Charles IV 1978–2016 : reviewing the ideological background of the exhibitions and conferences in 1978

Variant title
Karel IV. 1978–2016 : pohled zpět na ideologické pozadí výstav a konferencí pořádaných v roce 1978
Source document: Convivium. 2017, vol. 4, iss. 1, pp. 158-173
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
License: Not specified license
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In the Czech Republic, the year 2016 saw nationwide celebrations of the seven-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor (1316–1378). Dominating the event, a grand exhibition, titled "Emperor Charles IV 1316–2016, the First Czech-Bavarian Land Exhibition", was organized by the National Gallery in Prague and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg and launched by both countries’ highest governemental and church representatives. From the perspective of 2016, the author looks back to similar yet completely different celebrations of the six-hundredth anniversary of the death of Charles IV in 1978 during the period of "normalization" in the Czech Republic. Based on archival documents, historical press, and exhibition catalogues, the article depicts the political backdrop of the similarly spectacular exhibitions held in Prague Castle, Nuremberg, and Cologne. In the socialist Czechoslovakia of 1978, the art of the Luxembourg Era was held hostage and exploited as a tool of political power. At the same time, art history teetered on the edge between scientific research and the pressure of ideology.
Summary language
  • This study is an outcome of the grant project "Imago, Imagines: Metamorphoses of the Function of Medieval Art in the Bohemian Lands", GACR 13-39192s.