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Neznámá území českého moderního umění

Civilized Woman: Czech Functionalism and the Cultivation of “Femininity”


Civilized Woman: Czech Functionalism and the Cultivation of “Femininity”

Martina Pachmanová


In 1908, Adolf Loos published a famous essay, “Ornament and Crime”, that had a long-term impact on modern European architecture and design. He rejected decorativism and ornamentation as an expression of eroticism, moral decline and degeneration, and connected them directly with women and “savages”. Czech modern architecture and design were quick to adopt Loos’s ideals, and especially in the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s declared war not only on ornament but also on all socio-cultural phenomena that did not conform to the assumed signs of progress, including “femininity”.

In this text, I will focus on how these ideals were theorized and practiced by predecessors and proponents of Functionalism in the Czech lands in the first couple of decades of the 20th century, and how they were used as a powerful weapon to both modernize the living environment and to “cure” the psychological, social, and cultural backwardness and conservatism of women. While analyzing a number of examples of this anti-ornamental and utilitarian style and its theory, I will show that the discourse of Functionalism was, despite of its utopian and egalitarian character, gender biased. Not only it emphasized cold geometrical language that was seen as an embodiment of masculine rationality. It also promoted standardization to fight for uniform collective identity that, nevertheless, did not allow most Czech women architects and designers to work outside the traditional spheres of domesticity.

In 1903, František Xaver Šalda published in the most radical Czech art journal, Volné smery, a manifesto-like essay “New Beauty”, which was a definitive farewell to the fin-de-siecle aesthetics of Art Nouveau and Decadence. He rhetorically raised a question what are the virtues of artists of the new generation and new culture, and answered uncompromisingly – these are virtues of masculinity, war and heroism. With similar intentions, Šalda’s “new beauty” was the beauty of truth, strength, integrity, structure and logic that embodies “manliness and hardness”.1)
 
Šalda's use of the term “masculinity”, or “manliness”, has always been ignored as unimportant, as something that shows author’s rich metaphorical language. However, language is never ideology-free, and one has to consider that gender-colored terminology literally flooded Czech art theory and criticism in the first couple of decades of the last century, reinforced its avant-garde doctrinairism, and, last but not least, had an undeniable influence on how the history of Czech modern art has been interpreted. Aiming at the regeneration old-fashioned art, the young generation has declared war on decorativism, historicism and illusive naturalism. Subjectivity was supposed to be replaced by objectivity and collective responsibility in order to reach the highest truth and unity of art and life. This early-20th-century renaissance is characteristic not only by radical rejection of the old in the name of modernity, but also by relating tradition, backwardness and bad taste to femininity.  “Ornamentalism is a feminized and formalist work,” wrote for instance the architect Josef Chochol in 1913. “It does not fit into a masculine character of our time, which loves that unique and suggestive arrogance of ostensible vulgarity, and always decides spontaneously for broad-minded and effective simplicity of inner concentration of the matter, rather than for exterior fads and superficial ‘charm’.”3) Another Czech architect, Pavel Janák, attacked subjectivism as a sign of anti-art, and claimed that intimacy, domesticity and coziness are products of sentimental admiration of the past and, as such, should be sacrificed on the altar of modern beauty.

Such radicalism certainly reacted to the exhaustion of Art Nouveau, and the pro-modernist atmosphere dominating among young Czech artists, architects and critics reflected the situation in intellectual circles elsewhere in Europe. One of the most respected thinkers, whose impact on Czech modern art and architecture has been proved many times, was Adolf Loos. His dismissal of rigorous “secessionism” and promotion of geometric purity and “truthfulness” of both function and material was admired by Czech art community, and the impact of his ideas can be traced in Czech art theory immediately after he published “Ornament and Crime”. Loos’s criticism was not limited to purely formal aspects of art. It was based on the theory of cultural evolution whose highest and most advanced peak is the Western culture on the threshold of the 20th century. Inspired by popular anthropological inquiries, Loos linked the origin of the ornament tribal cultures, and blamed “less civilized” part of the population – women and criminals – for its survival in modern times. According to Loos, the two groups used the condemnable decoration of the body (make-up, jewelry and overly adorned dresses in the case of women; and tattooing in the case of criminals), which was a dangerous and degenerative echo of social-cultural immaturity of “primitives”. He claimed that woman’s use of ornament is a sign of her untamable erotic desire whose origin is by savages.

