F. V. Foit was born in 1900 in Tábor and died in tragical accident in Velenie, Slovenia. When he finished high school, he graduated at sculptor school in Hoříce and then he continued his studies on Academy in Dresden. Later he became student of professor Bourdell in Paris. He organized 3 individual expositions here in Paris. In 1931 together with zoologist Jiří Baum he set out on his first journey to Africa (route Alexandria-Cape Town). He documented life of Africans during this journey. These documents became property of Hrdliček museum in Prague. J. V. Foit and Dr. Baum wrote about this journey in travel books. In thirties and forties Foit produced some works, first of all portraits of important celebrities of political and cultural life in Czechoslovakia. One of the best works is memorial of Ján Hus, which is today located in Hlinsk. In 1947 he started together with his wife Iren the second African journey.     He was employed by Hrdliček museum and Náprstovo museum in Prague. The problems they had in Belgian Congo (today Zaire) and political problems in Czechoslovakia (February 1948) caused that their African journey lasted to 1971. Foit worked in Nairobi as professor on Kenyata College. He became a teacher of many African artists. He produced some remarkable sculptures of Kenyan politicians. He is also an author of monumental fountain located in front of University in Nairobi. In 1971, after 23 years, he returned to Europe but because it was still impossible to come back to Czechoslovakia he chose Yugoslavia, where he finally died in car accident – one week after arrival to his home continent. F. V. Foit sent from this long journey to his native country many documents of Africans and around 1500 ethnographical objects. Some of these objects which F. V. Foit sent, never came to Czechoslovakia, they were stolen on the way….. Now Hrdličkovo museum in Prague owns unique collection of anthropological objects of Africans. Náprstkovo museum owns more than 900 ethnographical objects and a branch of Museum Vysočiny in Telč has a collection of ethnographic objects from Foit´s inheritance and a part of his sculptural production from thirties and forties. In Velenie in Slovenia there is a museum which is devoted to F. V. Foit.

Author: Daniel Augusta
Date: 22.06.2008