Periodization in the Art Historiographies of Central and Eastern Europe is a new volume edited by Shona Kallestrup, Magdalena Kunińska, Mihnea Alexandru Mihail, Anna Adashinskaya and Cosmin Minea and published by Routledge. It is now available open access and includes essays by CRAACE researchers Matthew Rampley and Julia Secklehner, as well as many other fascinating contributions.
An article by CRAACE Principal Investigator Matthew Rampley, ‘Networks, Horizons, Centres and Hierarchies: On the Challenges of Writing on Modernism in Central Europe’ has been published in the journal Umění.
CRAACE researchers will be taking part in online conferences in April 2021.
On 15 April, CRAACE PI Matthew Rampley will present his paper ‘The Search for Spirit and the Late Writings of Max Dvořák’ at the conference The Influence of the Vienna School of Art History II, organised on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Max Dvořák’s death by the Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague.
The Black Boy was the most commercially successful work of the Czech ceramicist Helena Johnová (1884–1962) with nearly 900 sold items of various colour versions. The black figure with exaggerated facial features, however, may well raise eyebrows today, but also a number of questions. These are worth exploring in connection with interwar art and design in Central Europe, as well as with current political issues. The most obvious ones relate to ethnic and gender stereotypes, which still resonate today thanks to the #BlackLivesMatter and #metoo movements. Many people, even academic scholars, argue that the current Czech and, by extension, Central European society has never had problems with racism or sexism, and that therefore issues highlighted by these movements are irrelevant in this geographical and political context. If we look at Johnová’s work more closely, we can, however, point to deep-rooted beliefs that shape today’s understanding of race and racial equality; we can question the assumption that because there were no colonies, there were no stereotypical views of race.
The latest issue of the Journal of Art Historiography (No 22, June 2020) contains articles by two CRAACE researchers, Marta Filipová and Julia Secklehner.
In her article ‘The Czech Vienna School and the Art of the “Small People”‘, Marta Filipová examines the discipline of art history in interwar Czechoslovakia and its Austro-Hungarian legacies, paying particular attention to questions of modernity, class, and folk art and design. The article focuses on the attitudes of the Vienna School’s followers to folk art and primarily examines the writings of the Czech art historians Zdeněk Wirth (1878-1961) and Antonín Matějček (1888-1950). Their attention to art created by ‘the small people’ of villages and the countryside had clear parallels in the theories of Alois Riegl. Both Czech art historians, however, developed Riegl’s views further. Aware of the impact of modernity and industrialisation on art production, they related folk art to a specific class and the social, economic and ethnic changes in the Czech lands in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The text therefore scrutinises their reasons for the continued concern with folk art in the light of the legacy of the Vienna School.
In the same issue, Julia Secklehner published a report on the conference ‘Questions of Periodisation in the Art Historiographies of Central and Eastern Europe‘, held at the New Europe College – Institute for Advanced Study in Bucharest between 30 November and 1 December 2019.