Subject: CONF: In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire (Brno, 12-14 Sep 19)

Brno, September 12 – 14, 2019

In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire: Art and Architecture in Interwar Central Europe

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 ( 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.

The schedule which includes the names of the speakers and titles of their papers can be downloaded here:

The conference is free to attend, but you need to register:

THURSDAY, 12th September
10.30 Coffee and Welcome
11.00 Introduction: Matthew Rampley (Masaryk University, Brno): Continuities / ruptures and the grey zones of 20th century art
11.30 Keynote: Pieter Judson (European University Institute, Florence): After November 1918: imperial continuities – visible and invisible – in Habsburg central Europe
12.30 LUNCH (Café Morgal, Moravian Gallery)

PANEL 1: OLD AND NEW (Chair: Julia Secklehner, Masaryk University, Brno)
13.15 Beata Hock (Leipzig University): Cosmopolitan avant-garde, antimodernist ‘retro-garde’ and the thing in-between
13.45 Jan Galeta (Masaryk University, Brno): Tradition or Innovation? Town halls in Czechoslovakia 1918–1945
14.15 Orsolya Danyi (McDaniel College, Budapest): ‘Old’ and ‘New’ in the Art of János Vaszary
14.45 Discussion
15.15 TEA

(chair: Nóra Veszprémi, Masaryk University, Brno)
15.45 Marcela Rusinko (Masaryk University, Brno): Art collections – seeking middle class identities? Constructing social status as a collector in interwar Czechoslovakia
16.15 Ingrid Halászová (University of Trnava): Works of art as hostages: disputes between the nobility and the state in interwar Slovakia
16.45 Klára Prešnajderová (Slovak Centre of Design, Bratislava): The School of Arts and Crafts in Bratislava (ŠUR) as the new centre in the new state
18.00 DRINKS RECEPTION (Café Morgal, Moravian Gallery)
(Restaurant U Tomana, náměstí Svobody 22)

FRIDAY, 13th September
9.30 Keynote: Milena Bartlová (Academy of Art and Design, Prague): The making of the story of Czech modern art
10.30 Coffee

(Chair: Marta Filipová, Masaryk University, Brno)
11.00 Samuel Albert (Fashion Institute of Technology, New York): Managing a national image: Hungarian art exhibitions, 1893-1939
11.30 Irena Kossowska (Nicholas Copernicus University, Toruń): The strategy of self-presentation: the 1930 official exhibition of Austrian art in Warsaw
12.00 Matthew Rampley (Masaryk University, Brno): Reclaiming Aura: Exhibitions of Religious Art in Interwar Austria
12.30 Discussion
13.00 Lunch (Café Morgal, Moravian Gallery)

PANEL 4: CITY IDENTITIES (Chair: Matthew Rampley, Masaryk University, Brno)
13.45 Dániel Veress (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest): József Borsos: gatekeeper of a market-town-turned university city and the last follower of Ödön Lechner
14.15 Vendula Hnídková (University of Birmingham): From garden cities to garden ghettos
14.45 TEA
15.00 András Zwickl (Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest): The recreation of the past: the Cathedral Square in Szeged
15.30 Erika Szívós (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest): Reinventing Budapest after 1919: New Districts as Symbolic Landscapes in the Interwar Period

SATURDAY, 14th September
9.30 Keynote: Enikő Róka (Kiscelli Museum, Budapest): Construction of continuity: nationalism and art in interwar Hungary
10.30 Coffee

(Chair: Christian Drobe, Masaryk University, Brno)
11.00 James Koranyi (Durham University): Stefan Jäger, two triptychs, and Romanian German identity
11.30 Jesse Siegel (Rutgers University): Negotiating the nation in art: the Prague Secession, Otto Kletzl, and Sudeten German identity
12.00 Ádám Németh (University of Technology and Economics, Budapest): Tracing the path towards the Wälder-baroque: the historicist vernacularism of Iván Kotsis and Gyula Wälder
12.30 Discussion
13.00 Lunch (Café Morgal, Moravian Gallery)

The Moravian Gallery, Governor’s Palace, Moravské náměstí 1a, Brno

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CONF: In the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire (Brno, 12-14 Sep 19). In:, Sep 4, 2019. <>.

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