Izidor Kršnjavi and beginning of arts and crafts movement in Zagreb in the 1880s Cover Image

Izidor Kršnjavi and beginning of arts and crafts movement in Zagreb in the 1880s
Izidor Kršnjavi and beginning of arts and crafts movement in Zagreb in the 1880s

Author(s): Igor Vranić
Subject(s): History, Political history, 19th Century, Between Berlin Congress and WW I
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: Izidor Kršnjavi; historicism; Croatian Arts Society; Habsburg Monarchy;

Summary/Abstract: Aim of the paper is to show development of arts and crafts movement in Zagreb. Main idea behind the paper is to contextualize arts and crafts movement in Zagreb with other similar movements in the Habsburg Monarchy and elsewhere in Europe by pointing out to the political ideas behind the movement. Special emphasis is given to Arts Society and its founder Izidor Kršnjavi, Arts and Crafts Museum, Crafts school, and the first art exhibition in Zagreb. Members of the Art Society considered themselves to be at the crucial turning point of national history. Their role was to preserve the rapidly disappearing national culture which was believed to represent authentic voice of the nation, and to have economic benefits from it. Such ideas were a mixture of (alternative) modernism and antimodernism; antimodernism in terms that there was an idea of decline of national culture in previous times which should be restored. The restoration was imagined to be done in an alternative way by the creation of a small wealthy class of craftsmen and artists, unlike in the West where the big factories dehumanized people and created proletariat. In order to fulfill their duty, the Arts Society established institutions, organized exhibitions and lectures, so they could educate the wider population and a new class of artists and craftsmen. The Arts Society promoted ideals of patriotism and morality through its projects, institutions and education, with the main aims to representing the nation and to legitimize the Monarchy. The Arts and Crafts museum, and the Craft school were following more or less the official policy of the Monarchy in establishing multi-national nation of various cultures, that is, multicultural political nation. One piece of evidence for such claim surely are awards that Kršanjavi and Bolle received from Franz Jozef for their efforts in establishing the School and the Museum. Also, they were sponsored by ban Hedervary who was working on the pacification of the Triune Kingdom. Kršnjavi, as many other intellectuals from the Monarchy previously schooled in Vienna, can be seen as some kind of liberal monarchic patriot with the aim to establish economically and culturally self-sufficient nation which would peacefully coexist with other nations and cultures of the Monarchy.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 128-144
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: English