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Folk Art of Czechoslovakia Hardcover – 1974

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Arco Publishing Co.; 1st American edition (1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2702200931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0668035101
  • ASIN: 0668035102
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,435,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I am a first generation American, with a Slovak mother, seeking contact with my "folk roots". I found this book to be a good start in that direction, though I regretted certain weaknesses in the book: specifically that I thought it focused too much on, and gave too many examples, of Christian folk art, which is probably the least unique and meaningful of the Czech and Slovak folk arts. The book emphasizes architecture, embroidery, and Christian-themed folk painting and sculpture, but gives very short shrift to certain areas which even to my relatively uneducated eye, are clearly of much more significance as unique folk art: the unique magical spiral designs, rune-like designs, or ""Goddess-like" pre-Christian designs painted on some of the buildings, and shown on important objects such as an old hunter's powder horn, the "Goddess" patterns and other patterns seen on Easter Eggs, the curiously elaborate "beehive" art of the Czech and Slovak regions, the pre-Christian "Goddess" aspects of the embroidery, and the expression of Czech and Slovak people about their culture via paintings and sculptures that show their own villages and lives, rather than just presenting the "standard" Christian scenes.

Mary B. Kelly's wonderful series of three books on GOddess Embroidery of Eastern Europe, the Northlands, and the Balkans and Greek Islands, goes into this GOddess aspect that this book misses. Another book on Yugoslav folk art, Primitive Art of Yugoslavia, ironically points more strongly to unique magical and pre-Christian aspects of Slovak folk art than this book does, describing for instance the Slovak custom of painting tombstones bright colors, or using the spiral and other graphic designs to cover numerous objects of daily use.
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