In 1802 Princess Izabela Czartoryska opened the first Polish museum in her country estate of Puławy. The museum was housed in two garden pavilions: a classical Temple of Sibyl, and an eclectic Gothic House. The intent for the museum was not just a presentation of historical timeline, but a creation of a national consciousness and a sense of identity for the country under partitions. The objective of such magnitude, involving no less than engineering a concept of patriotism and assigning to it a set of acceptable attitudes had to have bases in an extraordinary certainty of the Czartoryskis of their ability to influence their compatriots. This paper aims to focus on the issues of the intentional, persuasive strengths of the collection and on its reception by the visiting audience. I shall investigate the issues of relationship between the patron and the visitor to the collection, look at the rituals of viewing in the Puławy museum and ask how the formal boundaries placed on the viewer manipulated his perception.
|Keywords:||Museum, Garden, National Identity, Education, Audience|
Instructor in Art History, Department of Art, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
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