„It doesn't work – doesn't exist!“ A full-color Bata’s world

21. 01. 2021 28. 02. 2021 The event takes place online

Thomas Bata Foundation together with the city of Zlín prepared an online exhibition, which will unleash your imagination and drawn you into life of the city in full of colors. Twenty photographs by well-known photographers show unimaginable visions of the time, which Bata’s Zlín was able to materialize. At the time, it was also inconceivable to see the world through color photography

The pictures capture daily life from 1920 to 1945, in the time of a great growth of the city Zlín. Authors of the original pictures are locally well known photographers Evjak, Vaňhara and Macháček and others. For the exhibition, the photos were carefully selected in order to create broad and precise portrait of the life in Zlín and the Bata Company.

Authors of the exhibition are Gabriela Končitíková from the Thomas Bata Foundation and Vladimír Parízek, who worked intensively on the Hand-coloring of the photographs. The actual Hand-coloring is a result of extensive study focused on colors from the past periods.

The visitor can play through interactive features with the transformation from the monochrome picture into colorful one. Furthermore the pictures are accompanied by text which will introduce the visitor to Bata's way of thinking, his philosophy and the city Zlín not only as industrial metropolis but as well as ideal place for living.


Tomáš Baťa

was a Czech entrepreneur and founder of the Bata Shoes company. It became one of the world's biggest multinational retailers, manufacturers, and distributors of footwear and accessories. Baťa recognized the needs of his customers and enlarged his offerings to produce low-cost shoes for the general public. Additionally he established factories and companies in other countries in Europe and also in the United States and India. Bata is credited with efforts to modernize his hometown, both through employment and construction of housing facilities. Besides of that he was elected as mayor of Zlín.

Tomáš Baťa - Biography in dates

Baťa in Israel

We can trace business operations of the Bata Company on the territory of today´s Israel to 1927, when a company store was opened. The establishment of a sister company followed in 1931. A year later, there was a significant network of own shops, still operating in 1939.

  • In 1927 Bata was selling shoes in his own shop in Jerusalem
  • The export of Bata´s shoes to the territory of the former British Mandate Palestine since the late 1920s was constantly increasing: 10,000 pairs (in 1928), 30,000 pairs (in 1930), 132,000 pairs (in 1932), 112,000 (in 1937)
  • In 1931 Tomas Bata set up Palestine Bata Shoe Comp. Ltd, Jerusalem; The company organized storage and sales of its products and employed 26 workers.
  • In 1932, Bata opened 12 stores in eight cities – Jerusalem, Tel. Aviv, Tiberias, Haifa, Jaffa Safed, Zihron Ya’akov, Nazareth, Petah Tikva; in 1939 shops operated in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Tiberias, Petah Tikva, Jaffa, Hadera

Source: Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Library / Bata Information Centre



See also : Article about Bata Company in Israel published in The Detroit Jewish News, 1951 

Partners of the event

Information summary

  • Event title: „It doesn't work – doesn't exist!“ A full-color Bata’s world
  • Date: 21. 01. 2021 28. 02. 2021
  • Address: The event takes place online
  • Organizer: Thomas Bata Foundation

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