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Europeana enables people to explore the digital resources of Europes museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. It promotes discovery and networking opportunities in a multilingual space where users can engage, share in and be inspired by the rich diversity of Europes cultural and scientific heritage. On this blog you will find short updates on Europeana content, special events and things we are working on.
Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

Europeana 1914-1918 thematic collection launches

Wed, 21/06/2017 - 19:00

Europeana 1914-1918 officially re-launches as a Europeana thematic collection today with personal stories, films and historical material about World War I from across Europe

Since 2011, Europeana 1914-1918 has built up a dedicated community through working with partners all over Europe. From Nicosia to Dublin and from Lisbon to Riga thousands of people brought their documents, artefacts and the stories that go with them to be can be scanned or photographed and added to the Europeana archive.

You can now discover these unique personal treasures in a clear and engaging way on Europeana Collections, alongside the national collections of libraries and important film archives, aiming to further open up World War I related content to Europeana visitors.

Thanks to the ability to search across the platform, all visitors can now also easily access related institutional sources from the other four thematic collections: Europeana Art, Music, Fashion and Photography.

Europeana 1914-1918 continues to invite users to contribute their personal stories and content relating to World War I. This ensures that Europeana 1914-1918 has a unique perspective on the World War I, showing it from every side of the battle lines and with insights from every point of view.

Europeana 1914-1918 will feature curated editorial content through blog posts, galleries and online exhibitions, and is supported by dedicated social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a quarterly email newsletter.

Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017

To launch the thematic collection and celebrate the achievements of Europeana 1914-1918 so far, on 22 and 23 June, the Berlin State Library will host the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017.

Over two days, cross-generational teams from several European countries will take part in a competition to transcribe and enrich as many historical documents from World War One as possible, and link them to other historical sources.

A recent innovation by Europeana, Transcribathon events gather people to create digital versions of handwritten items. Since the launch of the Transcribathon series in November, more than 12,000 documents and several million characters have been transcribed.

Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 is organized by Europeana, Facts & Files and the Berlin State Library, in cooperation with the German Digital Library and Wikimedia.

Picture of the Month: Lover’s Lane by John Topham

Mon, 12/06/2017 - 16:00

John Topham was a British documentary photographer who captured a changing Britain. Today, PHOTOCONSORTIUM’s Fred Truyen introduces us to Topham’s Lover’s Lane, 1938, as his Picture of the Month.

Today, John Topham’s collections are managed by the British picture library TopFoto. My friend John Balean, who works there, did some research and found a print of this image with a caption reading ‘A young couple head for Lovers Lane but only find a dead end to the Swanscombe Paper Mill – 23 March 1938’. In that era, this area of North Kent was rapidly evolving as a consequence of the industrialisation process. The work of John Topham depicting this region is a testimony both to a lost rural world and to industrial prowess. So there is some ambiguity in this choice of subject.

Lovers Lane, 1938. John Topham. TopFoto. In copyright.

When showing this image (which is part of PHOTOCONSORTIUM’s travelling exhibition All our Yesterdays), I’m always struck by the reaction of younger members of the audience. They all have the same question: why on earth is this young couple venturing into a filthy industrial zone for a supposedly romantic walk? Times and perceptions have changed, evidently. While we are very sensitive to pollution today, this wasn’t the case in the late 1930s. Industry meant progress, bread on the table, a steady income, a future for the children and the power to keep rival nations at bay – which would prove a grim necessity only a few years later.

Besides this changed perception of what would be the ideal decorum for a romantic walk, another aspect is bound to strike today’s spectators: the strong gender coding of the depicted couple. Here we have a strong man, bristling with self-confidence, seemingly in control of things as he oversees the Thames river. His neat suit puts him at the winning end of society, expressing success and accomplishment. What a difference with the way in which his female companion is depicted! At best, she’s not an obstruction to her partner, and no more than a subdued accessory to the powerful scene. Her posture is static, supportive, almost rigid compared to the dynamic body language of her partner. This image is not a contemporary one, for sure, and this aspect of the scene clearly puts it in a different era!

That doesn’t make it anything less than brilliant though – for the above reasons and many others too, such as the balanced implementation of the rule of thirds, the superb composition, the play with contrasts to highlight the main topic, etc.

I hope you like it as much as I do!

A look back at our Art Nouveau season

Sat, 10/06/2017 - 11:34

Over the past few months, we’ve been celebrating Art Nouveau style in a special season on Europeana Art. Thanks to the fabulous collections and contributions of our partners, it’s been a feast of Art Nouveau jewellery, ceramics, art and much more. Here’s a season recap.

Art Nouveau – A Universal Style

The centrepiece of the season was Art Nouveau A Universal Style, a major exhibition surveying Art Nouveau across Europe in its national manifestations as Jugendstil, Modernisme, Szecesszió, Stile Liberty and so on. The exhibition blends celebrated masterpieces alongside fascinating lesser-known works, famous artists and and features almost fifty artworks from more than twenty museums.

The exhibition is available in six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.

Partner blogs

During the season we published a series of guest blogs written by our partners. In these posts, museum curators, collections managers and specialists shared insights into the people and the art that shaped Art Nouveau. Here’s the full list:

Art Nouveau in Aveiro – a walk through the city, Aveiro City Museum
The Art Nouveau ceramics of Alexandre Bigot, Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest
Advertising and Art Nouveau in the Machine Age, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Alphonse Mucha – Master of Art Nouveau, National Museum in Prague
European cooperation for the enhancement of Art Nouveau, Réseau Art Nouveau Network
Gerda Koepff, pioneering collector of Art Nouveau glass, Glasmuseum Hentrich
Graphic Inspiration: Nature and Folk Art in Hungarian Art Nouveau, Schola Grafidis Art Collection
Podkowiński’s Frenzy and the birth of Young Poland National Museum in Warsaw
Slovak painting in the era of Art Nouveau, Slovak National Gallery

DailyArt

We also wrote a number of guest posts on Art Nouveau for our friends at DailyArt, featured on their app and their blog, covering topics like Lalique jewellery, Aubrey Beardsley and absinthe – the original ‘demon drink’!

