‘The vernacular revival and the universal language of visual form’

Institute of Art History, The Jagiellonian University, Krakow, 10am, 17 September 2012

This, the 5th workshop in the ICE series and the second one funded by the AHRC, initiated the theme of ‘Language and Translation’ examining the idea of a universal language of visual form, as it developed through the vernacular revival at the fin de siècle. It took place in Kraków, which at the turn of the twentieth century became a centre of Polish art and architecture.  On 18 September the group took a field trip to Zakopane, a centre for Polish vernacular architecture, where Stanisław Witkiewicz created the national “Zakopane Style”, which was in part a response to the British Arts and Crafts Movement (visits were made to the Villa Koliba, the Tatra Museum, the Villa Under the Firs  and the Chapel in Jaszczurowka).

The geographical reach of the workshop was broad, with papers on the Czech-speaking lands, Finland, France, Japan, New Zealand, Poland and Spain. In all these places, the vernacular was seen to embody local traditions, but it also encouraged new interpretations of the connections between art in different localities. The sense of affinity between different vernaculars stimulated the search for an international ‘language’ of art, based on a shared ‘alphabet’ of basic forms such as line, ornament and geometry. The notion of form as language, in the context of national revivals and the formation of international networks, was a focus of our discussion.

This event was convened by Dr Andrzej Szczerski.

Programme

9.00-09.30:   Introductions
  • Andrzej Szczerski (The Jagiellonian University, Krakow)
  • Grace Brockington and Sarah Victoria Turner (ICE network convenors)
9.30-11.00:  Session 1
11.00-11.30:   Coffee
11.30-13.00:   Session 2
13.00-14.00:    Lunch
14.00-15.30:    Session 3
15.30-16.00: Tea
16.00-17.30: Session 4
17.30-18.30:  Final discussion
19.30:                Dinner
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