<span class="tytul">Exhibition as the Controlled Encounter of Two Countries: ”Poland – Czechoslovakia: Centuries of Neighborhood and Friendship” (1977–1978)</span>

Exhibition as the Controlled Encounter of Two Countries: ”Poland – Czechoslovakia: Centuries of Neighborhood and Friendship” (1977–1978)

 

Abstrakt

The most complex official exhibition project organized between Poland and Czechoslovakia during the Cold War was a show titled ”Poland – Czechoslovakia: Centuries of Neighborhood and Friendship”. The show was conceived to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first Czechoslovak – Polish Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Help. The project was co-organized by Czechoslovak and Polish institutions, and travelled to Kraków, Warsaw, Bratislava, and Prague for month-long presentations.

The exhibition was aimed at establishing the official narrative of the history of mutual contact, engaging scholars and museum professionals from both countries. The narrative included over 1,000 years of relations between the countries in question. This was represented by more than 1,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, documents, and historical objects loaned from 156 Czechoslovak and Polish institutions and private individuals. The exhibits were divided into seventeen thematic sections, explained by descriptions in the catalog. The exhibition was not only supposed to be a presentation of historical cultural relations between three nations within (then) two countries, but to become a key event defining and building those relations.

This paper analyses the ”Poland – Czechoslovakia” exhibition in the light of recently growing scholarly interest in the history of exhibitions. As an official institutional project, the exhibition offers the possibility to analyze the circumstances of artistic life, exhibition practices, as well as the historiography of art in late socialism.

This article is part of a larger study dedicated to the exchange of exhibitions between Poland and Czechoslovakia after World War II.1 One of the main goals of the study is to outline and analyze the institutional artistic exchange between countries of the Eastern Bloc, as opposed to the map of unofficial or countercultural tendencies developed, for example, by Piotr Piotrowski. The addition of official exhibitions to the story of international artistic contact between Eastern Bloc countries is supposed to broaden the map of contact and question the stereotypical notion of a complete separation of avant-garde art and art institutions in the region. Creating a chronological sequence of export exhibitions sent from one country to another through the decades provides an insight into the tensions between art and politics – changing political circumstances, evolving curatorial concepts, the approach toward propaganda, and the dynamics between orders from the Ministry of Culture and the museum professionals performing them.

This paper analyzes the presentation titled Poland – Czechoslovakia: Centuries of Neighborhood and Friendship,2 as this was the largest and most complex exhibition project concerning Polish – Czechoslovak relations during the Cold War era. Implemented in the 1970s, ten years after the Prague Spring, it was an international project aimed at establishing the official narrative of the history of mutual contact between the two countries in question. From the perspective of art history, such a project brings forward an array of questions. How does one select themes and events from a period of 1,000 years? Which artefacts should be included, which excluded, and why? What constitutes Czechoslovakia’s thousand-year relationship with Poland, if Czechoslovakia itself began its existence in 1918? How to present Poland’s “brotherly” attitude toward Czechoslovakia, if only ten years previously Polish troops had participated in the Warsaw Pact’s invasion, suppressing the Prague Spring? If it is known that such a project concerned politics and not art, what kind of research potential does it offer art historians? Should it be dismissed as propaganda or should it be used to revisit the way art historians construct the narrative of Cold War artistic life and art historiography?

The history of exhibitions on the map of artistic contact

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, art historians have tried to put the art of East-Central Europe on the global map, or at least make it more visible for the Western art world. Ryszard Stanisławski and Christoph Brockhaus prepared the exhibition Europa, Europa, which provided an interdisciplinary overview of the avant-garde in Eastern and Central Europe, and presented it in Bonn in 1994.3 The 1995 Warsaw exhibition Rysa w przestrzeni [Crack in Space] sought to juxtapose post-1945 art from Poland, Germany, and former Czechoslovakia.4 In terms of art-historical publications, aside from exhibition catalogs there was a need for an amalgamated overview of the art of the region, which would help navigate the tendencies, artistic groups, and important events, as well as local and international contact between artists. In 2005 Piotr Piotrowski published a book titled Awangarda w cieniu Jałty. Sztuka w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej w latach 1945–1989,5 published in English in 2011 as In the Shadow of Yalta: Art and the Avant-garde in Eastern Europe, 1945–1989.6 Understandably, the historians of the post-1945 art of East-Central Europe directed their interest toward the modernisms, the unofficial scenes, the counter-cultural movements, and the galleries temporarily established in studios or even private flats.

Yet, as the period after the Iron Curtain’s fall starts to be counted in decades, the imbalanced portrayal of the era’s artistic past bears certain risks. As an example, Estonian art historian Maria-Kristiina Soomre argues that, when it comes to the history of the art of Cold War-era Baltic states, focus has been put on the “Westerness” of local art, leaving the official Soviet canon unmapped.7 By analyzing two case studies of exhibitions of Soviet art in Venice,8 Soomre proves that the simple division into “official” and “unofficial” art is highly problematic, and that in the Baltic Soviet Republics the artistic reality was not as binary as is typically portrayed. She argues for “new agents to be better acquainted with in order to fill in the blanks in our histories of artistic representation.”9

As a method of tracing these new dimensions and filling in blank spots, Soomre proposed the use of the history of exhibitions, because:

Exhibitions combine different agents, objects, institutions and conditions, such as economic development, political reality and social formations, with the system of artistic practices. The study of exhibition history involves the study of the ‘nodes’ in this network, the interlocking elements of art, power, politics, individual positions and histories, geographies, space, architecture etc.10

Soomre refers to research in the field of the history of exhibitions, developed for example by Bruce Altshuler.11 She also mentions the research project Invisible History of Exhibitions,12 the result of which is an online archive of Eastern European exhibitions.13 In Poland, a team lead by Gabriela Switek conducted the research project History of Exhibitions at the Zachęta – Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions 1949–1970, with its results available online, together with scans of archival materials.14

To sum up, there is growing scholarly interest in the history of exhibitions, as confirmed by the recent international conferences Exhibitions as Sites of Artistic Contact during the Cold War (Iassi, Romania, November 8–9, 2019) and Exhibition Histories: New Perspectives (Warsaw, Poland, November 28–29, 2019).15 This interest has been accompanied by interest in studies on East-Central Europe from international or transnational perspectives, as proven, for example, by publication of the 2016 volume Art beyond Borders: Artistic Exchange in Communist Europe.16

Exhibitions can be used as case studies for examining international artistic contact and cultural diplomacy. Using the history of exhibitions, scholars can also complement the history of “unofficial” East-Central European art with its “official,” institutional aspect, examining their intertwined nature. Yet, the two parts of the story are asymmetrical: the first is a narrative about living artists, working under certain political and historical circumstances; alternatively, the history of exhibitions refers not only to the times when exhibitions were presented, but also to the historiography from a particular time – the way objects were selected and narrated at a specific moment in history. Czech art historian Milena Bartlová has examined the Czech art history of the socialist period, pointing to post-1945 Czech art historians’ sticking to the Vienna School and distancing themselves from social analysis on the one hand, and engaging in Marxist-Leninist theories on the other.17 This resulted in a “formalist iconology,” aimed at providing secular interpretations of Medieval and Baroque art.18 Exhibition catalogs typically include scholarly essays, which can be a source for such historiographical research.

