone went there. But we knew each other, and had spent some time together in Prague.”

Jitka Válová’s studio, where she created most of her work, has remained virtually intact to the present day. Just as it was during the sisters’ time, the living quarters of the house preserve a glass mosaic with an orchid motif; and the living room, despite minor changes, still holds the same ambiance conducive to artistic debates.

Thanks to the support of the Agosto Foundation’s Perpedes grant program, the visitors may now experience the living and working atmosphere of these two artists, exceptional in their generation, while also opening up discussion about their estate within the context of their hometown of Kladno. A dialogue has begun concerning the possible options for the structure where the Válová sisters worked and lived, and about the handling of the artifacts which they have left behind.