Pinterest extravaganza

Pinterest lovers haven’t missed out on the fun: we created more than twenty Art Nouveau boards showing off the visual beauty of Art Nouveau glassware, graphic design, and much more.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Art Nouveau season and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment here or get in touch on Twitter using #ArtNouveauSeason.

Reflections on Europeana Photography

Mon, 05/06/2017 - 16:00

Europeana Photography, our latest thematic collection, features over 2 million images from the first 100 years of photography. The collection is curated by Photoconsortium and today Fred Truyen, Antonella Fresa and Sofie Taes share their personal reflections on photography and their hopes for the collection.

Eugène Atget, “Interior of a Photographer” (1910–11). Bibliothèque nationale de France, Public Domain.

From its beginning, photography has pushed boundaries. Technical and technological boundaries, for one: continuous advancements of a chemical, physical, and mechanical nature have enabled cameras to capture the world with increasing quality and detail. Never before could reality be documented with such a sense of authenticity and nearness.

On an artistic and aesthetic level as well, photographic images have opened up new possibilities and directions. In an unremitting dialogue with the visual arts, photography at first augured to become the most effective tool of artists in pursuit of realism, but quickly revealed its creative, imaginative powers: by adapting lighting or exposure, adding color or using specific lenses, photographers proved able to transform a seemingly ordinary representation of everyday life into an ingenious work of art – in its turn inspiring and invigorating painters and sculptors.

Japanese dancers in a studio photographed by an unknown artist (1880-1890). Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, CC0.

Photography has made geographic borders fade: images from exotic destinations have brought faraway places palpably close, while homely pictures and portraits of loved ones became powerful antidotes to melancholy and nostalgia. To photography we owe a broader view and deeper knowledge of physical reality too: as early as the mid-19th century, photomicrography exposed elements invisible to the naked eye.

From the second half of the 19th century onwards, images taken from hot-air balloons stimulated a panoramic worldview, while – starting in the 1920s – colored underwater photos uncovered a whole new realm of nature. Photographs have not only erased boundaries of space, but also of time: images can erase breaches in family history, fix damaged or lost memories, bring the past into the present or take us way back. 

The rise of Santo Domingo and the stairs that lead to the church of St. Martí Sacosta, Girona, 1930-1940. Desconegut. Ajuntament de Girona, Public Domain.

In all its capacities and throughout history, photography has built bridges between nations and individuals: by showing life as it is or was, showcasing people’s characteristics and idiosyncrasies, pictures highlight apparent differences, but lay bare common foundations as well. In dealing with life’s joys and sorrows, all men turn out much alike.

We hope that you’ll join us in experiencing this slice of Europe’s cultural heritage as a celebration of our shared (hi)stories, as an ode to the accomplishments of photography and – most of all – as an inspirational hub for countless hours of joyful browsing!

Explore Europeana Photography.

Scandal in Warsaw: Podkowiński’s Frenzy and the birth of Young Poland

Sun, 04/06/2017 - 05:00

In this guest post for Europeana’s Art Nouveau season, Dr. Piotr Kopszak, Curator at the National Museum of Warsaw, tells us about the artist Władysław Podkowiński and the scandal surrounding his painting Szał (Frenzy).

Stylistic change has always fascinated art historians and it is often difficult to pinpoint the precise moment when change occurs. However, this is not the case with the birth of Art Nouveau in Poland, known as modernizm or Młoda Polska ‘Young Poland’. The eruption of Young Poland took place when a painting entitled Szał (Frenzy) by the Warsaw artist Władysław Podkowiński was exhibited in the city’s Zachęta gallery on 18 March 1894.

Szał (Szał uniesień, Szał marzeń), 1893. Władysław Podkowiński. National Museum of Warsaw, in copyright.

Frenzy’s monumental composition depicts a naked woman seating on an agitated black horse, clinging onto its neck as the animal bares its teeth and flares its nostrils. Her eyes are shut and her abundant hair blends with the horse’s mane. The painting’s display was met with an atmosphere of scandal and sensation, lending it public notoriety. On the first day of the exhibition, a thousand people saw it; in the first month, twelve thousand.

The painting itself was a scandal but the artist himself decided to end its exhibition with one more. On the morning of 23 April 1894, Podkowiński entered the Zachęta gallery, asked for a ladder and, in front of stunned gallery visitors, slashed the painting with a knife. Later accounts differ in their portrayal of Podkowiński‘s mood: some say that he was entirely calm, whilst others say he was “possessed by a demon of destruction”. This dramatic event took place less than a year before the artist’s death at the age of just 28.

In addition to its lurid subject matter, contemporary gossip whispered that Frenzy that it referred to Podkowiński’s romance with one of Warsaw’s aristocratic ladies, despite a firm denial from the parties concerned. Frenzy’s exhibition developed into a media event, particularly after Podkowiński gave interviews to the press describing his emotions when he slashed the the painting. One might speculate that this sequence of events had in fact been set up deliberately. The idea of artistic scandal would surely not have been unfamiliar to Podkowiński, whose earlier work such as Ladies at Billiards and The Dance of Skeletons had flirted with controversial subjects.

Contemporary coverage in the Warsaw Courier, 1894. University of Warsaw Library.

