Czech Genealogy & Culture: An Exclusive Translation and Classic 1896 Czech Cookbook

Now that we have finished the translation of the story of the fabulous Czech chef, author, and businessman, Emanuel Beránek we believe it is only fitting we conclude this portion of our work on his 1896 Czech cookbook with dessert!  Ahh, but not a food dessert!  Rather a bit of a literary dessert!

Our translation team member, Martin Pytr, noticed we had not included the translation from the short notation in the story about an image found on page 153!  So Martin graciously provided it and we provide it here for you as dessert – plus like any good dessert there will be an extra helping of something special at the end just for our readers!

The following is the translation from page 153 of Amerikán Národní Kalendář; Volume, XLIV; Year, 1921; which accompanied the image of the Beránek family plot in Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.


1921 Beranek monument no words small jpeg

Sculpture of Resignation above the grave of Beránek – one of the most beautiful landmarks found in the Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago.

On the 25th of November, an American Czech, Emanuel Beránek, died in Chicago.  He had already built nice memorials of himself during his lifetime.  One of the memorials is the bronze sculpture titled ‘Resignation’, standing above the graves of the Beránek family, at one of the most beautiful places, the Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago.  This sculpture is located close to the large chapel of the Crematoria.

The sculpture is a work of one of the best known Czechoamerican artists – the sculptor Mario Josef Korbel and was ordered by Mr. Emanuel Beránek, shortly after death of his father, nine years before his own death, now whose beneficence and understanding will be proclaimed to all visitors of Czech Chicago.  The second memorial for Beránek was his numerous gifts to the Czechoamerican organizations and their charitable purposes, which we refer to on another page of this Kalendář.”

We think you will agree from the image the sculpture titled ‘Resignation’ is truly beautiful.  But, we must admit we were curious as to who the sculptor was of this amazing piece.  So we dug into this Mr. Korbel (not champagne related, by the way) just a bit!

While not from the Frantisek Korbel and Brothers vineyards family, Mario Josef Korbel was a celebrated Czech-American in his own right.  His craft was not in grapes and wine, but in bronze, brass, and the like as a renowned sculptor.

Born in Osik, Bohemia in 1882, he showed a deep artistic talent from a young age.  If not for his mother championing his talents, they may have gone to waste as his father was not supportive of his work as an artist at all.

By the time he was 18, Korbel was in New York City and then Chicago working on his sculpting.  After a few years in Chicago, he left to return to Europe, but not Bohemia.  Rather he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and then Académie Julian in Paris. He returned to Chicago for a few years, but soon moved to New York City permanently.

1921 Dancing maidens Norfolk VA

He was a commercial success and was sought out for commission across the United States, often by those with Bohemian connections.  His major theme was female nudes and his long time model was a woman by the name of Hilda Beyer, a professional dancer whom he later married, but then divorced.

1921 Alma Mater Korbel

Korbel spent ten months in Cuba in 1918 seeking support for the Bohemian independence movement.  While here he sculpted a statue of the president of Cuba, Menocal, and also the wonderful statue ‘Alma Mater’, which graces the entrance to the University in Havana.  During the 1920’s Korbel’s most significant sponsor was George Booth, owner of the Detroit News.

1921 Korbel mother and child

In 1927 he was elected to the French Legion of Honor and continued to show his works worldwide into the 1930’s, when the depression took its toll.  He passed away in 1954 in New York City.

Today his works remain highly sought after and even small items of his command prices in the thousands of dollars, with his larger pieces, when they are available, approaching $100,000.

On can only imagine the value of the beautiful ‘Resignation’ these days.  I am sure Emanuel Beránek would be very proud of his fellow Czech-American!

Tomorrow we begin something altogether new and exciting!  Stay with Onward To Our Past®


A Genealogical Historian, who is focused on family history and genealogy of the highest quality, but with a dose of fun. Avid about documentation and evidence. Loves helping folks of all levels in their genealogy pursuits, especially in the areas of Bohemia, Czech Republic, Italy, Cornwall, Kent, United Kingdom, U.S. Immigration and Cleveland, Ohio.

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