Jaroslav Josef Polívka, Frank Lloyd Wright, and New York

September 28, 2023, at 7 PM
Bohemian National Hall, Manhattan

A talk by Ladislav Jackson, PhD

The talk presented the lesser-known facts about the design and construction of the Guggenheim Museum between 1946 and 1949 when a Czech structural engineer, Jaroslav Josef Polívka, invented the iconic spiral diverging ramp without inner supporting pillars. Between 1946 and 1959, Polivka designed structural constructions for another eight of Frank Lloyd Wright’s projects. The speaker discussed Polivka’s unique influence on Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, specifically the Guggenheim Museum and Belmont Racetrack Pavillion in New York City.


Ladislav Jackson (formerly Zikmund-Lender) is a visual arts and architecture historian. Since 2018, he has been an assistant professor at the Department of History and Theory of Art, Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology (VUT Brno), where he teaches global and local 20th-Century Art courses and critical theory (feminist, queer, and critical race studies). His research focuses on 20th-century architecture and design; and gender and queer studies in art history. In 2016, he was a Fulbright scholar University of California in Berkeley. Jackson also curates exhibitions on architecture and design and wrote, edited, or co-edited about twenty books, including Hotel Praha (2019), Villas and Family Houses in Hradec Králové (2020), Myth of an Architect: Jan Kot?ra 150 (2021), The Church of the Divine Heart: 1928?1932 (2022) and his latest Philosopher of Structures: Architect and Engineer Jaroslav J. Polívka (1886–1960). He is an executive director of the Society for Queer Memory in Prague.

This event was organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) in New York with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association.