Loos criticized the Art Nouveau’s ornamental excessiveness, and though of it in terms of eroticism, coquetry, moral decline and degeneracy; instead he celebrated elementary forms that would contribute to moral regeneration of modern culture. “Whenever I abuse the object of daily use by ornamenting it, I shorten its life-span, because since it is then subject of fashion, it dies sooner. Only the whim and ambition of women can be responsible for this murder of material – and ornamentation at the service of woman will live forever.”4) Loos identified ornament as a feminine principle that – due to its erotic and primitive significance – needs to be disciplined. The architect’s language well documents how spitefully was treated the tradition, and how strongly it was associated with the myth about eternal femininity. The “scientific” arguments of anthropology, Darwin’s evolution theory and flourishing medical criminology provided a wonderful base for the criteria of new art. On the one hand, the scientific positivism strengthened the effort to reach a precise and firm visual form. On the other hand, however, it maintained the tendency to understand art in terms of biological determinism which influenced a common notion that women are not capable of doing good art (if they can be artists at all), and reinforced a vulgar, race- or ethnicity-dependent evaluation of art.5)

Since the mid 1920s, European architecture and design was dominated by Functionalism, and the “factory aesthetics” strongly intervened also into Czech culture.6) Among the most tireless propagators of the new style was Walter Gropius, a German architect and the first director of Bauhaus in Weimar. Bauhaus was one of the most liberal and progressive art schools in Europe, and its challenging character was also reflected in its gender policy. As it was written in the admission documents, “any person of good reputation without regard to age or sex, whose previous education is deemed adequate by the Council of Masters, will be admitted, as far as space permits.” Although such anti-discriminatory policy was followed by other liberal schools all over Europe, words still often preceded reality. Gropius expressed many times his good will to introduce equal educational standards for men and women, since there is “no difference between the beautiful and the strong sex, absolute equality, but also equal duties.”7) However, he did not anticipate that there will be as many women interested in studying at Bauhaus. While he original calculated with truly revolutionary affirmative action, and planned to accept 50% male and 50% female students, the number of women increased enormously. Already one year after the school was opened, Gropius appealed to the Advisory Board of Masters, and suggested a reorganization that was to control the number of female students, and to direct them, after passing the elementary course, to the studios of weaving, book-binding and ceramics.

As it was proved in an influential book, Die Frau als Künstlerin [Woman as Artists], published in 1928 by one of Bauhaus pedagogues, Hans Hildebrandt, it was hardly possible to overlook the significance of women artists in Western culture. The book is a remarkable document about history of women’s creativity but it is also full of controversial ideas that undoubtedly nurtured the ambivalence with which art schools and academies (including Bauhaus or – to stick with the Czech territory – the School of Applied Arts in Prague) treated female students. Hildebrandt was convinced about inevitability of cultural and social emancipation of women, but he still relied on the idea that any woman’s art is determined by her natural passivity, primitiveness and proximity to nature, and that her work always only accompanies the greatness of man’s art. In the chapter devoted to contemporary women artists, Hildebrandt warned against acute danger that independent and modern woman might easily transform into a half-man [ein halber Mann]. Although he immediately added that no woman is ever capable to reach all man’s abilities, his words clearly document anxiety with which “progressive” inter-war intellectuals observed emancipatory efforts of their female counterparts.8)

Mainly during its second phase, there existed intensive contacts between Bauhaus and the Czech art and architectural scene. During the time when Karel Teige, one of the most outspoken leaders of the Czech avant-garde, lectured in Dessau, a number of Czech female artists either attended classes at Bauhaus (such as Marie Rossmannová who studied photography), or collaborated on professional basis. Particularly strong were ties between Czech women textile designers and the studio of weaving run by Gunta Stölz. Among those who contributed to this international collaboration, and who introduced new weaving technologies used at Bauhaus to the Czech environment was Slávka Vondrácková. “It was just when Teige’s was receiving a docent title at Bauhaus and was giving lectures there,” she recalls in her memoirs, “when I started to travel [to Dessau] here and there with him, and met Otti Berger, the Bauhaus teacher of textile design. We became friends, and later launched a collaboration.”9)

The impact of Bauhaus on the work of Czech women artists was far-reaching. Their work in applied arts first concentrated on abstract structures, and was close to lyrical, geometric but also primitivist tendencies of painterly abstraction; around 1927, however, a strict utilitarism prevailed in their work. Similarly as Stölz’s Bauhaus studio was targeted for excessive experiments and formal incoherence, even Czech textile artists faced requirements for utilitarian standardization and were criticized if they did not follow the Functionalist path. Along with increasing social antagonisms, there was also a bigger need of mass-accessible, cheap and purposeful objects for everyday use; artistic originality, which was hitherto one of the fundamental criteria of quality and historical relevance, was to be replace by tasteful, harmonious but, nevertheless, serial production. In the moment when women could finally work independently in all areas of art, and started to get rid of miscellaneous stereotypes about l’art feminine, a new art paradigm requested from them to erase all marks of individual creativity and experimentation. “We called for light and for colors. We kept inside of ourselves a lot of optimistic life poetry of colors, lights and forms,” recollected Vondrácková the era of the 1920s. However, when she displayed hand-woven curtains in bright colors and eye-catching patterns at the Exhibition of Domestic Culture [Výstava bytové kultury] in Brno in 1928, she was criticized by hard-core Functionalists who called her space installation of textiles an “extravaganza”:

Even later, while talking about art in Prague cafés […] the boys, Havlícek, Honzík and even Teige, blamed me for those colors. They criticized my scattered scale of colors, but I defended myself that I’m killing all those old ‘Wolken-stories’ with embroidered angels and knitted little birds, and that the enjoyable light, colors, airiness and transparency are to break the old-fashioned and stupid gloominess of dark apartments with thick wool draperies on windows and doors; I wanted to get over with the lack of light and of fresh air in the domestic ‘museum’.”10)

Vondrácková belonged to the most remarkable and active women artists of the inter-war generation, and also worked as a writer. In 1926, she and Božena Pošepná founded a studio Pošepná – Vondrácková, which was producing a great variety of Functionalist textile design for the next twenty years. Following the slogan of Otti Berger that the “material lives on its own”, they used the most natural quality of textile – the structure of material that was to embody the rhythm of new age, and to bring intensive tactile pleasures. The textile compositions designed by the tandem Pošepná – Vondrácková in the 1920s and 30s greatly contributed to the development of Czech geometric abstraction. Unlike many other proponents of Functionalism, the two women artists were critical about the dogmatic application of the slogan “the form follows function” which often led to impersonal and cold aesthetics, and made modern home a mere machine for living. Vondrácková’s opinion that “we [people] can enjoy ourselves collectively as well as individually” and that “the field of vision should not be narrowed but, on the contrary, should be expanded by all possibilities (…) and through the most immediate relationship to the things [around]”11) contributed importantly to the critique of orthodox Functionalism.

The left intellectuals’ effort to link the revolution in art with the revolution in the society did not omit the women’s liberation. However, at least in inter-war Czechoslovakia, the avant-garde tried to solve this problem in the framework of liberating the mankind from the burden of capitalism, and gender played a rather secondary role in this struggle. Women thus paradoxically got a chance to become autonomous, free and respected subjects in the same moment when the value of individual authorship started to be disqualified. When Jindrich Chalupecký, one of the prominent Czech art critics, wrote after the war about the activities of the studio Pošepná – Vondrá4ková, he spoke about a revolutionary break-through of the moment when an artist gives up personal ambitions and creates great works of art in an absolute anonymity.12) Neither Chalupecký nor any other enthusiastic inter-war preachers of collectivism, who compared the artistic creativity to the production of working class or even rejected art as a bourgeois relic, did not think that anonymity was, for many centuries, a woman’s forced role, not her free choice. And, significantly, it were men, the creators of history, who were destined to free women of the old habits; the price for this “service” was clear – women were to accept and to spread the universal/ist ideology of functionality, pure utilitarism, and hence also the idea of nameless creativity. Men were privileged to fulfill great tasks, which women were to supplement. When Vondráèková criticized the lack of women’s labor in textile industry, she sincerely noted that it is a matter of course that “male workers […] aim to a larger span in modern tendencies, to a greater grandiosity in architecture and other [art] disciplines, and time then does not allow them to concentrate and continuously work on developing of textile techniques. Thus women are the ones who must invest their capabilities in this field.”13)

At the turn of the 1920s and 30s, the problems of dwelling were extremely popular among the left-wing intellectuals, and it is thus no surprise that women working in the area of applied and decorative arts received an unprecedented opportunity to use their talent. The youngest generation of Czech applied artists, represented by groups such as “Artel” or association “Krásná jizba” [Beautiful Chamber], promoted Teige’s slogan to substitute the old concept of art industry with dwelling industry. The studio Pošepná – Vondrácková intensively collaborated with Functionalist architects – they designed and produced curtains, hinges, bed spreads and sheets, carpets and table clothes for modern interiors. Helena Johnová designed smooth ceramic tea and coffee sets decorated with fine color lines, and Ludmila Smrèková became known for applied glass of geometric forms with wonderful optical qualities and smooth faset cuts. Jarmila Friedrichová was active in industrial design, and occupied herself for instance by designing modern radios. Another woman artist, Hana Kuèerová-Záveská, designed metal furniture and formally austere and highly functional interiors.14) Despite of apparent success of Czech women artists, art critics and writers kept alive the idea that women are obsessed with useless decorativism and adornment, and are the biggest obstacle for reaching the new life style. The caricature of Antonín Pelc entitled “Troubles with Constructivism” is perhaps a hyperbole; however, it well documents how stong was the stereotype about women’s conservatism. Pelc’s drawing published in 1932 in the journal Žijeme [We Live], the tribune of inter-war Functionalist design, represents a corpulent lady dressed in a long skirt with a flounce and wearing a hut decorated with a bow; she reaches her hands towards Ladislav Sutnar, a well known Czech graphic and product designer,15) and proudly shows him how her daughter, shyly hiddening behind her mother’s back, embellished his austere dish set. “Mr. Professor,” says the mother, “my little Mary frenzily loves your simple glass and porcelain forms. Look how nicely she has painted them with oil paint.”

