Vojtěch Kubašta

A world pioneer in pop-up books

Vojtěch Kubašta was born in Vienna in 1914, the son of a Czech bank clerk. After the founding of the state of Czechoslovakia, the whole family returned to Prague. In 1938 he graduated in Architecture from the Czech Technical University. From a young age he had an extraordinarily well-developed spatial imagination, which he exploited in his unique three-dimensional books. In the 1960s Kubašta, by now a creator of pop-up books so exceptional as to be practically unique, and an illustrator of genius to boot, was appointed by Disney to produce pop-up titles for him. His contract required him to do so anonymously, so many of the books published at that time do not give Kubašta’s name. In this way three-dimensional books such as 101 Dalmatians, Bambi, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mickey Mouse and The Jungle Book saw the light of day. Although Kubašta was an artist of unique brilliance, he was persona non grata for the communist regime of the time, and the ruling set did all it could to keep his abilities secret. Yet as a source of income in the foreign currency so valuable to the communists, he was allowed to continue his work. Vojtech Kubašta was incredibly active throughout his life, creating over 200 original books that have been translated into almost forty languages. He was also the creator of beautiful three-dimensional nativity scenes, which became very popular and were sold all over the world. Makers of pop-up books still use Kubašta’s structures and the principles he invented and used in his work.

 

You can learn more about Vojtěch Kubašta’s work from the articles below:

‘Pop-Ups From Prague’ Celebrates Vojtech Kubasta

The Popuplady – Specializing in movable paper

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