Polish scholar Patryk Wasiak mapped different forms of artistic contact in his book Kontakty między artystami wizualnymi z Polski, Węgier, Czechosłowacji i NRD w latach 1970–1989 [Contact between Visual Artists from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the GDR], a result of his doctoral dissertation in cultural studies.19 Wasiak’s aim is to map contact between artists within institutions, outside of institutions, and between those spheres.20 The main questions he poses are: which social actors participated in international cultural contact, and how did mutual relations look? The author remarks that he does not analyze the meaning of artistic practices, and that he describes the work of certain artists only as far as is required to understand the specificity of the described contact. He is more interested in the sociology of art – trying to establish how social actors built the art world by creating and negotiating the frames of international institutional cooperation.21 Wasiak mentions Poland – Czechoslovakia: Centuries of Neighborhood and Friendship alongside another extensive international exhibition project, Poland – Hungary: A Thousand Years of Friendship (1979).22

In Prague there was another significant historical project being planned for 1978 – the National Gallery there was busy with preparations for the substantial venture Charles IV’s Era in the History of the Nations of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic; this was presented to mark the 600th anniversary of Charles’s death. The project was analyzed by Czech art historian Klára Benešovská in her article “Charles IV 1978–2016: Reviewing the Ideological Background of the Exhibitions and Conferences in 1978,” published in 2017.23 The text provides a useful point of reference to my study, as it examines the ideological agenda of a historical Czechoslovak exhibition prepared in the 1970s. Benešovská points to severe governmental control over the project and, analyzing archival documents, lists “ideological weapons”:

The principal idea of all the jubilee events will be to show how the socialist society develops positive traditions of the national past and cultivates the socialist and international understanding of history. At the same time, the exhibition concept and the publication must face up to the danger of ideological distortion of the western, mainly the German bourgeois historiography and propaganda.24

The presentation of the socialist understanding of history, positioned against Western historiography, had a very precise task, as at the same time art historians in West Germany were also preparing two exhibitions about Charles IV for 1978. The first, presented in Nuremberg, was titled Kaiser Karl IV, 1316–1378. The second, Die Parler und der schöne Stil 1350–1400: Europäische Kunst unter den Luxemburgen, was focused on the art-historical question of the oeuvre of the Parler family.25 It opened on November 29th, the anniversary day of Charles’s death. While I will not continue analysis of the Charles IV exhibitions, as it is not the topic of this article, it is worth looking at Benešovská’s conclusions for comparison. Presenting an interesting case study of an exhibition topic being developed by scholars on either side of the Iron Curtain, she portrays the differences between approaches to historical topics, between the importance of political agendas, and between accessibility to objects and information. She argues that the Prague project was “an equilibristic performance – balancing between the huge political pressure and efforts for professional and artistic quality.”26

The first subsection of Benešovská’s article is titled “The Art in Service of Ideology – Art as Hostage.” At the end of the text she reflects:

The question about the role and position of a medieval art researcher in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic during the 1970s remains open. Does this topic really fit in the context of “art in prison”?

She points to the paradox that the post-1945 nationalization and destruction of churches could go hand in hand with the strong position of research into Medieval art, very much connected to Christianity.27 Similarly to Bartlová, Benešovská highlights the defensible methods of Czech art historians who utilized the legacy of the Vienna School and focused on the analysis of style and form, having their research remain relatively non-ideological.28 It seems that she grasped the dynamics of the preparation of the 1978 exhibitions when she called them a disjointed production of Czech Medieval studies in the service of Charles IV’s anniversary.29 The fact that the art-historical findings produced during preparation for the exhibition could not be presented on an international level and confronted with the work of Western European scholars resulted in a kind of “imprisonment of medieval art history.”30

The exhibition Poland – Czechoslovakia: Centuries of Neighborhood and Friendship was an international project. It may seem that it was a conscious redirection of Czechoslovak scholars’ interest, so that they did not aspire to cooperation with West Germany, but rather with another socialist country. This may have been a genuine concern, as, for example, the organizer of the Cologne exhibition on Charles IV, Anton Legner, director of the Schnütgen-Museum, traveled to Prague to introduce his project, invite Czech colleagues to cooperate, and request objects from Czechoslovak collections as loans for the exhibition.31

So how did this controlled “release” of art history look? Was it different from the Polish perspective than from the Czechoslovak one?

The project

Poland – Czechoslovakia: Centuries of Neighborhood and Friendship was the most monumental exhibition project concerning the history of Poland and Czechoslovakia’s mutual relations – not only in late socialism, but ever to be staged.32. The commissar of the exhibition from the Polish side was Tadeusz Chruścicki, director of the National Museum in Kraków, and from the Czechoslovak side – Jozef Vlachovič, director of the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava. The show toured four cities: Kraków, Warsaw, Bratislava, and Prague, and could be viewed for a month in each. The project was organized by the Polish, Czech, and Slovak Ministries of Culture in cooperation with the National Museum in Kraków and the Slovak National Museum.33 In the catalog, the commissars stated that the presentation of several centuries of cultural relations between Poland and Czechoslovakia exceeded previous traditions and practices of exhibition-making: “Following the adopted approach, the exhibition is not a mere report on the issue, but also a symbol and an important element of these relations.”34

Narodowe w Krakowie - National Museum in Krakow, December 16th 1977 – January 15th 1978, Archive of the National Museum in Krakow F/549/77, photo: Pracownia Fotograficzna Muzeum Narodowego w Krakowie

This statement offers the key to understanding what the organizers sought to emphasize – that the exhibition was not only a presentation of cultural relations between Poland and Czechoslovakia throughout history, but a seminal event serving to define and build those relations, as well as to organize the memory of them. I would like to demonstrate the mechanism behind this goal – how historical objects and events were selected and utilized in order to construct a certain vision of reality that was supposed to organize the past and indicate a direction for the future.

The Poland – Czechoslovakia exhibition was conceived to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first Czechoslovak – Polish Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Help. The treaty was signed by representatives of the two countries on March 10, 1947, and a copy was displayed at the show. Many subsequent official cultural events in the Polish People’s Republic referred to the document.

