František Zelenka (1896 – 1942) was a Czech architect, stage, and graphic designer. He was born in Prague. K.H. Hilar, the National Theatre director in Prague in 1926, initiated Zelenka’s career in the theatre.
He studied České vysoké učení technické (Czech Technical University), Prague.
In 1930, he became a member of SČSD (Czechoslovak Werkbund). He designed several interiors, including the flat (with its ‘blue room’) for composer Jaroslav Jezek. He wrote for various magazines.
Between 1929 and 32, he was active as a stage designer at Osvobozené divadlo (The Liberated Theater) and, subsequently, for the National and Stavovské theatres in Prague. Zelenka created settings for classics such as North against South, The Golem, Don Juan & Co., Caesar, and Robin Hood between 1930 and 1932.
His work in the theatre was influenced by cubism and constructivism and was utterly free from dogmatism. Zelenka worked with both styles to have them meet the requirements of the theatre. Zelenka developed professional relationships with all the actors. He devised costumes for these stars and was considered an accomplished tailor and couturier.
Between 1926-37, he designed several posters for theatres and films.
He was killed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.
Jewish Publication Society of America. (1968). The Jews of Czechoslovakia; historical studies and surveys.