1st Edition

Modernity, History, and Politics in Czech Art

By Marta Filipová Copyright 2020
    224 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book traces the influence of the changing political environment on Czech art, criticism, history, and theory between 1895 and 1939, looking beyond the avant-garde to the peripheries of modern art. The period is marked by radical political changes, the formation of national and regional identities, and the rise of modernism in Central Europe – specifically, the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the creation of the new democratic state of Czechoslovakia. Marta Filipová studies the way in which narratives of modern art were formed in a constant negotiation and dialogue between an effort to be international and a desire to remain authentically local.


    1. Modernism

    2. The People

    3. Society

    4. Identity

    5. Traditions



    Marta Filipová is Research Fellow, Masaryk University, Czech Republic.

    "Overall, Filipová’s arguments are quite convincing and firmly grounded inboth primary source research and secondary scholarship from various fields. ... Marta Filipová’s book will certainly inspire other scholars and advanced students to pursue further research on Czech modernisms."

    --Journal of Art Historiography

    "Marta Filipová’s Modernity, History, and Politics in Czech Art is a comprehensive and informative text about the sometimes overlooked artistic output of this country, and how it was affected by the tide of history. It deals well with hyper-accelerated change at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, and serves as an excellent, dense reference book for both historical and cultural developments during this period."

    --The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

    "English-language readers need a book accessible to the nonspecialist that examines Czech art, architecture, and design from the perspective of nationalism and nation building. By focusing on Czech/Czechoslovak art and nation with a focus broader than the avant-garde, the book fills an important gap."

    --Austrian History Yearbook

    "Marta Filipová’s book, Modernity, History, and Politics in Czech Art, explores shifting relationships between art, modernity and national identity in the Czech Lands in a refreshingly direct way. ... She brings to her study a thorough knowledge of Czech traditions of art writing but also enough distance to allow her some perspective on the relationship between nationalism and Czech art history. She is deeply familiar with the primary sources and uses the tools of Anglo-American social art history to situate them in their cultural, political and national context."