Life in the House

From the start, the completed house was a safe home for the Rothmayers, particularly after the birth of their son Jan in February 1932. And for nearly eighty years, the villa and its garden formed a refuge for the family through unquiet times. At first, it was the demanding professional commitments of husband and wife in an early version of a modern two-career family, linked to the First Republic and the presidency of T. G. Masaryk, then in the 1950s and 1960s the villa and garden formed an oasis of refinement in the wasteland of ideology. Within the house, Božena created an environment of cultivation and aesthetics, while also providing her husband and son with a reliable household. Against the modest and simple interior furnishings, the family's rich cultural life stood out to good effect. Today, the villa and garden are an architectural and cultural monument, yet previously it was a place for lively social encounters between the family and various relatives or friends, notably the sculptors Bedřich Stefan and Hana Wichterlová. And the increasingly overgrown, romantic "garden of the master magician" was captured by Josef Sudek in his photographs.