Paintings in the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Germany

The present collection of the museum, located on the picturesque Museum Island (Museumsinsel) in Berlin, is based on a 19th-century private collection of a German banker. Mostly it hosts German painters, but it also has some pieces of French masters like Renoir, Signac, Vlaminck. It covers the most significant art trends of the 19th century…

Real Borders, Fictional Borders: Transylvania, ‘Galiciaʼ, and the Ways of Asserting Historical Exceptionalism, Then and Now

Abstract: Based on two recent events, Klaus Iohannisʼ political victory, by the help of civil society, in the election campaign for Romanian Presidency in November 2014, and the civic activism connected to what is labelled as the Maidan protests in Lʼviv, Ukraine, in February 2014, this text takes into discussion past and present manners in…

When East Meets West in Architecture: Public Buildings in Craiova (south-western Romania)

Craiova is the county seat of the historical region called Oltenia, an ethnographic area located in south-western Romania (Wallachia). Given its closeness to what, up to World War I, were parts of the Ottoman Empire, Oltenia has been strongly influenced for most of its modern history by Turkish and Greek (neo-Byzantine) patterns in architecture and…

Christmas Markets in Berlin, December 2019

On this Christmas season, Berlin`s municipal authorities organized markets around most of the major landmarks: Alexanderplatz, Gendarmenmarkt, Breitsheidplatz, Potsdamer Platz. All of them abounded in traditional German Christmas decorations made of wood or glass, as well as in cosy places like restaurants and food stalls where people could taste gluhwein, delicious marzipan, apple pie, and…

Children Portraits at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville​, Arkansas)

The manner a society relates to children is telling for its economic and cultural level, in other words, for its developmental stage. A liberal society will tend to be more empowering towards its children, whereas a conservative society will focus on the obedience of children. This simple idea is clearly expressed by the children portraits displayed…

Houses of Eureka Springs (North-West Arkansas, USA)

Eureka Springs used to be a spot known for its curing springs, but today it is mostly known for its excellently preserved old houses (i.e. dating from the last decades of the nineteenth century). The local springs, which were known as early as the Civil War time (i.e. many wounded soldiers spent their convalescence here), have…

Slovak Pioneers in the Prairie lands (Eastern Arkansas, USA)

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, struggling Slovak coal-miners and farmers of the north-eastern USA (e.g. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois) pay heed to the advertisements in Slovak promoted by the National Slovak Society which was presenting agricultural settlements in Arkansas. The so-called `colonization companies` of the time were buying land in the remote rural…