The scandal surrounding Frenzy obscured important aspects of the painting, such as its link to iconographic tradition going back to the Middle Ages. Unusual as it was, Frenzy was not without parallels elsewhere in the arts. Its proto-expressionist character was very much in tune with contemporary developments in Polish literature and poetry. A group of Polish writers later called ‘Without Doctrine’, in reference to Henryk Sienkiewicz’s book Without Dogma, began, in tune with rising interest in neurosis in America and Europe, to explore the domain of unbalanced emotional life.

A fascination with neurotic states is visible in many other works and themes of decadence were emerging in the work of Polish poets such as Lange, Przesmycki, Kasprowicz and others. A Warsaw art critic, discussing Podkowiński’s earlier Impressionist works, called Impressionism “decadent colourism”, thereby making a connection to literature. It’s no wonder that the exhibition of Frenzy became such a turning point in Polish art.

Explore more of Podkowiński’s work on Europeana.

‘Lest We Forget’: Oxford University needs you to spread the word!

Thu, 01/06/2017 - 05:00

Do you like Europeana 1914-1918? Have you already been involved in a collection day, taken part in a transcribathon, or are you interested in discovering digitized resources about World War One? Then you might also want to support this initiative!

On 5 June, Oxford University is launching a crowdfunding campaign to fund ‘Lest We Forget’, a new community-based initiative to preserve materials held by the public dating from the First World War. The goal is to save pictures, letters, photographs and memories through community-based collection days across the country, to ensure that as much material as possible is digitally preserved for posterity.

The ‘Lest We Forget’ initiative seeks to actively engage communities nationwide in the digital preservation of wartime material. Local schools, care homes and community groups will be invited to dedicated training events to learn how to lead collection days at which members of the public can share family collections. Every item collected will be published in 2018 on a free-to-use online database to promote an understanding of the Great War, and secure the stories of those who lived through it. These items will also live on Europeana 1914-1918, which will be our main collection platform.


The project aims to raise £80,000 to fund the training days for local volunteers, as well as outreach activities and equipment. Every donation is another step closer to ensuring that the sacrifices of this war are not forgotten.

You can now help Oxford University spread the word! Post their message on social media (https://www.facebook.com/OxfordLWF/ and @ww1centenary) and share their posts with your colleagues, friends and family. You can also join their Thunderclap campaign before 5 June for the message to go out on the 6th.

Get involved! Please spread the word about the new #WW1collectionday project and, for more information, visit: fb.com/OxfordLWF

The Art Nouveau ceramics of Alexandre Bigot (part 2)

Tue, 23/05/2017 - 06:00

One of the Art Nouveau highlights of the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris were the architectural ceramics of French manufacturer Alexandre Bigot. Housed in a pavilion designed by Jules Lavirotte, and awarded a Grand Prix, the remarkable ensemble was bought at the Fair by the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest. In the second of two guest posts, Gabriella Balla, Curator of Glass and Ceramics, tells the story of the 1900 World’s Fair pavilion and its subsequent journey to Budapest.

The Bigot Pavilion at the 1900 World’s Fair and its journey to Budapest

Photographs of the 1900 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) pavilion, designed by architect Jules Lavirotte (1864-1924), show that it was comprised of many types of decorative architectural stoneware: a columned portico surmounted by an elaborate cornice; a life-size window facade for a house, complete with columns supporting a balustrade; lintels, floor and wall tiles, and a staircase railing.

The Bigot Pavilion at the 1900 World’s Fair, Paris. Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. In copyright.

 

Pillar and column elements from the Bigot Pavilion, 1900. Manufactured by Bigot & Cie, Paris. Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. In copyright.

Most of the architectural elements used in the pavilion assembled for the Fair were designed for two buildings by Lavirotte (which are still standing in the seventh district of Paris). The entrance gate to the Fair was also decorated with a decorative frieze by Bigot, elements of which were also reproduced for the pavilion.

At the Fair itself, the Museum of Applied Arts acquired an outstanding collection of objects (primarily works of French Art Nouveau) selected by its Director Jenő Radisics. The most expensive purchase was Bigot and Lavirotte’s pavilion. The production cost alone of its elements was estimated to be 20,000 francs. After bargaining, the purchase price was reduced to 5000 francs. The representative of the museum in France, Louis Delamarre-Didot, was instrumental in arranging the purchase. As the building of the Museum of Applied Arts, completed in 1896, is a prime example for the use of architectural ceramics in Hungary, it is natural that Bigot’s technical innovations drew Radisics’s interest.

 

 

The total weight of the Bigot pavilion was 12,680 kilograms, therefore its transportation required considerable organisation. The pavilion elements were dismantled in November 1900 and the ensemble was sent to Budapest by train on 13 December 1901. Two days later, Radisics informed the Bigot company in writing that all the ceramics had arrived intact.

Border tiles from the Bigot Pavilion. Manufactured by Bigot & Cie, Paris. Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. In copyright.

The purchase of the Bigot Pavilion in its entirety was perhaps the greatest feat of Jenő Radisics’s long tenure as Director of the museum. From the time of its purchase until recently, only discrete elements of the Bigot acquisition had ever been displayed in Budapest. This changed in 2013 when the acquisition was exhibited in its entirety at an exhibition dedicated to Bigot. Further examples of Bigot’s architectural ceramics can be seen online in the collections database of the Museum of Applied Arts, as well as in Europeana.

Installation view of Alexandre Bigot exhibition, 2013. Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. In copyright.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out our Art Nouveau exhibition?

Explore a wealth of vintage photographs with Europeana Photography

Sat, 20/05/2017 - 19:00

Today, we’re proud to launch Europeana Photography, our latest thematic collection. Photography lovers and researchers can explore more than 2 million historical photographs, contributed by over 50 European institutions in 34 countries.

