Jana Šorfová (1968) lives in Prague.
Šorfová grew up in a family were art was a natural part of life. She spent 1990–1994 living abroad (London, Vancouver), where she not only perfected her linguistic and managerial skills but also acquired international experience and made numerous contacts in the world of art that she still makes use of today. In 1995–1999, she worked for various American organisations in the Czech Republic and continued to strengthen her international contacts in the world of art. She also spent more than a year working in the Netherlands, again in the field of art.
In 1999, during a longer sojourn in the United States (Los Angeles, New York), she met Meda Mládková in Washington. Mládková initially hired her to work for her and her husband’s foundation. In 2003, Šorfová took the position of personal assistant at the Mládeks’ Museum Kampa. In 2005, the Mládek Foundation’s board named her director, a position she held until 2010.
Under her management, the Foundation dealt with the destructive 2002 floods, increased its number of subsidies, acquired a hotel in Prague 6, the Werich Villa and other properties. As director of Museum Kampa, she financially stabilised it, and firmly established it within the country’s network of museums and galleries. The numbers of visitor to the museum increased during her tenure.
Under Šorfová’s management, Museum Kampa organised several well-received international exhibitions, including Women’s Room (with the participation of Yoko Ono), Multiply (the art of Joseph Beuys from the collections of the Kunstmuseum Bonn), Certain Traces: Dialogue Los Angeles / Prague, Disaster Relics (in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh), František Kupka – Piet Mondrian (art from European museums), Walking on the Vltava (with the participation of artist Julian Opie), Cracking Art Group: Re-evolution (with the artists’ participation), From the Collections of the Société Générale (selected artists and are movements from the 1950s to the 1990s), Com.bi.nacion: Science Meets Art (the kinetic art of Zdeněk Pešánek, Frank Malina, Julio Le Parc and Zdeněk Sýkora), CoBrA: Art Without Borders (art from Dutch collections) and Max Beckmann: Paintings, Drawings, Graphics (art from German collections). During her time at the gallery, Šorfová also organised dozens of other exhibitions in collaboration with main curator Jiří Machalický, with whom she also collaborated on an extensive catalogue of the museum’s collections.
After leaving Museum Kampa, in 2010 Šorfová organised two large exhibitions at the Municipal House for the Vernon Foundation: Amedeo Modigliani and Tauromaquia (Pablo Picasso).
In 2011, she won a tender for the position of director of the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region (GASK), which was establishing itself at the Jesuit College in Kutná Hora after its move from Prague. After initial personnel issues, she managed to put together a team of curators that she has worked with for the past twelve years. As a result, GASK enjoys an excellent reputation among galleries in the Czech Republic and abroad, and its well-coordinated team of fifty core employees is capable of meeting demanding international standards.
Šorfová oversaw the completion of the renovation of the entire building and the adjoining grounds, and later also the conversion of the parking garage into a modern conference centre (2021).
Under her influence, GASK has hosted a number of international exhibitions, including Blue Mist Gray Girls: In Memoriam Miroslav Tichý (Ernesto Neto), Images for Images: Artists for Tichý – Tichý for Artists (contemporary international art from the collection of Roman Buxbaum), for which the gallery earned a 2013 ICOM Award, Dialogue Across Borders (art from the collection of Hans Peter Riese) and Europa Jagellonica: Art and Culture in Central Europe under the Reign of the Jagiellonian Dynasty. She has also overseen dozens of exhibitions by domestic artists, the most successful of which were the exhibitions Jiří Trnka: In the Gardens of the Imagination, Those Children Are Always Playing and Josef Svoboda: Scenographer.
During her tenure at GASK, the gallery won the prestigious Gloria musaealis Award in 2014.
She also initiated a Czech translation of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s A Brief History of Curating (interviews with art curators) and its subsequent publication by GASK.
Based on a commission from the Central Bohemian Region, in 2015 she realised the exhibition Humility and Majesty : The History and Culture of the Central Bohemian Region at the Sichuan Museum in Chengdu in the partner region of Sichuan.
In 2017, the Central Bohemian Region entrusted her with the modernisation of a museum in Benešov, as part of which she was made the artistic supervisor of its transformation in the Museum of Art and Design. To this end, she put together a successful team headed by director Lenka Škvorová and head curator Alena Ochepovský Bártková (who later took over as director). In 2018, the museum received the prestigious Gloria musaealis Award for this renovation project.
Jana Šorfová is a member of the board of the Council of Galleries, a member of the Wotrubia Association and president of artistic board of the Benešov Museum of Art and Design.