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Romanian 'National Style' and the 1906 Bucharest Jubilee Exhibition

Shona Kallestrup
Journal of Design History
Vol. 15, No. 3 (2002), pp. 147-162
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of Design History Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3527076
Page Count: 16
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Romanian 'National Style' and the 1906 Bucharest Jubilee Exhibition
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Abstract

This article examines the role of the 1906 Bucharest Jubilee Exhibition in the development of a Romanian 'identity' in visual art at the tum of the century. It argues that this event marked a pivotal point in official recognition of the need for a 'national style'. Yet the nature of this style is complex. Evolving within an independent kingdom, it eludes models of 'ethnic nationalism', as a peripheral reaction to imperial 'centres', which have been convincingly applied to neo-national styles in Poland, Hungary and Finland, among others. Instead, vernacular revivalism played a subsidiary role to the expression of Latin identity on the one hand and the celebration of Orthodox forms on the other. It is this duality, its sources, manifestation and manipulation that shaped the form of the 1906 Exhibition and had a lasting impact on notions of a 'Romanian' style in the early twentieth century.

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