An article by research fellow Christian Drobe, ‘War Painting and the Soldier as the New Man: Karl Sterrer’s Pilot Portraits and the Ambivalent Face of Heroism during the First World War‘ has just been published in the RIHA Journal.
Session 3 of our online seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing the Past in Interwar Central Europe will take place at
18.00 CET on 2 November 2021
on Zoom, featuring papers by
Michal Cáp (Charles University, Prague) and Vojtěch Kessler (Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
Kamil Ruszała (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)
Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska (Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) and Izabela Mrzygłód (University of Warsaw)
Moderator: Nancy Wingfield (Northern Illinois University)
The keynote lecture of our seminar series National Histories, Imperial Memories: Representing the Past in Interwar Central Europe will take place at
18.00 CET on 5 October 2021
Nancy Wingfield (Northern Illinois University)
Remembering the World War: The Battle of Zborov, the Czechs, and their Two-Tailed Lion
One sweltering Budapest summer, many years ago, I was a university student taking an exam in twentieth-century Hungarian art. The friendly visiting lecturer smiled encouragingly as I summarised the career of the painter Vilmos Aba-Novák (1894–1941). Soon after starting to train as an artist, Aba-Novák was drafted into the army. After the war, he resumed his studies in printmaking, while also practising painting. Around this time he belonged to the circle of István Szőnyi (1894–1960), a group known for their idyllic compositions of nudes outdoors. Also interested in rural subjects, he frequented artists’ colonies such as the one in Nagybánya (Baia Mare) and – more importantly – in Szolnok. For 1928–30 he received a scholarship from the Hungarian state to study in Rome. The purpose of the Rome scholarships introduced by Minister of Religion and Education Kuno Klebelsberg (1875–1932) was to encourage artists to develop a new monumental style fusing tradition and modernity, so they would be well equipped to fulfil state and ecclesiastical commissions. Returning from Rome, Aba-Novák painted a number of frescoes, but these, I blurted out, are rather clumsy compared to his other work.