The main points of the treaty concerned the joint goal of building and maintaining long-lasting international peace by referring to mutual Slavic heritage, the shared struggle for independence and, crucially, union against the eternal enemy, Germany. Refusing to consider Germany’s imperialistic ambitions purely a matter of the past and envisaging a potential renewed attack was meant to lend urgency and significance to the “friendship” between Poland and Czechoslovakia. The treaty was designed to emanate a spirit of outstanding importance, nobleness, and mutual benefit. It was an influential text, which numerous subsequent official cultural events drew on throughout the entire socialist period.

Preparations

The perspective on historical events, which embraced mutual Slavic heritage, the struggle for freedom, and unity against Germany, was later used as the foundation of a plethora of cultural events, including art exhibitions. Polish shows were sent to Czechoslovakia, where similar projects were created which then toured the Polish People’s Republic.35 When in 1974 the Management of Museums (ZM) issued a written request to the National Museum in Kraków to begin preparations for a large-scale project devoted to the history of Polish-Czechoslovak cooperation, there were already several sources to consult. The ZM, a department of the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art, set guidelines for the National Museum, the assigned partner from the Polish side, in which it was stated that:

The fundamental goal of the exhibition is to place emphasis on historical moments in the history of our nations and their brotherly cooperation that laid the foundations for our contemporary contact, political and cultural cooperation, etc. […]. Created with joint efforts, the exhibition is supposed to stand as an expression of reinforced relations between both countries, as well as […] an example of an ongoing connection between Slavic nations, a union of their interests, etc.36

Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie - National Museum in Warsaw, February 6th – March 5th 1978, Archive of the National Museum in Krakow F/554/78, photo: Pracownia Fotograficzna Muzeum Narodowego w Krakowie

According to the guidelines, the exhibition was to showcase all events that had played an important role not only in establishing contact between the two countries, but also in shaping the balance of power in Europe.

Two teams of experts – Polish and Czechoslovak – were chosen to collaboratively select the most relevant events, study them, draw up a uniform script, and develop the exhibition’s design. Meeting the imposed requirements, the show comprised only original artworks, documents, and color photographs, with an additional set of tape recorders and projectors for sound recordings and slides.

The National Museum in Kraków sent letters to various Polish art institutions, requesting images of artefacts that could form part of the show, eventually gathering more than 1,000 objects, divided into seventeen sections, complete with descriptions. These sections were: I. Common Slavic Origin; II. Creation of Statehood. Romanism; III. XIV and XV Centuries. Gothic; IV. Grunwald and the Hussite Movements; V. Humanism and Science; VI. Decline of Gothic – Renaissance; VII. John Amos Comenius. The Czech Brethren and Slovak Exiles; VIII. The Participation of Poland in the Turkish Wars. John III Sobieski. The Culture of Sarmatism; IX. The Baroque; X. Life in the Border Towns; XI. The Fight for Freedom in the XIX Century; XII. Cooperation in the Fields of Literature, Theater, Music, and the Fine Arts; XIII. National Art of the XIX and XX Century; XIV. Culture and Folk Art in the Border Region; XV. Polish, Czech, and Slovak Revolutionary Workers’ Movements; XVI. Fighting against Fascism for National and Social Liberation; XVII. Common Path. The sections were mirrored in the catalog with a paragraph of explanation, illustrations, and lists of objects divided into thematic groups. For example the section “Decline of Gothic – Renaissance” features works by Veit Stoss juxtaposed with the creations of Pavol from Levoča; there were also representations of religious paintings on wood, liturgical vessels, and decorated books.

It is interesting to look at the loaners more closely, as this shows the complexity and scale of the project. The list in the catalog features 156 institutions and private individuals who provided loans for the exhibitions.37 In Poland these comprised four libraries, the Central Archive of the PZPR Central Committee in Warsaw, and the Municipal Historic Preservation Office in Kraków. There were also 33 museums, among them the National Museum in Poznań, National Library in Warsaw, Kórnik Library of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kórnik, Archeological Museum in Gdańsk, Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, National Museum in Szczecin, Museum in Jelenia Góra, Diocesan Museum in Sandomierz, Museum of Opole Silesia in Opole, State Museum in Oświęcim, Museum of Art in Łódź, National Museum in Wrocław, and the Museum of the Salt Mines in Wieliczka. There were fourteen churches, for example the Dominican Church in Kraków, and eleven private individuals, among them the artist Józef Szajna and Zbigniew Mehoffer, son of the art-nouveau painter Józef Mehoffer.

The Czech, Moravian, and Slovak institutions were listed together. A large portion of the objects came from the Slovak side, which was not typical for Czechoslovak export exhibitions. From the Slovak side there were the Liptov Museum in Ružomberok, City Museum in Bratislava, Literary Archive of the Matica Slovenská in Martin, Orava Gallery in Dolný Kubín, Tatra Museum in Poprad, Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava, Slovak Mining Museum in Banská Štiavnica, Spiš Museum in Levoča, Central Slovak Museum in Banská Bystrica, East Slovak Museum in Košice, the Museum of Ukrainian Culture in Svidník, and many others, including libraries and archives. The Czech Socialist Republic was represented by objects from the archive of Prague Castle, Museum of the City of Prague, National Gallery in Prague, Cheb Museum, Karjštejn Castle, Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, West Bohemia Gallery in Pilsen, Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava, and the Moravian Gallery, among others. From a dozen churches, almost all were on the Slovak side, such as the Roman Catholic St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, and the wooden churches of Eastern Slovakia – the orthodox P. Marie Church in Jedlinka and the Greek Catholic Church in Šemetkovce. Evangelical parishes in Levoča and Liptovsky Mikulaš were also involved. From the Czech side were the Kapitula metropolitan chapter of St. Vitus in Prague and the St. George Church in Prague.38

Overall, the logistics of the project can seem quite impressive, although such preparations were perhaps challenging and maybe not as thoroughly conducted as is officially suggested. In a book dedicated to the history of the State Central Archive in Prague, Emilie Benešová states that thirteen documents were taken from the archive for the exhibition, and that the choice was made carelessly – it was not discussed with archivists beforehand, and as a result documents considered significant to the exhibition’s theme were not included.39

Design

In Czechoslovakia the arrangement of exhibitions was an important field, and the government was aware of its crucial role in making a presentation look convincing. Benešovská mentions that the Communist Party authorities drew conclusions from the success of Czechoslovak exhibitions at the likes of the Brussels Expo of 1958 and the Montreal Expo of 1967.40 I would like to add that the 1968 edition of the international Brno Biennale was devoted to exhibition practices, which also broadened the scope of knowledge of different techniques and tendencies. As Benešovská reports in a footnote to her text, the governmental script for the Charles IV exhibition stated that the exceptional character of the exhibition must be met with a layout of fresh, creative, and original style.41

From the Polish side, the guidelines from the Management of Museums informed that their Czechoslovak partners had proposed that the exhibition’s equipment and artistic design should be prepared together by specialists from both countries. The idea was explained as an additional element underlining the tightening cooperation between art professionals from Czechoslovakia and Poland,42 yet, in archival photographs it can be seen that the final layout was different in both countries.

