Publication details

The Czech Vienna School and the art of the ‘small people



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Art Historiography
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords art history; interwar Czechoslovakia; Austro-Hungarian legacies; Zdeněk Wirth; Antonín Matějček; Alois Riegl; Czech art; modernity; class; folk art; Vienna School
Description Marta Filipová examines the discipline of art history in interwar Czechoslovakia and its Austro-Hungarian legacies, paying particular attention to questions of modernity, class, and folk art and design. The article focuses on the attitudes of the Vienna School’s followers to folk art and primarily examines the writings of the Czech art historians Zdeněk Wirth (1878-1961) and Antonín Matějček (1888-1950). Their attention to art created by ‘the small people’ of villages and the countryside had clear parallels in the theories of Alois Riegl. Both Czech art historians, however, developed Riegl’s views further. Aware of the impact of modernity and industrialisation on art production, they related folk art to a specific class and the social, economic and ethnic changes in the Czech lands in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The text therefore scrutinises their reasons for the continued concern with folk art in the light of the legacy of the Vienna School.
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