Volkskunst und Gewebe - the work of Antonín Václavík in an historical context
Source document: . Antonín Václavík (1891-1959) a evropská etnologie : kontexty doby a díla. Editor: Drápala, Daniel. Vyd. 1. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, Filozofická fakulta, 2010, pp. 37-43
In 1956 the Artia publishing house published three foreign-language versions of Antonín Václavík's anthology on vernacular textiles (especially embroidery) in Bohemia. In the first chapter, which included dozens of photographs for illustrative purposes, the author focused on general information on vernacular textiles and their place in folk art, as well as on the links between vernacular textiles and literature, and on the significance of ceremonial items. Quite naturally, this monograph reflected Václavík's theory of the magic origin and contents of folk culture that was manifested by means of the colourfulness, motives and patters of embroideries. While foreign readers were very excited about this large monograph that promoted Bohemian and Moravian folk culture, the response from Czech readers, as largely expressed in professional press in the two years since publication, was affected by the then-current dominant ideology, in accordance with which praise was not desirable in this case. The reviews published at that time, as well as private correspondence, shine a light on the context of the 1950s.
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