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Description: An analysis of patterns of continuity and discontinuity in artistic and architectural practices in the newly created states of Central Europe after the collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

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Have no fear of modernism

Exhibition review

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Artwork of the Month January 2019: The Mother by Rudolf Koppitz (1925)

Review of a photographic work by the Austrian photographer Rudolf Koppitz in the context of the genre of Heimatphotographie.

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Commemorating Czechoslovak Independence Outside of Prague

Exhibition review

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Košice Modernism


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Photography in Interwar Austria


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The House of Austrian History


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Uzhhorod Modernism


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Book review: Meštrović in Prague


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Exhibition review: Enchanted by Africa?


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Exhibition review: Devětsil 1920-1931


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Facing an Uncomfortable Past: Restitution and the rehang of the Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz

Restitution and contemporary debates in art history: this post looks at the permanent display of the Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz

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Artwork of the Month, February 2020: The Highway Sings by Elmar Klos, Jan Lukas and Alexander Hackenschmied (1937)

The text looks at an avant-garde commercial made for the company Baťa in 1937, which features a singing tyre, and discusses how the company embraced m...

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Max Dvořák and the Vienna School of Art History

On the 100th anniversary of the death of Max Dvořák the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences is staging a conference on the legac...

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Artwork of the Month, March 2020: The New Adam / The New Eve by Sándor Bortnyik (1924)

The New Adam and The New Eve by Sándor Bortnyik critique Bauhaus culture and represent the reconfiguring of human identities after WWI.

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THEIR SAFE HAVEN: HUNGARIAN ARTISTS IN BRITAIN FROM THE 1930S: BOOK REVIEW

Compiled and edited by Robert Waterhouse, Their Safe Haven provides an empathetic account of the lives of Hungarian artists in Britain from the 1930s.

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Metaphors of Progress: Hygiene and Purity in Czechoslovak Architecture

This article examines the importance of disease and hygiene as symbolic concepts in avant-garde architecture in interwar Czechoslovakia.

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Artwork of the Month, April 2020: Columbus in der Slovakei by Leopold Wolfgang Rochowanski

The article discusses the guidebook Columbus in der Slovakei and how interwar Slovakia was presented within Czechoslovakia and to an Austrian audience...

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Artwork of the Month, May 2020: Szentendre Houses with Crucifix by Lajos Vajda (1937)

In the 1930s Lajos Vajda drew on the vernacular culture of Szentendre to create his own artistic method which he called 'constructive surrealist thema...

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Neighbours: An Austrian-Czech History Book: Book review

The Austrian-Czech history book Nachbarn/Sousedé connects two national histories to write a more nuanced history of the countries and their relationsh...

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Artwork of the Month, June 2020: A Walk Through the Metropolis by Erika Giovanna Klien (1923)

The article looks at A Walk Through The Metropolis by Erika Giovanna Klien (1923), a seminal example of Viennese Kinetism.

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Artwork of the Month, July 2020: The Black Boy by Helena Johnová (1912–c. 1939)

The Black Boy (1912) by Czech artist Helena Johnová raises the issues of racism, orientalism and the need to decolonise Central European art history.

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Artwork of the Month, August 2020: Extase by Gustav Machatý (1933)

Gustav Machatý’s film Extase shows a woman fighting for a free, self-determined life after being stuck in an unnatural marriage.

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On Photographing Modern Architecture: The Studio of Rudolf Sandalo

On Photographing Modern Architecture: The Studio of Rudolf Sandalo

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George Mayer-Marton and His Mural in Oldham: Heritage under Threat

The Hungarian artist George Mayer-Marton moved to Britain to escape the Nazis. His mural of the Crucifixion in Oldham is now at risk.

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Artwork of the Month, September 2020: This Is What It Looks Like, My Child, This World by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (c. 1933)

The article contextualises the photomontage by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis within anti-fascist photographic work in interwar Austria.

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Mucha for the 21st century: Exhibition review

Review of two exhibitions on Alfons Mucha in Prague: iMucha at the Municipal House and Elusive Fusion at the Kampa Museum.

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Eternal and Blissfully Unaware: Unser Land mit Unsern Augen (1949) and Austrian Cultural Amnesia after 1945

Leopold Rochowanski's travel guide exemplifies how Austria's post-WW2 cultural amnesia was rooted in prewar concepts of national identity.

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Artwork of the Month, October 2020: Still Life with Liebknecht Print by István Dési Huber (c. 1930)

Still Life with Liebknecht Print reflects István Dési Huber’s views on artistic tradition, the autonomy of art, as well as the artist’s social role.

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Artwork of the Month, November 2020: The Neolog Synagogue in Žilina by Peter Behrens (1928–31)

The synagogue in Žilina not only exemplifies interwar synagogue architecture, but also speaks of the fate of the Jewish community in Slovakia.

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Noémi Ferenczy: An Artist in Changing Times

The career of the excellent tapestry artist Noémi Ferenczy unfolded in the turbulent political conditions of twentieth-century Hungary.

