Grants in progress

Illustrations of the Children’s Books in the Context of Publishers’ Intentions and Cultural, Ideological, and Socio-political Changes (1869–1969)

Grant Agency CR project, reg. No.: 21-03670S
Grant holder: Museum of Czech Literature
Project researcher:
Bronislava Kuzica Rokytová
Time span: from 2021 to 2023

Are there deeper socio-political meanings that can be identified in associative illustrations of books for children? The project analyses the archival sources of publishing houses, personal fonds, and contemporary criticism in order to interpret the larger discussions in society, including interests asserted by the state and artistic circles. The artistic works will be evaluated from a cultural-historical perspective. Civic and socio-political viewpoints and attitudes in illustrations for children will be identified on the basis of ethics, manipulation, conformity, engagedness, but also freedom of expression and the poetisation of a stylised image. The research will focus on the period between 1869, symbolising the transfer of responsibility for education to the state, and 1969, marking the onset of normalisation. The analysis will also focus importantly on the interconnectedness and specifics of transnational relations, whether within the frame of Austria-Hungary, the perspective of the German minority, the openness of Czechoslovakia to the world, and the situation in Slovakia. The main outcome will be a collective monography.