Informace o publikaci

Jindřich Vávra a sbírka exotik Františkova muzea v 19. století



Rok publikování 2020
Druh Kapitola v knize
Popis Vávra’s extensive ethnographic collection, which was one of the outcomes of his interest in describing the countries he visited as broadly as possible, was one of the most important sets to form the original core of the collecting activity of the Emperor Francis Museum in the area of extra-European ethnology. He acquired the items over the course of 22 years spent in the service of the Austrian Navy (1857–1879). The collection contained several hundred items from every continent of the world and in 1887, not long after Vávra’s death, it was exhibited at the Emperor Francis Museum in a special room then called the “Vávra Hall”. The original composition of the collection can be reconstructed on the basis of reports from the day dedicated to the grand opening of the specially built exhibition of exotica, as well as from the originally conserved inventory cards stored in the archive of the Center for Cultural Anthropology of the Moravian Museum. In the set acquired by the museum, items from China and Japan dominated in terms of numbers (clothing, household equipment, artistic paintings and carvings, religious objects, porcelain, weapons, toys, etc.). The sets from Ceylon and Oceania were also interesting (including, for example, Australian Aboriginal weapons). Smaller objects from Brazil, Mexico and Peru were also represented. Vávra’s handwritten diaries were also an important component of the collection. The exotica was exhibited in the Emperor Francis Museum and later in the Moravian Museum with several adjustments over time until the Second World War. During those unstable times it was packed away and stored in different places. After 1945, emphasis was placed on the presentation of domestic ethnographic material at the Moravian Museum, and the exotica was no longer exhibited. That tendency culminated in 1987 – 1988 in the so-called delimitation, when the state authorities decided to transfer the extra-European ethnological collections to the National Museum in Prague, where they became part of the collections of the Náprstek Museum. A smaller part of the listed material was transferred to the collection of the Anthropos Institute at the Moravian Museum. By then the extra-European collections had been enriched with collections from other collectors. During the interwar period, targeted acquisitions had also multiplied. Vávra’s collection, however, still comprised the essential core of the Brno-based exotica. The decision to transfer it, however, disrupted its continuity and the items connected with the figure of Jindřich Vávra were dispersed and administered by several institutions (the Moravian Museum, Moravian Gallery in Brno, the Brno City Museum, the Brno City Archive and the National Museum – Náprstek Museum). The attempt to reconstruct and research Vávra’s original collection became the challenge for the production of this exhibition and this catalogue.