Cover image for The Museum Age in Austria-Hungary : Art and Empire in the Long Nineteenth Century By Matthew Rampley, Markian Prokopovych, and ByNóra Veszprémi

The Museum Age in Austria-Hungary

Art and Empire in the Long Nineteenth Century

Matthew Rampley, Markian Prokopovych, and Nóra Veszprémi

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$99.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08710-8

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300 pages
7" × 10"
47 b&w illustrations
2021

The Museum Age in Austria-Hungary

Art and Empire in the Long Nineteenth Century

Matthew Rampley, Markian Prokopovych, and Nóra Veszprémi

“This is a highly original study. There is no other comparative treatment of the development of art museums in the major cities of the Habsburg monarchy, and only such a study can address effectively the analytic questions about the development and functions of the art museums in a changing public sphere that are raised here.”

 

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This important critical study of the history of public art museums in Austria-Hungary explores their place in the wider history of European museums and collecting, their role as public institutions, and their involvement in the complex cultural politics of the Habsburg Empire.

Focusing on institutions in Vienna, Cracow, Prague, Zagreb, and Budapest, The Museum Age in Austria-Hungary traces the evolution of museum culture over the long nineteenth century, from the 1784 installation of imperial art collections in the Belvedere Palace (as a gallery open to the public) to the dissolution of Austria-Hungary after the First World War. Drawing on source materials from across the empire, the authors reveal how the rise of museums and display was connected to growing tensions between the efforts of Viennese authorities to promote a cosmopolitan and multinational social, political, and cultural identity, on the one hand, and, on the other, the rights of national groups and cultures to self-expression. They demonstrate the ways in which museum collecting policies, practices of display, and architecture engaged with these political agendas and how museums reflected and enabled shifting forms of civic identity, emerging forms of professional practice, the production of knowledge, and the changing composition of the public sphere.

Original in its approach and sweeping in scope, this fascinating study of the museum age of Austria-Hungary will be welcomed by students and scholars interested in the cultural and art history of Central Europe.

“This is a highly original study. There is no other comparative treatment of the development of art museums in the major cities of the Habsburg monarchy, and only such a study can address effectively the analytic questions about the development and functions of the art museums in a changing public sphere that are raised here.”
“While the history of British, French, and Italian museums has received extensive coverage in recent Anglophone scholarship, the history of collections in the Habsburg lands is much less widely known. Composed by experts in the empire’s many cultural worlds, this volume fills that gap, breaking new ground by illustrating how a polyphonic empire generated a rich profusion of highly diverse museums.”

Matthew Rampley is Principal Investigator for the research project Continuity/Rupture: Art and Architecture in Central Europe 1918–1939, funded by the European Research Council, and Professor of Art History at Masaryk University. His recent publications include The Seductions of Darwin: Art, Evolution, Neuroscience and The Vienna School of Art History: Empire and the Politics of Scholarship, 1847–1918, both published by Penn State University Press.

Markian Prokopovych is Assistant Professor of History at Durham University and the author of In the Public Eye: The Budapest Opera House, the Audience and the Press, 1884–1918 and Habsburg Lemberg: Architecture, Public Space, and Politics in the Galician Capital, 1772–1914.

Nóra Veszprémi is a Research Fellow on the project Continuity/Rupture: Art and Architecture in Central Europe 1918–1939, funded by the European Research Council, at Masaryk University. She is the author of Fölfújt pipere és költői mámor: Romantika és művészeti közízlés a reformkori Magyarországon [Overblown makeup and poetic frenzy: Romanticism and popular taste in Hungary, 1820–1850].

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Museums and Cultural Politics in the Habsburg World

Matthew Rampley

1. The Museological Landscape of Austria-Hungary

Matthew Rampley

2. The Museum and the City: Art, Municipal Programs, and Urban Agendas

Markian Prokopovych

3. Visions in Stone: Museums and Their Architecture

Matthew Rampley

4. Curators, Conservators, Scholars: The Rise of the Museum Professions

Nóra Veszprémi

5. “Uniques” and Stories: Principles and Practices of Display

Nóra Veszprémi

6. Museums and Their Publics: Visitors, Societies, and the Press

Markian Prokopovych

Epilogue: Modernity and Regime’s End

Matthew Rampley

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Download a PDF sample chapter here: Introduction