The Ostrava building contractor František Jureček is closely associated with the origins of the city’s Gallery of Fine Arts. He was the spiritual father of the Exhibition Pavilion – now known as the House of Art (Dům umění). Sadly, he did not live to see the opening ceremony (he died on 5 October 1925). However, before his death he donated a large part of his own private art collection to the gallery – an act of such generosity that the gallery’s director Alois Sprušil decided to display the works permanently, naming the gallery after Jureček himself. The collection represented a valuable cross-section of Czech art which included three 18th-century pieces (Grund), 27 important works from the 19th century (Brožík, Havránek, Chittussi, Machek, Mánes, Navrátil, Purkyně, Ullik, Uprka, Věšín) plus several works of lesser importance (or disputed authorship), several paintings from the early 20th century (Slavíček, Hudeček), and a group of very fine drawings (Aleš, Jenewein, Marold, Preisler, Schwaiger, Švabinský). Jureček’s generous gift made an invaluable contribution to Ostrava’s Gallery of Fine Arts in its early years; now the gallery’s collections include over 23 000 items.