Lidový dům a jeho role při formování národní identity

Title in English Traditional Village Cottages and Their Role in the Formation of National Identity

VÁLKA Miroslav

Year of publication 2015
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Prameny a studie
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Archaeology, anthropology, ethnology
Keywords national identity; rural cottage; Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition 1895
Description Traditional folk (rural) culture, which was seen as autochthonous, specific, and typical of a given national community, played an important role in the formation of national identity. In the second half of the 19th century, the establishment of national identity received a new stimulus in the form of phenomena from material culture, i.e., various artefacts including village (vernacular) buildings. Two world exhibitions with their ideas of a ‘national village’ played an important role in encouraging interest in vernacular architecture and as the exhibitions which took place in Prague in the second half of the 19th century demonstrate, village cottages and farms soon became a symbol of ‘national’ culture. The General Jubilee Exhibition of 1891 included an idealised ‘Czech cottage’. Its popularity inspired F. A. Šubrt, director of the National Theatre, to start planning for a large Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition, which eventually opened on May 15, 1895. Planning documentation was the work of leading Czech architects. The choice of examples of vernacular architecture was determined by the conceptual framework of the exhibition, with the result that majority of the exhibited houses were large farms, that is, the dwellings of the more affluent villagers, which had various decorative elements and efforts were made to make the house look impressive.
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