The exhibition opened in December 1977 with a presentation at the main building of the National Museum in Kraków. It started with a map of Slavic lands between the 8th and 10th centuries, and glass vitrines with archeological findings. Each section began with its title written on a standing wooden sign, mirroring the chapters of the catalog. Black arrows helped guide visitors in the right direction. The paintings were hung on the walls on multiple levels, one above another. Additional panels placed diagonally to the walls provided more space for display. Sculptures were placed in the center of the space and could be seen from different angles. The glass-and-wood vitrines stored additional objects such as documents, liturgical vessels, clothing, ceramics, weapons, and armor. Their wooden tops made it easier to install lighting in the cabinets but also enhanced the impression of the exposition’s heaviness.

In January 1978 the exhibition then opened at the National Museum in Warsaw. There, some sections were presented in the museum’s main hall, for example “The Hussite Movements,” “John Amos Comenius,” “The Czech Brethren and Slovak Exiles,” and “Humanism and Science.” Titles were placed on the floor next to the paintings and the sloping cabinets that stored documents. The placement of plaques on the floor continued throughout the entire exhibition, as if they had been added at the last minute.

The medium-sized glass cabinets accompanying the paintings seem visually lighter than those in Kraków. They expand toward the top and have several levels of glass shelves, but without a wooden frame. Some of them did in fact have lighting installed, but the lid only covered the central part of the top of the cabinet, giving the impression of a slender glass box. The large vitrines, which stored armor, resembled those from Kraków. As in Kraków, perpendicular panels were installed in the room to expand the exhibition space, but they had an opening at the bottom, being attached to the floor and ceiling with two metal tubes. Once again, the paintings were hung on multiple levels.

In Bratislava the exhibition was presented at the House of Culture [Dom Kultury]. Its characteristic honeycomb-shaped ceiling brightened the space. Each section was marked by a tall, dark, semi-translucent glass or plexiglass panel, with the title and a paragraph of information written in white letters. Additional perpendicular walls were added to the space, as well as large glass cabinets with white framing on top and dark siding. The design seems coherent, with its play of black and white and pleasing proportions to the panels and cabinets. As the space was not very high, the paintings were hung more or less on the viewer’s level. Some walls were covered in tall glass cabinets which presented historical objects. In Bratislava there was a central spot dedicated to the political agenda: a large-scale collage of photographs of meetings between Polish and Czechoslovak politicians, set on a background photo of a kaleidoscopic forest. In the middle were the national emblems of the two countries in metalwork, and the whole scene was decorated with houseplants.

Dom Kultury w Bratysławie - House of Culture in Bratislava, April 25th – May 21st 1978, Archive of the National Museum in Krakow F/562/78, photo: Pracownia Fotograficzna Muzeum Narodowego w Krakowie

In Prague the building used was the Dum u Hybernů [Irish House]. As in Bratislava, the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Help was displayed in a special decorated place. Paintings were hung on the walls without visible strings, the glass cabinets looked solid yet modern, and multiple lamps were installed on the ceiling, spotlighting the objects. The space was rearranged with white walls, not too tall, creating separate booths for different sections. Each section was marked by a glass panel lit from behind, with the name of the section, a photograph with, for example, a building from the era, and a paragraph of information. The design was well thought out, with the contrast of a white stripe on top with the name of the section, and then a black space with information written in white letters. The paintings weren’t hung on multiple levels, as they had been in Poland. Sculptures were placed on white pedestals, similarly as in Poland. The space of the stairs was used skillfully, with glass walls in the middle part filled with historical objects. In some smaller sections, probably not in the main space, translucent glass walls with black letters of text corresponded with the tall glass cabinets mounted on the walls.

Overall, the biggest difference between the expositions in Poland and Czechoslovakia was the design of the informational material. In Kraków there were simple wooden signs; in Warsaw frugal information plates were placed on the floor; whereas in Prague there were lit panels with additional information and photographs; and in Bratislava white text was set on dark, semi-translucent panels, placed crosswise to the walls. The paintings in Poland were hung on multiple levels, with visible strings, and in Czechoslovakia on one level – mostly the viewer’s eye level – but without visible montage. Both Czechoslovak expositions had a theatrically arranged spot highlighting the agreement between Poland and Czechoslovakia, whereas in Poland, at least in photographs of the exhibition, there were not such specific spots that would stand out from the rest of the show.

The documentation

The catalog’s front cover featured a depiction of the princes Lech and Czech in front of a castle (presumably in Prague), a 13th-century miniature from the Bautzen manuscript of the so-called Kosmas Chronicle. Active in the early 12th century, Kosmas is known as the first chronicler of Bohemia; he wrote the history of the Czech lands on the basis of old legends and the oral tradition. The image refers to a legend about three brothers, the Slavic princes Lech, Czech, and Rus. Lech settled in the Western part of the land they were crossing, where he founded Poland (also known as Lechia), Czech founded Czechia, and Rus founded Rus- or Ruthenia.

In the introduction to the catalog, the Minister of Culture and Art of the Polish People’s Republic, Józef Tejchma, wrote:

This Brotherhood, flourishing today like never before, has a one-thousand-year-old genealogy of the neighborhood of our lands, the closeness of our languages and culture, as well as many shared traditions of struggle for our national existence and social progress.43

Here, it is clearly visible how instrumentalized the exhibition was, serving as a tool to champion and advocate the officially imposed “friendship” between two socialist, Slavic, brotherly countries. Ten years after the suppression of the Prague Spring, when the Warsaw Pact Army, including Poles, entered Czechoslovakia, building a positive narrative might have seemed like a practical but awkward step.

In the catalog, aside from a paragraph of information accompanying every section, were four essays. The first, “Mutual Relations between Three Nations – Polish, Czech, and Slovak,” written by Mirosław Frančič, a historian from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, outlines the history of contact from the Medieval era, the times of Great Moravia, and the notes of the traveler Ibrahim ibn Yaqub, through to linguistic influences, trade, and shared political goals.44

The second text, by the Czech historian and political scientist Václav Melichar, is dedicated to “The Czechoslovak-Polish Alliance in the Time of Building Socialism.”45 Referring to the shared experience of revolutionary fighting and resistance against fascism, the text praises the cooperation between the communist parties of both countries, backed up, for example, by statistics showing rising trade between Poland and Czechoslovakia. The final paragraph is especially propagandistic (and undoubtedly sour for many of its readers), stating that:

The results which have been achieved in post-war Czechoslovak-Polish relations are unprecedented in the history of contact between the countries. They confirm once again the fact that free nations, stripped of exploitation, will always find a common path of friendship and alliance.

