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Djelo Association for Promoting Craft Art


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(Udruga za Promicanje Umjetnog Obrta Djelo, 1926–early 1930s)

This association was established by Tomislav Krizman, a leading figure in the development of Croatian arts and crafts in the early 20th century. He had been responsible for the exhibits in the Serbian, Croatian, and Slovenian Pavilion at the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels and had recognized the difficulties of effecting a radical change in national arts and crafts activities without significant technological and economic advances. As a result any progressive notions of functionalist design were restricted by the reality of small‐scale series production. Nonetheless Krizman's approach provided the basis for a wider social and cultural decorative arts initiative with a strong commitment to the production of national products. Drawing together a number of artists from different institutions the Djelo group grew out of this ideology, assisted in its social goals by Krizman's establishment of a collective of manufacturers, retailers, and financiers to make and sell their designs. Having published its manifes to in 1926, the first Djelo exhibition was mounted in Zagreb in 1927 with the backing of a number of large manufacturing companies. However, despite such initial industrial interest and the group's commitment to the creation of original and popular decorative art the Djelo ideology failed to translate its social and aesthetic ambitions into commercial reality.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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