Europeana Photography presents images from the first 100 years of photography, sourced from photographic archives, agencies and museum collections across Europe. The collection includes work by important pioneers like Julia Margaret Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge and Louis Daguerre.

Eadweard Muybridge, Loya: Valley of the Yosemite (The Sentinel), c. 1867 – c. 1872. Rijksmuseum. Public Domain.

In collaboration with Europeana, the project is led by PHOTOCONSORTIUM, the International Consortium for Photographic Heritage, a non-profit association committed to the promotion and enhancement of the culture of photography and photographic heritage.

Nicola Perscheid. Grand Canal, Venice, 1929. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, CC0.

Europeana Photography contains captivating editorial, including blog posts, curated galleries and online exhibitions. Our opening exhibition explores the unexpected beauty of industrial photography from the early 20th century. It’s part of a series, The Pleasure of Plenty, that celebrates the opulence and visual richness of vintage photography. 

Future exhibitions on specific themes will regularly be released, telling compelling stories with stunning images, allowing people to explore distant eras and locations, and better appreciate the value of their European, national and local cultural heritage.

To join the conversation and keep up-to-date with the latest news, why not follow us on Twitter and Facebook?

The Art Nouveau ceramics of Alexandre Bigot (part 1)

Mon, 15/05/2017 - 06:00

One of the Art Nouveau highlights of the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris were the architectural ceramics of French manufacturer Alexandre Bigot. Housed in a pavilion designed by Jules Lavirotte, and awarded a Grand Prix, the remarkable ensemble was bought at the Fair by the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest.

In the first of two posts, Gabriella Balla, Curator of Glass and Ceramics, describes Bigot’s factory and its extensive product range.

The Bigot Pavilion at the 1900 World’s Fair, Paris. Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. In copyright.

Alexandre Bigot (1862-1927) established a ceramics factory at Mer in 1894, after his extensive studies of the natural sciences, chemistry and physics, and with his enthusiasm for Far Eastern and and modern ceramics. Bigot’s factory produced stoneware fired at high temperatures, known as grès flammés. This material was particularly suitable for the decoration and panelling of the facades of modern ferro-concrete buildings, but the company also made various dishes and vases. The surface of the ceramics was usually covered with special glazes, including crystalline glazes, which often flowed down on the surface of the plastic forms. He also created special matte glazes, using acids to corrode the surface. In its heyday, the Bigot factory employed around one hundred and fifty workers.

Signature of Alexandre Bigot. Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. In copyright.

The extensive range of products made by the Bigot factory was listed in their catalogue, issued in second edition in 1902. They offered frost-resisting glazed and unglazed tiles for façade revetments, roof tiles, including ridge-tiles of various shapes, as well as large variety of architectural sculpture, such as columns, pillars, lunettes, lintels, banisters, arches, friezes and parapets. Ceramics for interior use were also quite varied. Flat tiles for floors and walls were often designed with multi-tile ornaments of various shapes. Their ceramics, which were suitable for decorating large surfaces, fireplaces and ornamental vessels, were made for the elegant urban interiors of the bourgeoisie.

Frieze element depicting a lion (from the Bigot Pavilion), 1900. Designed by Paul Jouve, manufactured by Bigot & Cie, Paris. Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. In copyright.

Bigot’s elegant, finely shaped objects were decorated with a variety of figurative and floral motifs, wrapped in warm, colourful glazes. Similar pieces to the ones in the Museum of Applied Arts can be found on the facades of several Parisian apartment buildings and palaces. The architectural ceramics of Alexandre Bigot were made in various historical styles as well as in the style of Art Nouveau, but he never really constrained himself to one style. For Bigot, the principal challenge was the material and the glazes. The magic of his ceramic objects lies in the glazes which cover daring and exotic shapes, sometimes flowing downwards, at other times appearing in deep tones or gleaming in thick layers.

In part two of this post, published next Monday, Gabriella Balla will continue the story of the 1900 World’s Fair pavilion and its subsequent journey to Budapest. In the meantime, why not check out our Art Nouveau exhibition?

 

Exciting years – a new web journal explores the visionaries of Art Nouveau

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 06:00

In this guest post for Art Nouveau season, Friederike Fankhänel of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) introduces a fascinating new web journal about the innovators of Jugendstil (Art Nouveau).

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg. Photo: Marcelo Hernandez.

The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) holds the widest collection of Art Nouveau artworks within German-speaking countries. As founding director Justus Brinckmann made extensive acquisitions at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, the Art Nouveau collection can be seen as the keystone for what is now a museum covering 4000 years of human creativity.

Swallows in the Reeds necklace, René Lalique, 1900. Museum Für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, CC0.

While the MKG’s galleries presents objects, furniture and interiors by Art Nouveau artists, our new web journal aims to frame the art style in its historical context and tells the story behind our renowned collection. Bewegte Jahre – Auf den Spuren der Visionäre is the travel diary of Christian Heller, a fictional young journalist from Hamburg, written over a time span of nearly 20 years from 1897-1916.

On his travels, Heller meets important artists and designers – both male and female – of the movement and documents their visions for a new society. After a coffee over painting philosophy with Gustav Klimt, he finds himself on the couch of Sigmund Freud before heading to an exhibition at the Viennese Secession. He’s riding on the moving boardwalk to Samuel Bing’s gallery L’Art Nouveau in the Paris of 1900 and strolls the World Fair with Justus Brinckmann.

In Uccle, he gets fascinated by Maria Sèthe, wife of Henry van de Velde, and her interest in the social ideas of Arts and Crafts pioneers Jane Burden and William Morris. Back in Vienna, the young man learns how Emilie Flöge, Koloman Moser, Ditha Mautner-Markhof and Josef Hofmann abolish the traditional division of art, architecture, design, fashion – and life. Up north in Glasgow, Margaret MacDonald and Charles Rennie Mackintosh share the same spirit. Costume parties with the artist couple are leading Heller to a vegetarian retreat among the “first hippies” on Monte Verità in Ascona before he plans to settle down in his hometown, which in the meantime is competing with New York City.

