Cover image for Modern art in Eastern Europe : from the Baltic to the Balkans, ca. 1890-1939
Modern art in Eastern Europe : from the Baltic to the Balkans, ca. 1890-1939
Mansbach, Steven A., 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xvi, 384 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6758 .M352 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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In this award-winning study, Steven Mansbach provides the first coherent narrative of the modern art movements of Eastern Europe. Analyzing a vast range of works, many reproduced here for the first time, the author argues that our understanding of modernism is incomplete without consideration of this material. He shows how Cubism, Expressionism and Constructivism, among other modernist styles, were amalgamated with deeply rooted visual traditions in several vital centers, including Prague, Warsaw, and Budapest, in order to express the most pressing concerns of the day, particularly nationalism. Mansbach also considers the critical response of the Eastern European art public to these various avante-garde movements. A revisionist interpretation of modernism, Modern Art in Eastern Europe provides a much-needed reassessment of the art of this century, as well as its historiography.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Mansbach (National Gallery of Art) has written a comprehensive and pioneering study of the development of modern artÄCubism, Expressionism, and Constructivism, among other stylesÄin Eastern Europe. He argues that any discussion of Modernism is essentially incomplete without considering the art of this region and that the works produced there represented a merging of modernist styles with deeply rooted local traditions. Moving from Poland to the southern Balkans to Romania, he highlights art produced in Prague, Warsaw, and Budapest, cities with long artistic traditions. Mansbach is clearly well versed in his subject and provides informative background for the major areas he discusses. The book is illustrated with black-and-white photographs and a smaller number of high-quality color plates. Well written and thoroughly documented, it opens up an entirely new field of inquiry. It is to be hoped that Mansbach will investigate the period after 1939 with equal erudition in the future. Recommended for any library with a serious interest in modern art.ÄMartin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This geographically arranged survey concentrates on painting, collage, graphic arts, and, to a lesser extent, sculpture. The artists worked in Eastern Europe or were expatriates who maintained a close connection with their native countries. There are few English language surveys on art from this time and place, and Mansbach (former associate dean, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC) authored one of the best, Standing in the Tempest: Painters of the Hungarian Avant-Garde, 1908-1930 (CH, Jan'92). This new, broader work precedes long discussions of national artistic movements with brief summaries of national history and politics. A wealth of scholarly detail has been consigned to the notes, allowing the text to emphasize larger ideas. Excluding Russia and the Soviet Union, Mansbach focuses on countries and artists that for both political and intellectual reasons have been neither well understood nor adequately published in the West. There is a tinge of the gritty documentary in the 384 black-and-white illustrations (mostly old photography that could not be redone.), but the 48 good color plates atone. An authoritative source, highly recommended. Undergraduates through professionals. M. M. Doherty University of South Florida

Table of Contents

1 The Czech lands
2 Poland and Lithuania
3 The Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia
4 The southern Balkans
5 Romania
6 Hungary