1913. The Rite of Spring

The National Museum in Szczecin
21 June - 8 September 2013
Jubilee exhibition for the 100th anniversary of Main Building opening
During the exhibition the entrance to all the Museum buildings is free.

The aim of the exhibition is to show culture from 100 years ago with reference to key – and frequently omitted in the context of modern art – problem of heritage. The year 1913 was an exceptional date. Not only from the point of view of political history, as the last moment of peace before the Great War, but also full of 20th century's outbreak artistic events. It was a culmination of processes, a 'modernist parade' of which began in 1910, and every next year brought important initiatives commemorated presently by jubilee editions or exhibitions. In years 1910-1913 the substantial and architectural shape of the City Museum collection were worked on. They were prepared under the supervision of PhD Walter Riezler. Esteemed in Germany, cultural reformator, joining the passion of classical archaeologist, modern art critic and musicologist, succeeded in building a gallery narration on the basis of collection of antiquities, non-European cultures, together with painting, sculpture and graphics by masters of West-European avant-garde. '1913. The Rite of Spring' is an exhibition project which, commemorating the opening of the building in Hakenterasse (today's Wały Chrobrego), evokes an interdisciplinary method of the first director of the institution – arranging works of art from the first decades of 20th century together with their archaic, classical and primitive sources of inspiration.
Exceptional, representative form of the museum building, created by city architect Wilhelm Meyer-Schwartau, gave the Pomeranian city's panorama a new urban accent, changing the view of city's cultural policy. The subtitle fo the jubilee exhibition refers to another artistic event of that time - that is, Spring 1913 - of an international scope – the inauguration of Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. It has opened by a famous premiere of Igor Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring' performed by Russian Ballets with choreography by Wacław Nizynski and scenography by Nikolay Roerich. Both accused for 'Germanity' theatre's building, designed by Henry van de Velde and finally realized by Auguste Perret, its decoration and equipment (including sculptures by Antoine Bourdelle), as the esthetics of plays performed were a breakthrough in the history of art, symbolically opening the new century. An exhibition 'Armory Show', organized two months earlier in the NY regiment headquarters – a representative spectre of European art of most avant-garde streams - gained an opinion of a similar symbol.
The exhibition '1913. The Rite of Spring' was created as an overview of key problems of 'total work of art' around year 1913 which turned to be a specific 'Rite of Spring' for Szczecin museum actions. The leitmotiv is dance - a metaphor of vitality and freedom. The reference to the three events – in Szczecin Paris and New York – enables to join local, European and worldwide outlook. Presented painting, sculpture, drawing and artictic craftswork origin from Muzeum Narodowe w Szczcecinie own collection and from Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Muzeum Narodowe w Gdańsku, Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, University Museum in Torun, Georg-Kolbe-Museum in Berlin, Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Städtische Galerie in Dresden, Kunstsammlungen in Zwickau, Ernst Barlach Stiftung in Güstrow and private collections. The objects create interfering narrations, and the story of three sources of art reneval has been divided into four parts:

1. The Slavic Tale. Home Exotic – showing the phenomenon of the interest in East-European cultures in the Western circle;
2. The Faun's Afternoon. A New Arcadia – showing the problem of classicism and reinterpretation of antic heritage in the beginning of 20th century;
3. The Spring in Paris. Artistic World Capital – showing multicultural environment of the most important centre of modern art development in that period;
4. The Black Music. Avant-garde and Primitive Cultures – showing dependances between modern art and civilizations of Africa and Oceania.

An advantage of the exhibition is, undeoubtedly, joining ethnographic and archaeological relics with works by: Abram Jefimowicz Archipow, Ernst Barlach, Émile-Antoine Bourdelle, Béla Czóbel, Kees van Dongen, Xawery Dunikowski, Lyonel Feininger, Marcel Gromaire, Aristide Maillol, Tadeusz Makowski, Georg Kolbe, Max Pechstein, Toma Rosandić, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Paul Sérusier, Franz von Stuck, Maurice de Vlaminck, Wojciech Weiss, Eugeniusz Zak and more.
Bilingual catalogue includes texts devoted to Polish, Russian, German and French art, and describes artistic environments of Paris, Sankt Petersburg, Szczecin and, at that time, receiving European ideas - thus viewing the Old Continent as an outsider – New York. For today's West-Pomerania capital, former seat of German province authority, a city of empresses and repatriants from Eastern historic Poland, a centre of classical studies and overseas ethnographical expeditions, the exhibition is not only an impression on cosmopolitan tendencies in art from before a century but also accurate reflection over present cultural comnditions of this part of Poland.
dr Szymon Piotr Kubiak
dr Dariusz Kacprzak

PUBLICATIONS
1913. Święto wiosny. Wystawa jubileuszowa w stulecie otwarcia Gmachu Głównego Muzeum Narodowego w Szczecinie / 1913. Frühlingsweihe. Ausstellung zum hundertjährigen Eröffnungsjubiläum des Hauptgebäudes des Nationalmuseums Stettin, red. S.P. Kubiak, D. Kacprzak, Szczecin 2013; authors: I. Danielewicz, D. Kacprzak, B. Kozińska, S.P. Kubiak, M. Moskalewicz, B. Wolska, tłum. B. Ostrowska, proj. graf. Studio Flow, Muzeum Narodowe w Szczecinie, Szczecin 2013
100 lat muzeum w Szczecinie / 100 Jahre des Museums in Stettin, red. S.P. Kubiak, D. Kacprzak, Szczecin 2013; authors: A. Jędrzejczak, L. Karwowski, B. Kozińska, S.P. Kubiak, transl. P. Seraphim, design Studio Flow, Muzeum Narodowe w Szczecinie, Szczecin 2013

exhibition opening: 21st June 2013 (Friday), 18.00
concept: dr Szymon Piotr Kubiak
curators: dr Szymon Piotr Kubiak, dr Dariusz Kacprzak
opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 10.00–18.00
Thursday 10.00–20.00
Sunday 10.00–16.00

honorary patronage:
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski
Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany in Poland Rüdiger Freiherr von Fritsch
Ambassador of Russian Federation in Poland Aleksander Alexeev
Ambassador of Republic of France in Poland Pierre Buhler
West-Pomeranian Voivode Marcin Zydorowicz
West-Pomeranian Marshall Olgierd Geblewicz
President of the City of Szczecin Piotr Krzystek
The Organizer: Muzeum Narodowe w Szczecinie