Art, Design, and Architecture in Central Europe 1890-1920 Elizabeth Clegg

The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art Series
Publication date:
15 Jul 2006
Yale University Press
356 pages: 5461 x 7239mm
250 b-w + 50 color illus.


In this unprecedentedly wide-ranging account of art, design, and architecture in the complex Central Europe of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during its momentous last decades, Elizabeth Clegg achieves a forceful integration of political and cultural developments. Comparing the situation in eight cities—among them Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Cracow, and Zagreb—the author highlights contrasts, rivalries, parallels, and interconnections across this colorful and important region. 
The book deals with all the chief ethnic/national categories of Austria-Hungary and embraces all the visual arts. Focusing on their public display, appraisal, and consumption, Clegg shows how the harmonious/antagonistic coexistence of institutions, publications, and events gave rise to the dynamic art life of a period that would end in a turning point for Central Europe. As vividly revealed, this was a time and place marked by a simultaneous fear and celebration of ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversity that has enormous international resonance a century later.

Elizabeth Clegg is an independent scholar who has published widely on the visual arts in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Central Europe.

"The first comprehensive survey of a part of the European artistic heritage which has been relegated to the margins of Anglo-American, and indeed West-European, art history for far too long." - Ilona Sármány-Parsons, Centropa

"[Clegg] recovers the complex and contentious, multi-ethnic environment of the pre-World War I Habsburg Empire." - Anna Brzyski, The Art Newspaper

"A vivid, telling and very well informed chronicle of the creative life … of Austria-Hungary."
- Petr Wittlich, Umení

"Clegg moves fluidly across the entire vast empire with consummate skill … The precision
of her research … sets a new standard for scholarship in the field."
- Anthony Alofsin, The Burlington Magazine

"The most thorough, considered, and sophisticated attempt at a historical synthesis that has yet appeared." - Christopher Long, Studies in the Decorative Arts