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Authors:Gábor Ébli: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary
Publication title:Universal Culture and National Identity: The configuration of national museums in nineteenth-century Hungary
Conference:Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus, European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, Paris 28 June – 1 July & 25–26 November 2011
Publication type: Abstract and Fulltext
Issue:078
Article No.:024
Abstract:In the absence of royal collections, it was one of the wealthiest aristocrats of the country who set up the Hungarian National Museum in 1802. Initially a library with a selection of other holdings, the Museum Nationale Hungaricum gradually widened the scope of its collections, and from the 1870s onwards strove for encyclopaedic coverage of human knowledge. Its legal status underwent significant changes, shifting from private to public foundation (1808) and to state museum from 1867. At the same time, its orientation broadened from a national focus towards a regional, and subsequently European, outlook, finally turning to universal collecting when in the last third of the nineteenth century the representation of non-European civilisations came to be included in its programme. Within three-quarters of a century, a small proto-museum, offspring of the Enlightenment and Romantic patriotism, had developed from accumulating national heritage, though still under Habsburg rule, into a full-fledged national museum in the twin capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, trying to adopt in the 1870s the model of the British Museum. This stunning expansion soon pushed the institution beyond its capacities and lead instead to the creation of several specialised collections. With this, the museum idea had achieved its triumph in Hungary, and Budapest became a hub with a series of distinctly specialised national museums, while the mission of the National Museum was redefined and re-scaled. Leaving aside its universal and encyclopaedic ambitions, it became dedicated to the mission of caring for the past remnants of the historical territory of the country. This study examines this process (1802-1902), paying particular attention to the changing relationship of imperial and national, ruler and ruled, in the multi-ethnic Carpathian Basin.
Language:English
Year:2012
No. of pages:14
Pages:373-386
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
File:http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/078/024/ecp12078024.pdf
Available:2012-10-30
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet

REFERENCE TO THIS PAGE
Gábor Ébli (2012). Universal Culture and National Identity: The configuration of national museums in nineteenth-century Hungary, Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus, European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, Paris 28 June – 1 July & 25–26 November 2011 http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=078;article=024 (accessed 8/22/2014)