Basic information
Original title:
Visual Arts and Architecture in the Spatial Context of the City of Maribor
1 July 2010–30 June 2014

The project involves applicable research of art-historical issues of Maribor, second-largest city of Slovenia and capital of Slovenian Styria. It is conceived so as to simultaneously present the findings to the broadest public via web portal, workshops and lectures. Cooperation with residents of Maribor, students and tourists will be established throughout the duration of the project. Its interrelation to the culture of the city will be particularly accentuated in 2012, when Maribor will be the European Capital of Culture, the results of the project, however, will aim at a permanent inclusion of the humanistic heritage in the development of the city. Using various approaches, bound to the evolution of the space through time, to topographic inventories, to public monuments or to art institutions and personalities who represent the artistic heritage of Maribor, the project will study the art in the city above all from the social-spatial aspect and from the viewpoints of patronage and reception. It will shed light on how the urbane image of Maribor, its art monuments and collections reflect the social-historical role of this space, with a special regard to the patronage structure, to the demands of the art market and to the present-day understanding of the visual arts in the city. The work on the project will include collecting, analysis and comparison of material, archival and field research, documentation of monuments, comparative research in art-history libraries, writing original scientific papers and expert texts, including a guide-book of Maribor, and preparation of a scientific meeting. Among the key monuments that the researchers of the project team will deal with are the Cathedral with the Slomšek Square, the Jesuit church of St. Aloysius, the Minorite monastery, the Plague column in the Main Square and the City hall. From the patronage point of view monastic orders that were or still are active in the city will be investigated. Special attention will be paid to Lavantine bishops (particularly to Mihael Napotnik (1889–1922) and to the portraits in the collection in the Maribor diocesan mansion at Betnava), to aristocratic and bourgeois patrons (e.g. to the collection of the Counts of Herbersetin, which was conceived in the second half of the 17th century and is held in the Maribor Regional Museum, and to the family Goedel-Lannoy). Among public monuments special attention will be devoted to the sculptures, created in the statuary symposia Forma viva, as well as to others, connected with historical personalities, such as the Emperor Franz Joseph and Rudolf Maister. In connection to the function of works of art, which is closely linked to the intentions of the patrons and has always been in the service of religion, representation resp. prestige and identity as well as of church- and civil politics, the question of art quality will be exposed. The monuments will be treated in a wider spatial context. More accurately the period of increased building activity in Maribor from the mid- 19th century onwards will be investigated (in the framework of sacral commissions and from the aspect of housing, public-administrative and town-planning issues) which is characterized by predomination of historic styles. The research into the 20th century will concentrate on the modern architecture and urbane regulation of Maribor with a special accent on the working-class architecture that in Maribor reached a high-quality level. In Maribor, which in the 20th century was an economic centre, visual arts and their protagonists had quite a different role than in the formal capitals like Graz and Ljubljana. The project will, on the one hand, deepen and widen the research and link together the relevant existing findings, on the other hand, it will set off research of themes that have so far not been dealt with, in order to fill lacunas and thus enable an integral insight of the character and social dynamics of art in the space of the city of Maribor.

Project manager