Thanks to the institution’s digital collection MKG Sammlung Online, we can not only link to over 200 artworks but also choose from 4300 photographs, from 1890-1920, to illustrate city life back then in Hamburg. With most of these images dedicated to the Public Domain, we encourage the reader to get creative by labeling the works “for your re-use”. According to the CRPD, we set a special focus on accessibility: the journal includes an audio version, image description for screen-readers, an introduction in German sign language and several options to visually adjust the content display.

Discover the whole story of Christian Heller in German on bewegtejahre.mkg-hamburg.de, enjoy our digital collection of Art Nouveau artworks on our website here or follow us on Pinterest. You can also explore further projects by MKG’s Interpretation of Art and Design team on studio.mkg-hamburg.de.

Three projects #MadewithEuropeana go crowdfunding. Help them grow!

Mon, 08/05/2017 - 10:10

In collaboration with crowdfunding platform Goteo, we recently launched a match funding call that offers 10,000 EUR to support projects using digital cultural content in secondary education.

Three innovative projects were selected and started their crowdfunding campaigns on Goteo.org. Their first round will run until 5 June. If the projects meet their minimum financial goal by then, we will promote a second and final crowdfunding round from 6 to 25 June.

In these campaigns, Europeana will match each Euro donated by you (up to a maximum of 100 EUR per individual donation), maximising the impact of each contribution. Each project campaign may receive up to 3.500 EUR from Europeana.

Meet the projects

Capturing Fashion in the 20th Century with Frieda Verhees’ Study Collection

Minimum crowdfunding goal: 8.930 EUR
Ideal crowdfunding goal: 16.130 EUR

A joint initiative of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (dept. Costume Design) and MoMu (the Fashion Museum in Antwerp), this project aims to preserve the fashion collection of the costume design teacher Frieda Verhees. It will also fund a documentary project on 20th century fashion based on interviews with Frieda and selected objects from her collection.

To thank donors MoMu offers a range of rewards, including an exclusive visit behind the scenes of the museum, and a festive fundraising evening on 1 June.

1821 Greek Revolution History Platform

Minimum crowdfunding goal: 12.000 EUR
Ideal crowdfunding goal: 20.000 EUR

The project aims to develop an online platform to discover, view and share 2D and 3D content (available on Europeana) that relates to the pre and post revolutionary period of the Greek War of Independence. The platform is an initiative of Personal Cinema. By donating to the development of this platform, you will receive as rewards, among other things, 3D printable models and digital posters.

Gli animali nella Grande Guerra/Animals in the Great War

Minimum crowdfunding goal: 3.000 EUR
Ideal crowdfunding goal: 10.000 EUR

Part of an Italian initiative called Oltre-confine, ‘Animals in the Great War’ will be an eBook that studies animals use in the First World War. The book will be published in Italian and English and will be available for free download. As rewards, donors may be given access to free study materials and even an invitation to a online launch conference.

Get engaged

Join the conversation via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also contact us by email if you have any questions.

Donate, spread the word and help these three educational projects go live – every Euro counts!

Explore more than a million fashion images on Europeana Fashion

Thu, 04/05/2017 - 09:57

From today on Europeana Fashion, fashions curators, academics, students and enthusiasts can discover and explore more than a million fashion images contributed by nearly 40 museums and fashion brand archives from 13 European countries.

Europeana Fashion brings together an incredible wealth of content including historical clothing and accessories, contemporary designs, catwalk photographs, drawings, sketches, catalogues and videos from museums and archives across Europe, and provides a range of exciting new features for you to explore.

Fashion lovers can now find exactly what they want by tailoring the content by using new filters including designers, techniques, materials, and types of clothing.

Europeana Fashion launches with new galleries curating the collection by themes, such as fashion illustrations, sportswear, prints, or Haute Couture, and highlights by fashion experts.

Domino or mantle made of silk lustring, England, 1770-1780, Victoria & Albert Museum, CC BY-SA & Fashion show of Anne-Marie Beretta spring-summer 1983 women’s ready-to-wear collection, Anne-Marie Beretta (Designer), Paul van Riel (Photographer), In Copyright

The collection also features exclusive editorial content, including blog posts and online exhibitions. The first, Past to Present: Fashion Re-Interpretations, explores the inspiration and influence of historical costumes on contemporary fashion.

Europeana Fashion is a unique space showcasing the collections of heritage institutions giving you the opportunity to compare fashion movements and styles across time periods and regions across Europe. Contributing institutions include public museums, like the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), Les Arts Décoratifs (France), MoMu (Belgium), as well as fashion brand archives, such as the Missoni archive, the Emilio Pucci Archive and the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, and archives of fashion photographers, as Paul Van Riel and Etienne Tordoir, amongst many others.

Previously hosted on an independent website, the collection has a new home on Europeana alongside Europeana Art and Europeana Music. The collection will be curated by the Europeana Fashion International Association, who developed and enriched it over the past 5 years.

Stories of a seducer – Mozart, the myth of Don Juan and his literary impact

Wed, 03/05/2017 - 15:40

Each month, Europeana Music examines a particular theme from the world of music. For the month of May, Gabriele Fröschl from the Österreichische Mediathek takes a look at the character of Don Juan as portrayed in Mozart’s opera and elsewhere.

The legend of Don Juan is one of the most famous stories in European cultural history. The story of the unscrupulous seducer has challenged various authors to deal with. It was also the source for the opera “Don Giovanni”, which became one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most famous works which in turn was an inspiration for many other literary works.

