For countries in Central Europe the revolution in 1989 meant a new freedom in cultural activity and artistic creation, the beginning of transparent principles in financing culture, the end of censorship, as well as unhampered access to international cooperation. It is certainly one of the most symbolic dates in history. A period of transition began, when fully democratic states and societies were built. As an important element of civil societies, culture was also involved in the process of adaptation to the rules of free-market economy. But it does not mean that in institutions collecting and exhibiting art this transformation occurred instantly.
An exception in Central Europe was Hungary, where initiatives aimed at creating a museum of contemporary art commenced before 1989. The record of Central European institutions devoted to modern and contemporary art before that date statistically does not look so bad but they were almost exclusively institutions collecting and presenting art in general, with 20th-century art forming just one area of interest.
There were just a few specialised institutions – in Poland the Museum of Art in Łódź and Zachęta in Warsaw. After the break-down of financing culture in the 1990s and stagnation in developing museum infrastructure the situation changed with the dawn of the new century and the prospect of joining the European Union, which opened new possibilities for financing museums.
This lecture will present a panorama of Central European museums– looking back to the end of 19th century and the evolution of institutions dealing with collecting and presenting of contemporary art, as well as present museums’ panorama after 1989, which in the 21st century resulted in a museum boom.
Dr Katarzyna Jagodzińska's academic research explores museum studies, especially in the region of Central Europe. She has a Ph.D. in Art History (2012) and is a graduate of Art History (M.A.) and Journalism and Communication (B.A., M.A.), Jagiellonian University, Krakow. She is an author of over 60 articles in the field of museums and art history in academic and specialist magazines and volumes (author of four chapters in a first academic textbook devoted to the issue of culture and development in Poland released in 2014 – Kultura i rozwój), member of the editorial team of the HERITO quarterly and local editor of the RIHA Journal – international academic journal of art history, member of ICOM, AICA and Association of Art Historians in Poland. She works as an Art critic and curator.When
Monday, 24 November 2014, 6:30 pm
Macmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts Building