August 20, 2013

Josef Mach, Machuv vcelin/Mach's apiary

all pictures courtesy of Pavel Konecny

The small community of Kruslov, south of Prague, in the Bohemian area of the Czech Republic, houses a very special outsider art environment, with a colorful decorated exterior and an interior with a large variety of woodcarvings, all created by a self-taught artist *.

Life and works

Josef Mach (1929-2009) decided to earn his living as a professional beekeeper, so in 1948 he builded kind of a barn, an apiary, some 25 meters long, where he installed some 65 beehives.

Mach has provided these beehives, like all other buildings on the premises with colorful decorations, mainly in primary colors, depicting in a folkish, but rather personal style facades of houses, barns, and other elements of Czechian social life and historical tradition.

The totality of these decorated beehives and other builded structures on the property has become a festival of colors, which evokes and pays tribute to places of interest and landmarks of the Czech Republic.

Mach was a gifted wood carver too.

Related as he was to the world of bees, he produced a large collection of woodcarved bees.

He would supply elements of his living environment with woodcarved decorations, such as some of the beehives, but also objects in the interior.

However, most of his sculpted legacy includes a large collection of stand-alone works of woodcarving, such as wooden sculptures of saints, woodcarved shrines, various chairs and tables, frames of mirrors and photo displays, all located in the property's living area.


The site is being cared for

After Josef Mach died, probably there were no heirs who could go and live in the house. In order to prevent the interior and exterior collection of outsider art falling into oblivion, an organisation of friends has been formed, which aims to preserve the site for the future. This association already has ensured that necessary repairs have been carried out..

Documentation/more pictures

* I have been made aware of this site by Pavel Konecny, thanks a lot Pavel!

Machuv vcelin
Kruslov 24
38719 Cestice, Czech Republic
can be visited in summermonths, 10-18, except monday 

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