We Are Awarding PhD Studentships

The CRAACE (Continuity/Rupture: Art and Architecture in Central Europe 1918-1939) team is inviting applications from those interested in undertaking PhD research at the Department of Art History, Masaryk University, Brno.

Proposals are particularly encouraged from students with an interest in modernism from the first half of the 20th century, focusing on central and east-central Europe. This may be about topics in the history of art, design and architecture, art criticism and theory, as well as the historiography of art. Students will be able to write their research dissertation in English or Czech.

Successful candidates will receive a studentship of CZK 24,000 per month. They will also be eligible for additional support in meeting research costs.

The submission period for applications is: 1 August – 31 November 2020, for enrolment in Spring 2021.

Applicants will need to apply to Masaryk University through the usual application procedure, including a formal research proposal. The details can be  found here: https://www.phil.muni.cz/en/studies/doctoral-degree-study-programme/how-to-apply

Successful applicants will be expected to register for the programme by 1 March 2021. Funding will be available until the end of 2023.

For an initial informal discussion, please contact: Prof. Matthew Rampley, rampley@muni.cz.

More information on the CRAACE project can be found here: https://craace.com

For more information on the Department of Art History see here: https://arthistory.phil.muni.cz/

Metaphors of Progress: Hygiene and Purity in Czechoslovak Architecture

‘The most important elements of modern architecture? Hygiene: air, light, cleansing, airing, heating, artificial lighting.’[1]

With these words the Czech architect and critic Oldřich Starý (1884-1971) sought to identify the central features of the most progressive architecture in the 1920s. Starý’s claim clearly should be viewed in the context of interwar architectural thinking in Czechoslovakia. However, at the time of writing in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic has already cost tens of thousands of people their lives, and has brought advanced economies across the globe to a grinding halt, Starý’s belief in hygiene may well be the object of a renewed interest.

Continue reading

Max Dvořák and the Vienna School of Art History

To mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Max Dvořák the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague is staging a conference in 2021 on the legacy of the Vienna School of Art History. Click here for the call for papers.

Max Dvořák (1874-1921) was a pioneer of what has subsequently been referred to as ‘art history as the history of ideas’ (Geistesgeschichte). Where art historians had previously been primarily concerned with the evolution of art’s formal languages (the history of style) or with purely factual information about the production of artworks and the lives of the artists who made them, Dvořák sought to anchor the interpretation of artworks in an understanding of the broader cultural and intellectual currents of their time. He stopped short of espousing a social history of art, but he certainly saw the importance of cultural history for the analysis of works of art. Dvořák has since been criticised for relying too much on vague generalisations about the history of ideas as the background to art, but there is no denying that his essays and lectures, especially those published posthumously in the volume Art History as the History of Ideas (Munich, 1924), were enormously influential on younger generations of art historians, who sometimes argued with each other over how best to preserve his legacy.

Continue reading

In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire? Conference Schedule and Information

 

Our conference In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire: Art and Architecture in Interwar Central Europe will take place in Brno from 12 to 14 September 2019.

The schedule which includes the names of the speakers and titles of their papers can be downloaded here: In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire Conference Schedule

The conference is free to attend, but you need to register. Click here for the registration form.

 

Some practical information:

Conference venue

The conference takes place at the Governor’s Palace of the Moravian Gallery in Moravské náměstí 1.

Directions

Brno has an international airport but you may find better connections from Vienna, Prague and Bratislava. All are linked to Brno via coach (direct coach from Vienna airport) and train. Please note that if you arrive in Brno by train, you will need to get off at “Dolní nádraží” as the main station is closed for reconstruction.

Getting around Brno is easy by public transport (trams, buses, trolley buses) as well as on foot.

Accommodation

Some hotels near the conference venue:

Hotel Continental, from 68 EUR per night

Hotel Slavia from 80 EUR per night

Hotel International  from 78 EUR per night

Hotel Grandezza from 140EUR per night

Grand Hotel Brno from 120EUR per night

Hotel Barceló from 104 EUR per night

Brno guides

There’s an introductory article in the Independent outlining the main sights, while more substantial guides are provided by the Brno Tourist office. The guide to functionalist architecture in Brno is also a useful start for any modernism enthusiast.