The third text is “Common Paths of Czech, Slovak, and Polish Architecture” by Polish art historian Tadeusz Chrzanowski.46 This focuses on similarities between architectural projects. The main example given is of Medieval rotunda, presented on plan views of different sacral buildings, and a second example concerns Medieval vaults. These are followed by amalgamated descriptions of the architectural styles of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classic eras. The text’s conclusion is that the nations in question did not create their own architectural styles, but adapted and processed European styles for their own uses. The stylistic analysis remains fairly disengaged in political and ideological terms, resembling the methods used by Czech art historians to make their work defensible in the face of the communist system, which is something that Benešovská notes in her text.

The last text is the essay “Czech-Slovak-Polish Relations in Folk Culture” by Czech ethnographer Václav Frolec.47 It mentions cultural transfers between the Polish, Czech, and Slovak communities, placing Poland as the intermediary between Ukraine and Moravia. Other topics include Carpathian traditions, pastoral culture, bandit themes, similarities in architecture between the Silesian region of Poland and Opava and north-eastern Czechia, the mutual trade of folk products, and the characteristics of work of different craftsmen. This is a very informative essay, with many specific examples.

An analysis of the four texts reveals the strategy behind the exhibition’s preparation: that it was an interdisciplinary project aimed at the controlled production of research. This is similar to the case of the Charles IV exhibition from Benešovská’s article, where she calls the preparations a “disjointed” production of studies in the service of a specific political event. In both exhibitions there were contributions from experts from the fields of art history, history, archeology, and ethnography, which elevated the scholarship and professionalism of the projects while remaining within the ideological framework imposed by the Communist Party.

Given the project’s strong foundations in politics and international relations, its portrayal and treatment of 20th-century art is particularly interesting. One of the sections devoted to the 20th century was titled “Fighting against Fascism for National and Social Liberation.”48 The battles of World War II were portrayed as “the space of the final cementing of the brotherhood of our nations.”49 Interestingly, the text also mentions the border conflict. The annexation of the Zaolzie region is said to be “an act that casts a shadow on our shared history.” However, the fact that Czechs and Slovaks sought refuge in Poland after Nazi Germany’s aggression is evoked by way of compensation. This chapter is summarized with a vivid description of the “joint fight on all the fronts of World War II – from the Volga to the Atlantic, from the Arctic Circle to the sands of Africa.”50 This part of the show featured works by Cyprián Majerník, Emil Filla, Wojciech Weiss, and Xawery Dunikowski. Among those works, viewers also encountered the 1938 sculpture by Jan Bauch and Jan Lauda titled Attack on Czechoslovakia.

Visitors eventually reached the final section of the exhibition, titled “Common Path.”51 This became the topic of an extensive chapter in the catalog, which praises the cooperation between socialist Poland and Czechoslovakia,52 discussing the Communist Party’s successful rise to power and enthusiastically highlighting the number of translations of Polish literature into Czech and vice versa. The chapter gives the number of theatrical plays staged in both countries, and of Czech films watched by Poles and the reverse (reportedly 364 feature films and 73 short films, compared to 272 features and 863 shorts from Poland shown in Czechoslovakia between 1945 and 1975). It also addresses music and the fine arts, citing 399 art exhibitions from Czechoslovakia in Poland and 321 from Poland in Czechoslovakia. Finally, it mentions scientific cooperation: in 1976 the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and the Slovak Academy of Sciences welcomed 470 Polish scientists, while the Polish Academy of Sciences hosted 614 scholarly visitors from Czechoslovakia.53 Other presented examples of such cooperation include Polish editions of Czech books, for instance Przygody dobrego wojaka Szwejka [The Good Soldier Švejk], a poster advertising a Chopin concert at the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava, and photographs from various Polish-Czechoslovak cultural events.

These examples show that the Poland – Czechoslovakia exhibition was thoroughly prepared and aimed to be convincing. It drew a long line through the centuries, seeking to make the viewer believe that the current international situation was a successful one, that it was the natural result of a wide range of historical events that brought two countries together, and that under the protection of the Communist Party, mutual relations between the countries would contribute to prosperity and international peace. This narrative was supposed to convey that everything was heading in the right direction, and that the governments of both countries were doing their best to keep their lands safe and thriving. Such a strong message was imposed through political channels on the museums responsible for the preparations.

Reception

The concept of Poland – Czechoslovakia was ambivalently received in the Polish press. In a review for Polityka describing the Warsaw edition, Zbigniew Florczak stated that the exhibition was “overly multifaceted and formally cumbersome.”54 Florczak also recommended reading the catalog before viewing the show. “It takes a long while (especially if one has not read the main statement in the catalog) before the viewer realizes two things: that the exhibition will immediately afterward travel to Bratislava and Prague, and that the most important role is not played by cultural factors but by creating an opportunity for mutual presentation; that the exhibition is understood according to the rule ‘whatever we’ve got, we’re happy to share it’ [‘czym chata bogata tym rada’].”55 Florczak finally states that “even if one can sulk over the partial incoherence of the show and the glossing over historical resentments, there has not been an exhibition quite like this before. It is a joint didactic project of three nations. Ultimately, it is not about the evaluation of past relations, but about getting to know each other.”56

The exhibition was also mentioned by other newspapers. Dziennik Ludowy published an informative note that listed its thematic sections57; Głos Pracy mentioned the “important accent” of the sections dedicated to the present day. A longer (over two page) article was written by Edward Madany for Kultura magazine.58 This was a report on the viewing route, enriched with the author’s reflections. His criticism is rather sporadic and delicate, as when he notes that it is unfortunate that there is no section dedicated to Vladislaus II. His other not-so-positive comment concerns the section about the 19th century, where the author points out that the thick net of facts about mutual contact spoils the rhythm of the development of art in the three nations. Referring to the main theme and goal of the project, Madany states that it is difficult to elaborate on such a complex topic in one exhibition, but that the organizers still succeeded. Short informative notes were also published in Życie Warszawy,59 Kurier Polski,60 and Express Wieczorny,61 and others.

When it comes to the responses in Czechoslovakia, Patryk Wasiak mentions a comment by the director of the Centre for Information and Polish Culture, Jan Szkwil, in which he states that the exhibition was presented in Bratislava without its catalog, with invisible promotion, and that a review was only published the day before the show closed.62 For Wasiak the reason for this was not reluctance but organizational problems and delays. In fact, the magazine of the Association of Slovak Fine Artists Výtvarný život [Art Life] barely mentions the exhibition, except for short notes in the events calendar.63 From the Prague exposition there are short press articles preserved in the archive of the National Gallery. Information about the exhibition was printed in Práce,64 Svobodné slovo,65 Lidová, and others. These articles informed about the exhibition but did not contain much art criticism.