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Artwork of the Month, December 2020: Bride with a Cigarette by Milada Marešová (1933)

Bride with a Cigarette by Milada Marešová invites a discussion about the image of women and the position of female artists in interwar Czechoslovakia

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Artwork of the Month, January 2021: Japan – The Land of Contrasts by Alice Schalek (1925)

Illustrated by her own photographs, this 400-page book by Alice Schalek was based on her trip to Japan in 1923–24.

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Kubišta – Filla: Book review

Kubišta – Filla: Plzeňská disputace by Marie Rakušanová focuses on the relationship between the two artists and their connections with friends and col...

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The Key to Red Vienna: Book review

The article reviews the anthology Das Rote Wien / The Red Vienna Sourcebook, edited by Rob Macfarland, Georg Spitaler and Ingo Zechner.

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Artwork of the Month, February 2021: Experiment with Two Negatives at the Bauhaus by Irena Blühová (1932)

Experiment with Two Negatives represents a time in the life of Irena Blühová that allowed a more light-hearted use of the camera compared to her photo...

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Artwork of the Month, March 2021: The Gate of Heroes in Szeged (1936)

The Gate of Heroes (1936) by Móric Pogány, Vilmos Aba-Novák and Éva Lőte is a First World War monument that promoted Hungarian irredentism.

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Beyond the single-artist study: Bohumil Kubišta and new ways of monographic research in the Czech Lands: Book review

Bohumil Kubišta a Evropa by Marie Rakušanová and co-authors reconsiders the artist by shifting focus onto his networks.

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Artwork of the Month, April 2021: Family Portrait (The Keller Family) by Ernst Nepo (1929)

The portrait of the family of architect Wilhelm Keller by Ernst Nepo is one of the most important social portraits in interwar Austrian art.

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Women of the Viennese Workshops: Exhibition review

Women Artists of the Wiener Werkstätte at the MAK in Vienna shows the importance of female artists and designers at the Viennese Workshops.

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Artwork of the Month, May 2021: The Church of St. Anthony of Padua by Gyula Rimanóczy (1931–34)

The Church of St. Anthony of Padua by Gyula Rimanóczy is one of the more striking examples of interwar modernist architecture in Hungary.

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Artwork of the Month, June 2021: Spa Fountain by Zdeněk Pešánek (1936)

Spa Fountain by Zdeněk Pešánek was an innovative light-kinetic sculpture made for the Czechoslovak pavilion at the 1937 Paris World's Fair.

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH, JULY 2021: LOGO OF THE SALZBURG FESTIVAL BY POLDI WOJTEK (1928)

Through this design by the future National Socialist Poldi Wojtek the article explores how modernity and reactionary politics coexisted in interwar Au...

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH, AUGUST 2021: TO ARMS! TO ARMS! BY RÓBERT BERÉNY (1919)

The poster To Arms! To Arms! by Róbert Berény (1919) recalls the inner contradictions and vicious disputes of the Hungarian Soviet Republic.

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH, SEPTEMBER 2021: THE INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION HALL IN HIROSHIMA BY JAN LETZEL (1915)

This powerful symbol of the destruction caused by the atomic bomb was originally an exhibition hall designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel.

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH, OCTOBER 2021: THE CIVILISED WOMAN BY ZDENĚK ROSSMANN (1929)

The poster for the 1929 exhibition Civilised Woman is an important witness to interwar Czechoslovakia's concept of the new woman.

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2021: PORTRAIT OF ILSE BY RUDOLF WACKER (1926)

As a prisoner of war in Siberia the Austrian Rudolf Wacker experienced ‘exotic’ worlds, which influenced his paintings throughout his career.

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH DECEMBER 2021: ŽIDOVSKÁ STREET III (1935–36) BY IMRICH WEINER-KRÁĽ

Through Židovská Street III by the Jewish-Hungarian-Slovak artist Weiner-Kráľ, the article shows that narratives of Slovak modernism contain a complex...

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Artwork of the Month, January 2022: Morphine Addict by János Vaszary (1930)

János Vaszary's 1930 (Morphine Addict) encapsulates the artist's thoughts about modernity and its alluring dark side.

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BEDŘICH FEUERSTEIN, ARCHITECT: PRAGUE – PARIS – TOKYO: EXHIBITION REVIEW

The exhibition at the National Technical Museum, Prague highlights an unjustly marginalised figure in the history of Czechoslovak architecture.

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH, FEBRUARY 2022: THE HOUSE OF JAKUB DEML BY BOHUSLAV FUCHS (1921–22)

A seemingly unremarkable building by Bohuslav Fuchs prompts important discussions about the cultural dynamics of interwar Czechoslovakia.

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH, MARCH 2022: THE PARADISE OF THE BLACKS BY TOYEN (1925)

This painting by Toyen opens up discussion about its uncomfortable content: the objectification of Black people in central European avant-garde art.

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ARTWORK OF THE MONTH, APRIL 2022: THE MANUAL WORKERS AND THE INTELLECTUALS BY JÁNOS MATTIS-TEUTSCH (1927)

The Manual Workers and the Intellectuals by János Mattis-Teutsch exemplifies the artist's desire to reconcile ethical and aesthetic values.

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