An author of illustrations and a leading Czech heraldry expert
A Czech heraldry expert with a British signature, a modest hero with a “knight’s blood”
Knights have not yet died out. This is clearly demonstrated both by the impressive collection of coats of arms of the most renowned English order of knights, as well as by the life of Jiří Louda. Today he is familiar to most people primarily as the author of the design for the Czech national coat of arms, but his life story offers us much more than just his admirable work in the field of heraldry, and is not lacking in adventure.
Jiří Louda was a great populariser of heraldry, with an inimitable, British-influenced style, a member of the International Academy of Heraldry, the creator of hundreds of emblems of Czech municipalities, and among other matters was also a soldier. He spent the Second World War in Great Britain, where he became a paratrooper in the RAF. It was here in the British Isles that his lifelong fascination with coats of arms of the knights of the Order of the Garter was first awakened. His passion resulted in the creation of a work that won him the acclaim of heraldry experts the world over.
In 1968 Louda was promoted to the rank of major in retirement, and in 1991 to the rank of colonel in retirement. In 2000 he was awarded a medal for his services by President Václav Havel, and he also received honours from the City of Olomouc and the Olomouc region, where he spent most of his life. In 2004 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Palacký University in Olomouc.
Within the framework of the anniversary of the birth and death of Jiří Louda, from autumn 2020 a thematic exhibition will be held in the Regional Museum in Olomouc. Further information about the exhibition is available on the website www.vmo.cz
From 25. 9. 2020
To 10. 1. 2021
10.00 – 17.00
Authors of publication
Michal Šimůnek has engaged in long-term research into the lives of the father and son Zdeněk and Jiří Louda. He works at the Institute of Contemporary History at the Czech Academy of Sciences
A friend and colleague of Jiří Louda, Karel Müller is a historian, archivist and heraldry expert, and the director of the Provincial Archive in Opava.
Historian and administrator of the collection “Jiří Louda” in the Regional Museum Olomouc. From the beginning, he was involved in saving Louda’s estate and was a member of the team that initiated the publication of the book.
Radim Měsíc is a graphic artist from Olomouc. His artistic career began with his study at Palacký University in Olomouc.
Friends and experts on the book Coats of Arms of the Order of the Garter
Jiří Louda is a prototype of a modest hero, who combines the qualities of lifelong diligence and courage. I am extremely pleased that his life’s work has now been rewarded by this superb edition.
You are to be congratulated on publishing this magnificent gallery of the Arms of the Knights of the Garter. This new book seems certain to do justice to Dr Louda’s Magnum Opus.
A considerable number of Czech experts in heraldry gave this auxiliary science of history a lot of positive things, but not everyone had the opportunity to do so to such an extent and with a direct overlap into contemporary Czech state symbolism as Jiří Louda.
Distribution and printing of the book is secured by Palacký University Press