Conclusions

Although the exhibition certainly had a significant propagandistic underpinning, the sheer scale of the project merits respect. In a way it was “an equilibristic performance,” as Klara Benešovská called the work of scholars preparing the Charles IV exhibition in Prague. Benešovská opened a question about the role and position of a researcher of Medieval art in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.66 The question can be broadened to other art professionals working in late socialism: scholars, curators, and critics. Analysis of an exhibition project set in particular historical and political conditions provides an opportunity to examine the mechanisms of how artistic life functioned under such conditions.

As Maria-Kristiina Soomre stated, exhibitions combine different agents, and the history of exhibitions studies the “nodes” in the network of art, power, politics, individual histories, geography, space, and architecture. In this sense the history of exhibitions offers very specific case studies which have the potential to fill in blank spots and answer broader questions. Especially when analyzed in sequence, exhibitions can unveil the dynamics of the art world of a specific place and time, its entanglement in politics, and its strategies for remaining relatively independent. Benešovská positions her study in relation to the 2016 celebrations of the 700th birth anniversary of Charles IV via the exhibition Emperor Charles IV 1316–2016: The First Czech-Bavarian Land Exhibition. Pointing to the queues of visitors waiting to enter the 1978 exhibition and to the common impression of Charles IV’s overwhelming omnipresence in 2016, she asks whether it makes sense to keep organizing such exhibitions. Therefore, one question is about their relevance to the public in a time of ubiquitous images and information; another can be about the critical potential of such projects. Searching in the history of recent exhibitions, I could mention Side by Side. Poland – Germany. A 1000 years of Art and History, held at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin in 2011.67 Both Poland Czechoslovakia and Side by Side refer to themes such as the beginning of the state, the Teutonic Order, the Vienna victory of Jan III Sobieski, the partitions of Poland, and World War II. As an art historian, how should one approach a sequence of projects where the general model is similar but circumstances are very different? This is perhaps a question to be examined in another article. The “imprisonment” of art history in 1978 was related to two facts: firstly, that the research could not be confronted and critically debated by scholars from different places, and secondly, that the ideological frame was imposed from the start of the project. While thorough analysis of archival materials provides insightful information about artistic life in the 1970s, the distinction of these two elements offers a caution to future projects.

Bibliography

Altshuler, Bruce. The Avant-Garde in Exhibition: New Art in the Twentieth Century. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998.

Altshuler, Bruce. Salon to Biennial: Exhibitions that Made Art History, Volume 1: 18631959. Berkeley; Los Angeles: Phaidon Press, 2008.

Altshuler, Bruce. Biennials and Beyond – Exhibitions that Made Art History: 1962–2002. London; New York: Phaidon Press, 2013.

Bartlová, Milena. “Marxism in Czech Art History.” Kunsttexte​.de – E-Journal für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte, 4/2015, https://​edoc​.hu​-berlin​.de/​b​i​t​s​t​r​e​a​m​/​h​a​n​d​l​e​/​1​8​4​5​2​/​8​2​2​0​/​b​a​r​t​l​o​v​a​.​p​d​f​?​s​e​q​u​e​n​c​e​=​1​&​i​s​A​l​l​o​w​e​d=y.

Bazin, Jérôme, Pascal Dubourg Glatigny, Piotr Piotrowski, eds. Art beyond Borders: Artistic Exchange in Communist Europe (1945–1989). Budapest–New York: Central European University Press, 2016.

Benešová, Emilie. “Výstavy a porpagace archive.” In Aby na nic a na nikoho nebylo zapomenuto. K jubileu ustředního archivu českeho státu 1954–2004. Prague: Státní ústřední archiv v Praze, 2004.

Benešovská, Klára. “Charles IV 1978–2016: Reviewing the Ideological Background of the Exhibitions and Conferences in 1978.” Convivium, vol. 4, no. 1 (2017).

(bd), “Polska – Czechosłowacja, wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni.” Dziennik Ludowy, no. 31 (1978).

Československo – Pol’sko. Stáročia susedstva a priateľstva, exhibition catalog. Edited by Zofia Gołubiewowa, Štefan Pisoň. Translated by Danuta Učinková. Kraków: Ministerstwo Kultury i Sztuki PRL, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, Ministerstvo kultúry SSR, Slovenské Národné Múzeum v Bratislave, Ministerstvo Kultúry ČSR a Národná Galérie v Prahe, 1977.

Europa, Europa: das Jahrhundert der Avantgarde in Mittel- und Osteuropa, vols. 1–4, exhibition catalog. Edited by Ryszard Stanisławski, Christoph Brockhaus. Bonn: Stiftung Kunst und Kultur des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen; Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1994.

Florczak, Zbigniew. “Wystawa-postulat.” Polityka, no. 11 (1978).

Lehr-Spławiński, Tadeusz, Kazimierz Piwarski, Zygmunt Wojciechowski, Polska-Czechy. Dziesięć wieków sąsiedztwa. Edited by Zygmunt Wojciechowski. Katowice–Wrocław: Wydawnictwa Instytutu Śląskiego, 1947.

Madany, Edward. “Wieki sąsiedztwa.” Kultura, no. 11 (1978).

Masłowska, Anna. Kronika wystaw Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie 1862–2002, vol. 2 1963–1982. Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe: Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnicze Rzeczpospolita, 2006.

O historii čs.-polských vztahů.” Lidová demokracie, June 15, 1978.

Obok. Polska – Niemcy. 1000 lat historii w sztuce, exhibition catalog. Edited by Małgorzata Omilanowska. Berlin: Martin-Gropius-Bau: DuMont Buchverlag; Warsaw: Zamek Królewski, 2011.

(PAP), “Polsko-czechosłowacka wystawa w Warszawie.” Życie Warszawy, no. 32 (1978).

Piotrowski, Piotr. Awangarda w cieniu Jałty. Sztuka w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej w latach 1945 – 1989. Poznań: Rebis, 2005.

Piotrowski, Piotr. In the Shadow of Yalta: Art and the Avant-garde in Eastern Europe. London: Reaktion Books, 2011.

Polska-Czechosłowacja: Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni, exhibition catalog. Edited by Zofia Gołubiew, Krystyna Tucholska. Translated by Elżbieta Orwińska, Andrzej Zaborowski, Emil Zaitz. Kraków: Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, 1977.

Rysa w przestrzeni: sztuka po 1945 roku w Czechach, Niemczech, Polsce i Słowacji, exhibition catalog. Edited by Barbara Kosińska, Teresa Rostkowska. Translated by Barbara Ostrowska and Aneta Prasał. Warsaw: Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej Zachęta, 1995.

