In the nineteenth century, museums of design, industry and the applied arts were intimately connected to ideas about economic, social and industrial progress. Hence, their position in the museum landscape of the time was markedly different from that of museums of fine art. Liberalism, Nationalism and Design Reform in the Habsburg Empire: Museums of Design, Industry and the Applied Arts, a new book by Matthew Rampley, Markian Prokopovych and Nóra Veszprémi explores the expectations these institutions faced in the first decades of their existence, as well as their impact. It is shaped by two broad concerns: the role of liberalism as a political, cultural and economic ideology motivating the museums’ foundation, and their engagement with the politics of imperial, national and regional identity of the late Habsburg Empire.
The first CRAACE conference, ‘In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire? Art and Architecture in Interwar Central Europe’, took place in the Moravian Gallery, Brno, from 12 to 14 September 2019. With three keynote speakers, five sessions and fifteen papers, the event explored the topic of continuities and ruptures in post-Habsburg Central European art history from several angles, sparking many engaging discussions. This brief report below can only highlight a few of the wider topics that emerged in the course of the three days. (The conference programme can be accessed here.)
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:
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.
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
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.
At CRAACE, we analyse the transformations and continuities in Central European art and architecture after 1918. Bearing a similar title, a current exhibition on the Habsburg inheritance at Vienna’s Imperial Furniture Collection makes a related effort. It focuses on imperial property and its history after the collapse of the Habsburg Empire. Who owned which parts of Habsburg property? What happened to the imperial household after 1918? And what is its legacy? These are the big questions that Rupture and Continuity, an exhibition organised at the Imperial Furniture Collection in Vienna aims to answer.
Proposals are invited for papers at the conference
In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire? Art and Culture in Interwar Central Europe
Moravian Gallery, Brno
12 – 14 September 2019
The First World War is often held to have brought about not merely political and social disruption, but also a profound caesura in artistic and cultural life. Nowhere was this more evident than in Austria-Hungary, where Vienna and Budapest lost their pre-eminent status as cultural capitals, and the creation of new states transformed the political and artistic status of cities such as Prague, Brno, Salzburg and Košice. The disruption to artistic life was dramatically symbolised in the deaths in 1918 of some of the leading figures of pre-war modernism: Otto Wagner, Gustav Klimt, Bohumil Kubišta and Egon Schiele.
Post-war nostalgia for the Habsburg Empire amongst writers such as Joseph Roth, Stefan Zweig and Miklós Bánffy is well known and, as Marjorie Perloff has suggested, the collapse of Austria-Hungary left its imprint on what might termed a specific ‘austro-modernism.’ But what was the impact of the events of 1918 on the visual arts? How did artists, designers and architects negotiate the changed terrain of the post-war social and political world? To what extent did the memory of the Habsburg Empire continue to shape artistic life? To what extent did artists and architects actively seek to consign it to oblivion?
As part of the ERC-funded project Continuity / Rupture? Art and Architecture in Central Europe 1918-1939 (https://craace.com) this conference examines the ways in which the visual arts shaped and were shaped by new aesthetic, political and ideological currents, with particular reference to Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
Proposals (300 words) are invited for 30-minute papers that examine topics such as:
- Cultural memory of the Habsburg Empire
- Formation and reformation of the avant-gardes
- Exile and migration
- The destruction, creation and renewal of artistic networks
- The art market, galleries, museums and other institutions of the art world
- Artistic, architectural and broader cultural policies of the new states
Confirmed keynote speakers are: Pieter Judson (EUI, Florence); Eve Blau (Harvard University); Milena Bartlová (Academy of Art and Design, Prague) and Enikő Róka (Kiscelli Museum, Budapest).
The deadline for submission of proposals is Wednesday 1 May 2019. Submissions should be sent to: email@example.com