The Lendl Collection, an extraordinary collection of posters and oil paintings by Alphonse Mucha, has found a new owner. Acquired by the investment group Wood & Company, this renowned collection, curated by Richard Fuxa and assembled by tennis legend Ivan Lendl, is valued at 250 to 300 million Czech koruna. Wood & Company, through its subsidiary Portu Gallery Investments, plans to offer the collection to investors. The goal is to sell the collection within three to five years and share the profits among the stakeholders.
Under the direction of Martin Jaroš, the gallery’s director, exhibitions will be organized to support the global recognition of Mucha’s art, potentially increasing the collection’s value. The Lendl Collection consists of 422 artifacts, and the exact purchase price between Fuxa and Wood & Company remains undisclosed.
The gallery is issuing shares worth 270 million Czech koruna to finance the acquisition, allowing investors to participate with a minimum investment of one koruna. Investors will then receive a share of the collection’s appreciation. The share offering will be available through Portu Gallery starting on October 28, coinciding with the anniversary of the establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic. It will continue until November 28 or until the target amount is reached. This share offering represents the largest in the gallery’s four-year history.
Currently, a portion of Mucha’s collection is on display at the Obecní dům (Municipal House) until March 8, 2024, while the remaining pieces are safely stored in the gallery’s repository.
Alfons Mucha (1860–1939)
Alfons Mucha, born on July 24, 1860, in Ivančice, began his artistic career as a painter of theatrical decorations in Vienna. He studied art in Munich and later in Paris, where he gained recognition as an illustrator. Mucha became the leading figure of the Art Nouveau style after the success of his poster “Gismonda,” he eventually focused his work on the concept of Slavic unity.
Between 1904 and 1909, Mucha traveled to the United States five times to raise funds for his ambitious Slav Epic project. American millionaire Charles R. Crane became his sponsor. Mucha dedicated himself to this monumental work, celebrating humanity for nearly two decades. Unfortunately, the project remained unfinished. Mucha passed away shortly after the invasion of Nazi Germany forces into Prague.
Ivan Lendl (1960)
Ivan Lendl, a Czech-born tennis legend, became one of the most successful players in the world. Over three decades, he assembled the largest and most comprehensive collection of Mucha’s posters. Jack Rennert, a globally recognized expert in applied art and posters, served as the curator of the Lendl Collection. In 2013, Lendl and private collector Richard Fuxa organized Prague’s largest and most visited exhibition of Mucha’s works. That same year, Lendl sold the collection to Fuxa.
Richard Fuxa (1966)
Richard Fuxa, a private collector and co-founder of the BigBoard group and the Prague Center for Contemporary Art, DOX, acquired the Lendl Collection in 2013. He expanded the collection to include 129 artifacts and organized numerous exhibitions. Fuxa also established the Richard Fuxa Foundation, which supports cultural projects and serves as the chairman of the BigBoard Foundation, promoting charity and culture and enhancing public spaces.
With the transfer of the Lendl Collection to Wood & Company, a new chapter begins for this exceptional collection of Alphonse Mucha’s masterpieces. The investment group’s plans to promote the collection through exhibitions and its global reach are expected to enhance further the cultural significance and value of these remarkable works of art.