Soomre, Maria-Kristiina. “Art, Politics and Exhibitions: (Re)writing the History of (Re)presentations.” Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi / Studies on Art and Architecture, no. 21 (2012).

Staleté susedtvi.” Práce, June 08, 1978.

Układ o przyjaźni i wzajemnej pomocy między Rzecząpospolitą Polską a Republiką Czechosłowacką, podpisany w Warszawie dnia 10 marca 1947 r. http://​isap​.sejm​.gov​.pl/​i​s​a​p​.​n​s​f​/​d​o​w​n​l​o​a​d​.​x​s​p​/​W​D​U​1​9​4​8​0​0​7​0​0​4​7​/​O​/​D​1​9​4​8​0​0​4​7​.​pdf.

Umowa między Polską Rzecząpospolitą Ludową a Republiką Czechosłowacką o Ostatecznym Wytyczeniu Granicy Państwowej podpisana w Warszawie dnia 13 czerwca 1958 r. http://​prawo​.sejm​.gov​.pl/​i​s​a​p​.​n​s​f​/​d​o​w​n​l​o​a​d​.​x​s​p​/​W​D​U​1​9​5​9​0​2​5​0​1​5​9​/​O​/​D​1​9​5​9​0​1​5​9​.​pdf.

Výstava o přatelství.” Slobodné slovo, June 09, 1978.

Výtvarný život, April 23, 1978.

Wasiak, Patryk. Kontakty między artystami wizualnymi z Polski, Węgier, Czechosłowacji i NRD w latach 1970–1989. Warsaw: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2019.

Wojciechowski, Zygmunt, Polska Niemcy. Dziesięć wieków zmagania. Poznań: Instytut Zachodni 1945.

Wystawa w Muzeum Narodowym: Polska – Czechosłowacja. Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni.” Express Wieczorny, no. 30 (1978).

(zew), “Dziś otwarcie wystawy ‘Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni ’.” Kurier Polski, no. 30 (1978).

Archival Materials

Archive of the National Museum in Kraków. Organizacja wystaw; “Polska – Czechosłowacja, wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni, NGI-853–1–74.

Archive of the National Gallery in Prague, Výstavy NG, 1978, Výstavy ve spolupráci, Československo – Polsko, press reviews.

Online Databases

History of Exhibitions at the Zachęta – Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions 1949-1970, https://​zacheta​.art​.pl/​e​n​/​d​o​k​u​m​e​n​t​a​c​j​a​-​i​-​b​i​b​l​i​o​t​e​k​a​/​p​r​o​j​e​k​t​-​b​a​d​a​w​czy.

Parallel Chronologies: An Archive of East European Exhibitions http://​tranzit​.org/​e​x​h​i​b​i​t​i​o​n​a​r​c​h​i​ve/.

