E-Journal für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte
Bartlová, Milena

Marxism in Czech art history 1945–1970

Czechoslovakia was subject to authoritarian rule of the Communist Party since 1948 and any research had to comply with Marxism-Leninism as the sole acceptable scientific method. Czech art history (as different form art criticism) lacked any experience with Marxism. Around and after 1950, there continued the quest for a method that would be both compatible with the scholarly tradition following the Vienna School and acceptable to the ideologues of the political regime. Jaromír Neumann found the best result in his invention of “formalist iconology” around 1960: a strange hybrid of Panofsky’s post-war iconology and the late Dvořák’s “spiritual art history” has served Czech art history well until today.

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