At the beginning of the literary engagement with the myth was the Spaniard Tirso de Molina (actually Gabriel Tellez, 1584-1648) with his dramatic adaptation of Don Juan in “The Seducer of Seville and the Stone Guest”.

Portrait of Tirso de Molina. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

He was followed by writers like Jean-Baptiste Moliere, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Nikolaus Lenau, George Gordon Byron, Ödön von Horvath, Max Frisch, Peter Handke and many others. Dealing with the personality of Don Juan is always a reflection of the spirit of the age: Tirso de Molina’s Juan confesses before his hellish journey whereas about hundred years later Moliere’s Juan refuses any repentance.

Portrait of Lorenzo da Ponte (ca. 1830) Attributed to Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791–1872). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1777). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“Il dissoluto punito o sia Il Don Giovanni” was the second collaboration of Mozart with his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte. The work on the opera lasted until immediately before the premiere – the overture was only finished hours before – and on October 29, 1787 the opera was performed in the Gräflich Nostitz National Theatre in Prague (later Royal Theatre of the Estates) for the first time. In Prague, it was immediately an overwhelming success, whereas in Vienna it took some time before the opera was accepted by the audience.

The Estates Theatre in Prague (1797). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

There are numerous psychological interpretations of the drama and of the opera as well, the last ones often with regard to Mozart’s own biography. The overpowering father figure of the stone commander in Don Giovanni was often related to the father-son relationship of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his father Leopold Mozart, who died a few months before the premiere on May 28, 1787. Leopold Mozart indeed was a dominant father figure that played an important role in the artistic development of his son.

Portrait of Leopold Mozart, by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Not only Don Juan, but also Mozart’s opera became the centre of literary works. In “Don Juan” (1813), a novel of the German writer E. T. A. Hoffmann, the operatic plot and the description of the visit to the theatre flow into one another, and, in a romantic tradition, the destiny of the operatic figures is interwoven with that of the actress and the listener. In Eduard Mörike’s novel “Mozart on the journey to Prague” (1856), the premiere of Don Giovanni is the occasion for a very personal portrait of the composer.

Gabriele Fröschl, Österreichische Mediathek

“The myth of Don Juan” is part of an online exhibition hosted by Österreichische Mediathek: www.mediathek.at/virtuelles-museum/mozart/mythos-don-juan-1787/

Art Nouveau in Aveiro: a walk through the city

Mon, 01/05/2017 - 06:00

In this Art Nouveau season guest post, Andreia Lourenço of Portugal’s Aveiro City Museum takes us on a guided tour of Aveiro’s finest Art Nouveau buildings. Along the way, he highlights the characteristic elements of Arte Nova (Art Nouveau) in Aveiro, particularly its focus on architectural ornament, and introduces us to important local landmarks.

Façade of the Art Nouveau Museum, c. 1907-09, Attributed to Francisco Silva Rocha. Photo: Patrícia Sarrico.

The first appearance of Arte Nova (Art Nouveau) buildings in Aveiro dates from the beginning of the 20th century. The style became very popular between 1904 and 1920, with the construction of many such “new style” houses being reported in the local newspapers.

Art Nouveau style was imported into Aveiro by a conservative bourgeoisie and wealthy emigrants to Brazil who, upon returning to Portugal, wished to publicly express their social and economical power. Art Nouveau was adapted to local tastes and was mostly deployed on the façades of buildings, while the rest of the construction and interiors followed a conservative structure and decoration.

A special characteristic of Art Nouveau in Aveiro is the use and production of tiles with Art Nouveau motifs. These tiles were often the only Art Nouveau element present in a building. Tiles were common in traditional Portuguese construction because they were affordable to the general public. In Aveiro, the use of tiles also provided waterproofing and enabled the embellishment of houses built in adobe (sun-dried clay bricks). Tiles with sinuous floral motifs were very sought after and these were produced locally in the Fonte Nova Factory.

Tile panel with lilies, Fonte Nova Factory, 1912. Photo: Patrícia Sarrico.

Aveiro’s Art Nouveau Museum is the perfect place to start exploring the city’s Art Nouveau heritage. The museum has two highly decorated façades and is right in the city center, in front of the main canal. The interior of the museum preserves original tiles and also features a wrought-iron staircase, rich in flowing floral motifs.

Ferro Guesthouse façade detail, attributed to Francisco Silva Rocha, ca. 1910. Photo: Patrícia Sarrico.

After visiting the museum, we recommend walking along one of the area’s most animated streets, Tenente Resende St, where the Ferro Guesthouse can be observed. A former woodwork workshop, the guesthouse was designed by Francisco Augusto Silva Rocha (1864-1957) between 1909 and 1910. The façade is decorated with two medallions bearing images of the tools used in the atelier as well as floral elements, over which the words Honor and Labor are inscribed, bearing witness to its origin. Silva Rocha was the most influential architect in Aveiro’s Art Nouveau movement and many buildings are attributed to him.

Rossio’s Waterfront, with Art Nouveau buildings: the City Museum (left, date and architect unknown) and the former Cooperativa Agrícola (right, c. 1913, architect unknown). In the foreground are the typical Aveiro boats, called moliceiros, used to transport seagrasses. Photo: Patrícia Sarrico.

From here, you can walk to the Rossio waterfront and enjoy the striking façade of the Former Cooperativa Agrícola. The combination of the hand-painted tiles representing lilies and its masonry sets it apart. The tiles were hand-painted by Licínio Pinto, a celebrated local artist, and were produced in the popular Fonte Nova Factory in 1913.