  1. The text is based on a paper given at the international conference Making and Remaking Europe: The Czech and Slovak Contribution, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, November 7–9, 2018.
  2. Anna Masłowska, Kronika wystaw Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie 1862–2002, vol. 2 1963–1982 (Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe: Przedsiębiorstwo Wydawnicze Rzeczpospolita, 2006), 195–196.
  3. Ryszard Stanisławski and Christoph Brockhaus, Europa, Europa: das Jahrhundert der Avantgarde in Mittel- und Osteuropa, vols. 1–4, exh. cat. (Bonn: Stiftung Kunst und Kultur des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen; Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1994).
  4. Rysa w przestrzeni: sztuka po 1945 roku w Czechach, Niemczech, Polsce i Słowacji, exh. cat., eds. Barbara Kosińska and Teresa Rostkowska, trans. Barbara Ostrowska and Aneta Prasał (Warsaw: Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej Zachęta, 1995).
  5. Piotr Piotrowski, Awangarda w cieniu Jałty. Sztuka w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej w latach 1945–1989 (Poznań: Rebis, 2005).
  6. Piotr Piotrowski, In the Shadow of Yalta: Art and the Avant-garde in Eastern Europe (London: Reaktion Books, 2011).
  7. Maria-Kristiina Soomre, “Art, Politics and Exhibitions: (Re)writing the History of (Re)presentations,Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi / Studies on Art and Architecture no. 21 (2012), 106.
  8. These exhibitions are Printmaking Today (Ca’Pescaro, Venice, 1972) and New Art from the Soviet Union: An Unofficial Perspective (The Biennial of Dissent, Palazetto dello Sport, Venice, 1977).
  9. Ibid., 121.
  10. Ibid., 108.
  11. See: Bruce Altshuler, The Avant-Garde in Exhibition: New Art in the Twentieth Century (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998); Bruce Altshuler, Salon to Biennial: Exhibitions that Made Art History, Volume 1: 1863–1959 (Berkeley, Los Angeles: Phaidon Press, 2008); Bruce Altshuler, Biennials and Beyond – Exhibitions that Made Art History: 1962–2002 (London; New York: Phaidon Press, 2013).
  12. Soomre, “Art, Politics and Exhibitions,” 107.
  13. Parallel Chronologies: An Archive of East European Exhibitions, based on a research project launched by tranzit​.hu, http://​tranzit​.org/​e​x​h​i​b​i​t​i​o​n​a​r​c​h​i​ve/ (accessed January 24, 2020).
  14. https://​www​.arteiasi​.ro/​t​r​a​n​s​c​o​l​/​e​n​/​c​o​n​f​e​r​e​n​c​e​-​2​0​1​9​/​c​o​n​f​e​r​e​n​c​e​-​p​r​o​g​r​am/ (accessed January 29. 2020).
  15. https://​zacheta​.art​.pl/​e​n​/​k​a​l​e​n​d​a​r​z​/​h​i​s​t​o​r​i​e​-​w​y​s​t​a​w​-​n​o​w​e​-​p​e​r​s​p​e​k​t​ywy (accessed January 29, 2020).
  16. Art beyond Borders: Artistic Exchange in Communist Europe (1945-1989), eds. Jérôme Bazin, Pascal Dubourg Glatigny, and Piotr Piotrowski (Budapest; New York: Central European University Press, 2016).
  17. Milena Bartlová, “Marxism in Czech Art History,” kunsttexte​.de E-Journal für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte, 4/2015, https://​edoc​.hu​-berlin​.de/​b​i​t​s​t​r​e​a​m​/​h​a​n​d​l​e​/​1​8​4​5​2​/​8​2​2​0​/​b​a​r​t​l​o​v​a​.​p​d​f​?​s​e​q​u​e​n​c​e​=​1​&​i​s​A​l​l​o​w​e​d=y (accessed January 20, 2020).
  18. Ibid., 3.
  19. Patryk Wasiak, Kontakty między artystami wizualnymi z Polski, Węgier, Czechosłowacji i NRD w latach 1970–1989 (Warsaw: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2019).
  20. Ibid., 8.
  21. Ibid., 25.
  22. Ibid., 120–122.
  23. Klára Benešovská, “Charles IV 1978–2016: Reviewing the Ideological Background of the Exhibitions and Conferences in 1978,” Convivium vol. 4, no. 1 (2017), 158–173.
  24. Ibid., 161.
  25. Ibid., 163.
  26. Ibid., 166.
  27. Ibid., 170.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Ibid., 172.
  30. Ibid., 170.
  31. Ibid., 163–164.
  32. Polska-Czechosłowacja: Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni, December 16, 1977 – January 15, 1978, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie [National Museum in Kraków], February 6 – March 5, 1978, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie [National Museum in Warsaw]; Československo-Poľsko. Stáročia susedstva a priateľstva, April 25 – May 21, 1978, Dom kultury v Bratislave [House of Culture in Bratislava]; Československo-Polsko. Staletí sousedství a přátelství, June 14 – July 16, 1978, Výstavní dům U Hybernů v Praze [Exhibition House “U Hybernů” in Prague].
  33. Polska-Czechosłowacja. Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni, exh. cat., eds. Zofia Gołubiewowa and Krystyna Tucholska, trans. Elżbieta Orwińska, Andrzej Zaborowski, and Emil Zaitz (Kraków-Warsaw-Bratysława-Praga: Ministerstvo Kultury SSR; Ministerstvo Kultury Čsr; Slovenské Národné Múzeum v Bratislave, Národní Galerie v Praze – Ministerstwo Kultury i Sztuki PRL, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, 1977).
  34. Ibid., 14.
  35. For the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Help, the Central Office of Art Exhibitions (CBWA) in Warsaw presented the exhibition Fighting Art.
  36. Założenia merytoryczne i organizacyjne wystawy ‘1000 lat związków kulturalnych i historycznych polsko-czechosłowackich, Ministerstwo Kultury i Sztuki, Zarząd Muzeów, 1974, Archive of the National Museum in Kraków, 71/232.
  37. Polska-Czechosłowacja. Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni, 15–16.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Emilie Benešová, “Výstavy a porpagace archivu,” in: Aby na nic a na nikoho nebylo zapomenuto. K jubileu ustředního archivu českeho státu 1954–2004 (Prague: Státní ústřední archiv v Praze, 2004), 162.
  40. Benešovská, “Charles IV 1978–2016,” 167.
  41. Ibid.
  42. Założenia merytoryczne i organizacyjne wystawy ‘1000 lat związków kulturalnych i historycznych polsko-czechosłowackich, op. cit.
  43. Polska – Czechosłowacja. Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni, 7, trans. Petra Skarupsky.
  44. Ibid., 17–21.
  45. Ibid., 22–26.
  46. Ibid., 27–39.
  47. Ibid., 40–45.
  48. Ibid., 206–216.
  49. Ibid., 206.
  50. Ibid., 206, trans. Petra Skarupsky.
  51. Wspólną drogą,” ibid., 217–221, trans. Petra Skarupsky.
  52. Ibid.
  53. Ibid.
  54. Zbigniew Florczak, “Wystawa-postulat,” Polityka no. 11 (March 18, 1978), 10.
  55. Ibid.
  56. Ibid.
  57. (bd), “Polska – Czechosłowacja, wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni,” Dziennik Ludowy no. 31 (February 07, 1978).
  58. Edward Madany, “Wieki sąsiedztwa,” Kultura no. 11 (March 12, 1978).
  59. (PAP), “Polsko-czechosłowacka wystawa w Warszawie,” Życie Warszawy no. 32 (February 02, 1978).
  60. (zew), “Dziś otwarcie wystawy ‘Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni ’,” Kurier Polski no. 30 (February 06, 1978).
  61. Wystawa w Muzeum Narodowym: Polska – Czechosłowacja. Wieki sąsiedztwa i przyjaźni,” Express Wieczorny no. 30 (February 06, 1978).
  62. Wasiak, Kontakty między artystami wizualnymi, 121.
  63. Výtvarný život April 23, 1978, 3.
  64. Staleté susedtvi,” Práce June 08, 1978.
  65. Výstava o přatelství,” Slobodné slovo June 09, 1978.
  66. O histori čs.-polských vztahů,” Lidová demokracie June 15, 1978.
  67. Obok. Polska – Niemcy. 1000 lat historii w sztuce, exh. cat., ed. Małgorzata Omilanowska (Berlin: Martin-Gropius-Bau: DuMont Buchverlag; Warsaw: Zamek Królewski, 2011).
 

Petra Skarupsky

PhD student, Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw.

Spis treści numeru

1 Jak Fidel na wiecu w Hawanie”
Warszawska „Wystawa malarstwa kubańskiego” z globalnym kryzysem politycznym w tle (1962)
Gabriela Świtek  Abstrakt  
2 Podwójne życie
Park-Pomnik Braterstwa Broni i Przyjaźni Polsko-Radzieckiej w Poznaniu
Katarzyna Różniak  Abstrakt  
3 Rozproszone praktyki
Nieheteronormatywna twórczość na łamach zinów „Filo” i „Czereja”
Luiza Kempińska  Abstrakt  
4 Kto się boi performansu?
Modernistyczny esencjalizm versus postmodernistyczna intermedialność w podejściu do polskiego performansu
Karolina Plinta  Abstrakt  
5 Sposoby współistnienia
Sztuka i edukacja w Galerii Manhattan w Łodzi w latach 1991–2016
Joanna Glinkowska  Abstrakt  
6 Ceglany mur w „Rozstrzelaniu na ścianie” Andrzeja Wróblewskiego i „Le Mur” Jeana-Paula Sartre’a
Relacja intertekstualna
Magdalena Gemra  Abstrakt  
7 Kolonialny regionalizm
Problem tożsamości w zakopiańskiej architekturze
Monika Stobiecka  Abstrakt  
8 Okazały, największy i jedyny w swoim rodzaju”
Dom Chłopa w Warszawie
Adam Parol  Anna Helena Przybyła  Abstrakt  
9 Jana Shostak’s Tactical Entry into the Public Debate on Refugees Łukasz Mojsak  Abstrakt  
10 Exhibition as the Controlled Encounter of Two Countries: ”Poland – Czechoslovakia: Centuries of Neighborhood and Friendship” (1977–1978) Petra Skarupsky  Abstrakt  
11 Here/There and Somewhere Else: The Artistic Connections of Jiří Valoch with Former Yugoslav Territory during the 1960s and 70s Ivana Janković  Abstrakt  
12 Utopistyka stosowana
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