Mythic Bohemia: Dvorak's Villa and Lake Rusalka


February 1, 2017 - February 23, 2017,

[3rd Floor]

Explore Antonin Dvorak’s beloved country house at Vysoka, the Czech Republic, and its scenic surroundings in recent photographs by noted Czech photographer Eva Heyd. Finding inspiration in nature, Dvorak composed the opera Rusalka, The Water Nymph over a period of seven months in 1900, largely in this idyllic setting. When away, he constantly longed for Vysoka, his “solace” as he once worded it; only in the atmosphere of the woods and lakes of mythic Bohemia, nourished by Czech fairy tales and the libretto of poet Jaroslav Kvapil, could Dvorak have created his universally treasured water nymph Rusalka. Curated by Majda Kallab Whitaker, Dvorak American Heritage Association. With special thanks to Antonin Dvorak III and Eva Heyd.

Born in Prague, Eva Heyd began her career as a professional photographer and journalist in what was then Czechoslovakia. In 1985 she emigrated to the United States, where she lived for twenty years, working as a photographer for prestigious museums and galleries in New York. Currently active as a journalist, photographer, and writer, she also teaches, curates art shows, and acts as a coordinator of the Czech National Trust. In her own artwork, she concentrates on art projects experimenting with the use of photographic images. She has exhibited in leading galleries in New York as well as other parts of the United States and Europe.

Majda Kallab Whitaker is an independent scholar and curatorial consultant specializing in subjects related to late nineteenth and early twentieth century cultural and design history. She has acted as advisor for the Dvorak Room project since 2006, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Dvorak American Heritage Association and its parent organization, the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association.

The exhibition Mythic Bohemia is presented as part of the month-long celebration at the Bohemian National Hall planned in connection with the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Antoni Dvorak’s opera Rusalka. In the Czech Center view a rare exhibition of original scores, letters, and artifacts related to the beloved fairy tale opera, presented in partnership with the National Museum in Prague and the Metropolitan Opera, under the auspices of the Consul General of the Czech Republic in New York.


Bohemian National Hall

The Dvorak Room, 3rd Floor

321 East 73rd St

New York, NY 10021

Guided tours of the exhibition Mythic Bohemia, together with the exhibition Rusalka at the Czech Center Gallery, will be offered in February twice a week: February 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23 at 3:00 and 5:00 PM. RSVP for tours by calling 646.422.3395.

Free and open to the public. For more information, please visit

Image: The Villa Rusalka, photograph by by Eva Heyd.

Organized by: DAHA, BBLA