Art and Charity: Development of New Social Practices in Lviv in the Late 18th Century – Early 19th Century

Art and Charity: Development of New Social Practices in Lviv in the Late 18th Century – Early 19th Century

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September 6, 2016

Center for Urban History, Lviv

The lecture was going to mention little known facts from public life of Lviv of the "Austrian period" related to the organization of charity art exhibitions. Broader understanding of social responsibility for the fate of the destitute and poor was an achievement of Enlightenment. Upon the whole, "fashion for charity" spread in the mid 19th c. when participation in charity funds was becoming prestigious. Lviv was not an exception, either, as compared to other cities in Central Europe.

The role of artists and art patrons, as well as different social and ethnic groups in the city united by the noble goal, appeared quite peculiar within this new social initiative. Special role in the development of charity institutions in Lviv back in the 18th c. belonged to representatives of Armenian community of the city. Of significance were charity lotteries with the pieces of art organized by efforts of women in the city. The exhibitions allowed local artists to enter a broader public space for the first time, show their pieces and find new clients. As to orphans and the poor, it was an opportunity to feel certain financial and moral support from urban community.

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Maryana Levytska

is a Candidateof Art History and Criticism, a docent, a research fellow of the Institute of Folk Studies of the NASU (Lviv). Recent publications include: “People and Cities. Lvivians in Portrait Painting in the Late 18th c. – First Half of the 19th c.”, “Mechyslav Gembarovych (1893-1984) and Lviv Art History Schol”, “Areas of Concern in the History of Ukrainian Art in the 19th c.”, “Presence or Absence in the Central European Context”. Research interests: culture and art of Lviv of the “long 19th c.”; problems of formation of national schools in art of Central European states.


Сover Image: Wincenty Kasprzycki. Fine Arts Exhibition in Warsaw in 1828