Façade of the Former Cooperativa Agrícola, 1913. Photo: Monica Gonçalves

From here, you can continue to the Glória neighbourhood and visit the João Jacinto Magalhães Foundation or even walk to the municipal park and find an Art Nouveau gazebo, an example of intricate iron-work, where concerts were held during the 1900s. Beyond the regular route, the Central Cemetery can also be a point of interest, with its crypts with Art Nouveau decoration and a funerary statue with an original combination of Art Nouveau and Gothic influences, called The Last Breath. After the route, you can always return to the Art Nouveau Museum to rest and enjoy the environment of the museum’s tea room, inspired by 1900s style.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out our Art Nouveau exhibition?

Advertising and Art Nouveau in the machine age

Tue, 18/04/2017 - 06:00

In today’s #ArtNouveauSeason guest post, Francesc Quílez, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, describes how commercial artists at the turn of the 20th century adopted Art Nouveau style to create vibrant advertising images.

At the turn of the 20th century, a public fascination with machines and modern transport, linked to concepts of technological progress, was vividly reflected in advertising of the era. Many of the posters held in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya’s collection take travel and motion as their subject, depicting bicycles, cars, ships and aeroplanes.

Georges Gaudy. Cycles et Automoviles Legia, 1898. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, CC BY-NC-ND

Artists like Georges Gaudy (1872-1940) and William Henry Bradley (1801-1857) subtly incorporated stylistic elements of Art Nouveau (known as modernisme in Catalonia) into their commercial work, using floral motifs, bold outlines and areas of pure colour. Sporting themes were common on posters of the era, which depicted sports clubs and public events such as motor races and sailing regattas. The poster images are often highly aspirational, reflecting the fashion, wealth and social status of the growing bourgeoisie.

William Henry Bradley. Victor Bicycles, ca. 1896. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, CC BY-NC-ND

Georges Gaudy, Automobile Club Belgique. Course Bruxelles – Spa, 1898. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, CC BY-NC-ND

The arrival of the automobile generated a range of reactions. Poster artists sometimes viewed the car with an ironic and suspicious gaze, depicting contemporary automobiles as if they were infernal machines. To convey the sensation of speed, artists used a visual language that their audience would have been familiar with from illustrated newspapers, magazines and cartoons of the period.

Georges Gaudy, Automobile Club Belgique. Course Bruxelles – Spa, 1898. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, CC BY-NC-ND

Advertising posters, with their striking typography and bold colours, were received with great enthusiasm as a popular new art form. Catalan graphic art, exemplified by the works of Alexandre de Riquer and Ramon Casas, embraced the new visual opportunities of the modern age and contributed to its popular iconography. In particular, Casas is renowned for creating two of the era’s most emblematic posters, which became popular icons of modern Barcelona.

Ramon Casas. Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu on a tandem, 1897. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, CC BY-NC-ND

Ramon Casas. Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu in an Automobile, 1901. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, CC BY-NC-ND

Conceived as mere amusements and associated with the decoration of the bar Els Quatre Gats, Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu on a tandem and its four-wheeled counterpart Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu in an automobile are elegant subversions of the hierarchy between fine art painting and the poster. Few works better sum up the fertile opportunities that the arrival of modern advertising presented to contemporary Catalan artists.

The hurdy-gurdy in Schubert’s “Winterreise”

Fri, 14/04/2017 - 10:47

For the month of April, Europeana Music is focusing on the beginning of spring. Or more accurately, the end of winter. Or more accurately still, the end of “Winterreise” (“Winter’s Journey”): Schubert’s song cycle, which he wrote towards the very end of his life and the instrument that features in it.

Autograph of Schubert’s Winterreise (Morgan Library & Museum, public domain)

The very last song of Schubert’s song cycle is “Der Leiermann” (“The hurdy-gurdy man”). In the song, the narrator describes an old man, ignored by everyone, who never stops turning the wheel of his hurdy-gurdy. The narrator asks himself if this hurdy-gurdy is the accompaniment to his own life: alienated and unchanging.

At the beginning of the song, you can hear that the piano accompaniment provides an imitation of the hurdy-gurdy: in reality this is a droning sound, made by rotating a wheel against a string. There are many examples of hurdy-gurdys in Europeana Music and you can see a select gallery of them here.

We also have different recordings of Schubert’s song cycle and different versions of the sheet music; and, also, there are many depictions on Europeana Art of the hurdy-gurdy player, who is often a blind beggar such as in David Vinckboon’s painting below.

Please take a look around our other galleries in Europeana Music: there are various examples of musical instruments, music in art and photography, with many more to come.

Blind hurdy-gurdy player by David Vinckboon (The Rijksmuseum, public domain)

 

Galleries – a new way to explore Europeana Collections

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:47

With more than 54 millions objects to find in Europeana Collections, there’s a lot to explore. We regularly feature the stories of these objects – whether paintings, photographs, text, music or video – here on our blog and in our exhibitions.

Today, we’re launching a new way to explore on Europeana Collections: galleries.

Galleries present a curated selection of images on a certain theme. Some bring together artworks from across Europe, while some focus more on just one country.

Most of the galleries connect to our thematic collections: Europeana Art, Europeana Music, Europeana Fashion and Europeana 1914-1918.

 

Just some galleries you can explore today are:

Galleries also give you the opportunity to delve a little deeper, linking back to the original object with all its contextual information. And should you wish to re-use the item, licensing information is provided.

We’re starting with around 40 galleries but we’ll be publishing new galleries regularly, so make sure to check back or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Galleries can be found on Europeana Collections by following the link in the Explore menu.

Alphonse Mucha, Master of Art Nouveau

Mon, 03/04/2017 - 06:00

In today’s #ArtNouveauSeason guest post, Marie Vítková of the National Museum in Prague tells us how Alphonse Mucha made his artistic breakthrough.

