Tomàš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937), shown here at Luxor during a semi-private trip to Athens, Jerusalem and Cairo in 1927, was still active at the age of seventy-seven. Re-elected for the third time as president of Czechoslovakia, he was one of the leading statesmen in Europe. Almost three hundred of these small-format photographs were taken as part of the official record of his visit. Each photo bears a contemporary inscription on the back indicating date, place and occasion. Taken as a whole, they provide an unusually detailed day by day record of his journey. We are not sure whether this box was part of an official issue of these original photographs, and would welcome further information about them.
The Lilly’s holding in Czech literature and political history are particularly strong, thanks in large part to the generosity of Ruth Crawford Mitchell, long-time friend of the Masaryk family, and an important figure in international social work. Her papers, along with those of two of Masaryk’s daughters, Alice and Olga, are held at the Lilly. The Lilly continues to actively build its collection of Czech material, with an emphasis on the period of Tomàš Masaryk’s life. A display of the works of the Ĉapek brothers, Karel and Josef, is presently on view in the Ball Room.
– Breon Mitchell, Director