History of Art and Architecture

Karla Huebner Wins Czechoslovak Studies Association Book Prize

Alum Karla Huebner's book Magnetic Woman: Toyen and the Surrealist Erotic (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020) has won the biennial Czechoslovak Studies Association book prize. The prize committee writes, "Karla Huebner’s Magnetic Woman is a meticulously researched and carefully argued exploration of the leading Czech surrealist artist Marie Čermínová (Toyen). Confronting a subject who is notoriously difficult to investigate, Huebner’s work is path-breaking and polished, not only in delving deep into the surrealist worlds of Prague and Paris, but in discussing head-on the still under-researched queer, trans and feminist dimensions of modern Czech history. Magnetic Woman proves to be the best introduction to Czech surrealism in English. It it is also a beautifully crafted book, richly illustrated and revealing admirably the author’s own immersion in her subject. While the reader encounters the enigmatic Toyen in her Czech and French artistic milieux as an artist who both reflected and challenged artistic conventions, we also meet an individual who consistently challenged contemporary conventions about sexuality and gender. As such the story and personality of Toyen is still strikingly relevant to our own world. Huebner’s book deserves a large audience for it forces us all to think about Czechoslovak history through a new lens."

To learn more about the award, please visit the Czechoslovak Studies Association.