In December 1894, the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt called the Parisian lithographers Lemerciers, asking for a new poster design for the play Gismonda. She wanted something different than what Lemerciers had produced before and she wanted it as soon as possible. Bernhardt understood the power of effective advertising to drive ticket sales and grow theatre audiences.

Faced with Bernhardt’s urgent request, Lemerciers’s head of manufacturing was placed in some difficulty. Fortunately, though, there was an artist from Moravia in the next room working on some graphic corrections for a friend. “Can you do it?” asked the workshop manager. Alphonse Mucha accepted the challenge. Next day, he visited the theatre and began work. Soon after, Mucha presented a new design proposal for the poster, depicting Sarah Bernhardt as a Byzantine princess with palm leaf on golden background.

Alphonse Mucha, poster for Gismonda, 1895. eSbírky, CC BY-NC-SA.

Sarah Bernhardt was delighted with the design and Mucha’s stellar career as the Parisian “King of Art Nouveau” began. The poster was printed more than 4000 times and Paris fell in love with Mucha’s distinctive style. According to historians, many Parisians actually removed the posters from public places and kept them as interior decoration. Mucha’s poster for Gismonda launched a new chapter of graphic style. After its success, Mucha collaborated with Sarah Bernhardt on advertising material, jewellery and theatrical costumes.

Alphonse Mucha, advertisement for Lefèvre-Utile, 1896. eSbírky, CC BY-NC-SA

Alphonse Mucha was born in the small Moravian town of Ivancice in 1860. He loved painting and drawing and his first artistic job was designing decorations for a Moravian theatre company. Mucha spent some time in Vienna and Mikulov before – thanks to his sponsor Count Karl Khuen Belassi von Mikulov – he enrolled for formal training at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. In 1887, Mucha traveled to Paris to continued his artistic education. He got a job at the magazine La Costume au Théâtre as an illustrator and he established his own studio in the city centre. At this time, Mucha met Paul Gauguin and, after Gauguin returned from Tahiti in 1893, they shared a studio.

Alphonse Mucha, advertisement for Bières de la Meuse, 1897. eSbírky, CC BY-NC-SA

The influence of Mucha‘s work was amplified by the rise of advertising during the period. Mucha created many advertisements for clients including the biscuit firm Lefèvre-Utile and the champagne company Ruinart Père et Fils. All of them had the Mucha signature elements: women with long curly hair as the main motif (some of Mucha’s critics used to call the hair “macaroni“), flowery decor and soft colours, especially gold.

Despite the fame and wealth that Mucha’s commercial work brought him, he preferred to see his work as being personal, spiritual and national. Mucha asserted himself as an artist capable of more than just Art Nouveau style and in his later career he focused more on personal projects.

Explore Mucha’s work on Europeana Art and check out our Mucha Pinterest board.

Art Up Your Tab: heritage in your browser

Tue, 28/03/2017 - 08:06

Art Up Your Tab with curated artworks from the inspiring collection of Europeana!

Most people will see just a blank screen when they open a new tab or window in their browser. This could be much more interesting! That’s why Kennisland, Studio Parkers and Sara Kolster have developed a plug-in for the Chrome browser that shows you enticing, inspiring paintings or photographs from the rich collection of Europeana in new tabs.

The cat at play, Henriette Ronner, Rijksmuseum, Public Domain

The Chrome browser extension Art Up Your Tab brings you full-screen artworks from a frequently refreshed pool of carefully selected images that will pause your busy life for a brief moment and spark your imagination.

The first version of Art Up Your Tab focuses on Dutch heritage institutions in Europeana Collections.

Exploring more

All images are presented in full screen, along with information about the background and context of the work, the authors, the institution and the terms of use. You can even download the image directly in high resolution for reuse or share it with others. You can also click through to the page about this specific work on Europeana Collections.

Viewing heritage made easy

Art Up Your Tab is designed to inspire, surprise, inform and get internet users acquainted with European heritage in the familiar surroundings of their browser – without additional time or effort. This way, cultural heritage is integrated in everyday activities and digital heritage collections are even more visible.

Before you know it, you’ll be browsing beautiful images from Europeana for half an hour while you just wanted to open a new tab!

Install Art Up Your Tab Chrome extension

Art Up Your Tab is made possible with support from the Network Digital Heritage.

#AllezLiterature – celebrate the power of poetry

Tue, 21/03/2017 - 09:16

This World Poetry Day (21 March), we are inviting you to join a month long social media salute to poetry from across Europe. From the Romantics to War poetry and from Burns to Punk, discover, share and interact with selected poems in Europeana Collections.

Esbjörn at the Study Corner, Carl Larsson, Nationalmuseum, Sweden, Public Domain

UNESCO World Poetry Day celebrates our shared human experience, the continued relevance of poetry as an art form and the power of the oral tradition. Over the coming weeks, you will have the chance to:

  • Experience poems in new ways – from YouTube recitals to Punk band covers
  • Listen to and share poetry ‘playlists’ with recordings found on Europeana SoundCloud
  • Join the #WW1 Poetry Transcribathon to transcribe, tag and annotate handwritten poems by soldiers and nurses from the First World War
  • Share your favourite quotes from and about poems with the hashtag #AllezLiterature

Throughout the month, libraries across Europe will select and share poems in their original languages.

In fact, the season kicks off with the iconic Soči by one of Slovenia’s best loved poets Simon Gregorčič. You are invited to experience the poem in two very different ways – by exploring the text online and through a school boy’s YouTube recital.

Gregorčič was a priest and social campaigner as well as a poet and Soči which relates the journey of the River Soca from the mountains to the plains of Trieste became a Slovenian rally cry during the First World War.

Join us in this #AllezLiterature poetry season and discover even more poems from regions and cultures all across Europe.

Visit for more information about #AllezLiterature

 

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