New exhibit at the National Czech and Slovak Museum promises to be a party

Party in the 21st Century

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library — Saturday, Jan. 18 to Sunday, April 19

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, 1400 Inspiration Place SW. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

A new art exhibit opening this weekend at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library (NCSML) brings a traditional piece of Slovak party wear into 2020.

The exhibit Party in the 21st Century features photos and paintings of the nearly extinct Slovak parta, an elaborate headband that girls often wore during big church feasts, or brides wore on their wedding day. (The plural of parta is party, which is pronounced the same way as the English word for celebration.)

The parta was the most important and beautiful part of the bride’s wedding attire, according to the NCSML website. The design of the parta was different based on the region of Slovakia women were in. The parta can vary in shape, size and materials used.

A Slovak wreath (left) and parta — courtesy of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

For three years, a group of Slovak artists and photographers teamed up to create a project that celebrates the parta and wreaths from all over Slovakia in a modern way.

The Party in the 21st Century exhibit opens on Saturday, Jan. 18 and will be on display through April 19 in the Anderson Gallery.

In addition to its two permanent exhibits, NCSML has two additional exhibits that will be on display for a couple more weeks.

Bethlehem and Beyond: The Nativity Scene” is on display until Feb. 2 and features a Nativity scene made up of 1,000 pieces, most of which were hand carved more than 150 years ago in what used to be Bohemia and is now the Czech Republic.

The “Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar” showcases the artistic development of the guitar with 40 instruments on display. This exhibit is on display until Jan. 26.

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