Besides the above-mentioned journals Žijeme, or professional periodicals such as Stavba [Building] and Stavitel [Builder], some women’s magazines also promoted Functionalism in inter-war Czechoslovakia; the most interesting of them, Eva, regularly published studies about healthy life style, and focused on new style of interior design and furniture. However, no matter if such texts that followed a neo-industrial slogan of a “maximum of hygiene, functional use of material, low price, purposefulness and lightness” 16) were published in architectural and design periodicals or in women’s magazines, they had one aspect in common: they required a radical revision of both public and private space. The transformation of socio-economic order was to be connected with a fundamental revision of everyday life, and it therefore uncompromisingly intervened into the sphere that was hitherto scrupulously kept in secret – the intimacy of people’s home. Among the most radical examples of reconstructing life space were activities of Werkbund, the German association of designers and architects, that – as early as in 1914 – organized the exhibition “Haus der Frau” [The Woman’s Home]. It was here, at Werkbund, where originated Bruno Taut’s “bible” of modern dwelling, Die neue Wohnung [The New Dwelling] published in 1924. Taut considered home as a site for modern reform of life, and – as his book’s subtitle, “Die Frau als Schöpferin” [The Woman as a Creator], suggested – focused mainly on women. He called for cleaning the home from the surplus of decoration and bibelots that, according to him, take away the attention from such important aspects of dwelling such as hygiene and harmonious environment. He thought that the domestic interior overwhelmed by useless decorations is the source of women’s nervousness, incapability and fetishism, and offered a simple solution to woman’s tyranny of home, bad taste and love for old things: “There exists one undisprovable basic slogan for the ideal of dwelling […] that calls: Woman as a Creator!” He further asserted that “only a man can free a woman” thanks to “his freedom, vitality and readiness to board on a desired new path [of life].”17) In Taut’s opinion, woman was to start actively participating in improving the home in order making her domestic labor easier and her stay at home more enjoyable. There seemed to be nothing that could prevent any woman to become an artist, but her life and her work were limited to the sphere of domesticity and of taking care of household.

Vondrácková’s commentary on how Die neue Wohnung (translated to Czech in 1926) was enthusiastically accepted among her female colleagues documents that Taut’s book was admired by Czech artists, regardless of gender: “And we, the girls with shortly cut hair, also concentrate on arranging and furnishing apartments – we listen to the call of the architect Bruno Taut from Magdeburg: Let women to help! Or, New house – Women as Creators – or New apartment!!! What do you think about that, girls? […] New apartment? We resolutely start. Teige helps us; [it is] the era of sweeping all the junk from homes as well as offices and waiting rooms. And then [we take] a broom for sweeping the museum-like domestic interior [that looks like] pseudo-gothic fortress built from our mothers’ trousseau and from modernized biedermaier.”18) The excitement about overcoming the past was so great among Czech women artists, that it prevented them from noticing that the avant-garde program was itself deeply gender-biased, and that the motto “Woman as a creator of new house” is just a modernized version of the old Victorian model of domesticated femininity.

When Teige defined how art and poetry differ from mainstream and commercialized “pseudo-art” in his influential book Jarmark umení (Art Fair) published in 1936, he used a comparison with love: “Similarly as prostitution and bourgeois marriage exist besides real life […] which cannot be free because it is pursued by jealousy of hard laws and profit-oriented morality, also real and free poetry and art become a ‘bohemia’s child’, who is homeless in the dark ages of capitalist enslavement. The entire [today’s] poeticism searches for a refuge everywhere outside of the world, everywhere outside of the rottenness of the capitalist world: in spatial and temporal distances, in Tahiti or in Utopia. And just as there is no domestic love, there is also no domestic and domesticated art.”19) If art without a homebase – i.e. international and nomadic creativity – was the only true art, the creativity enclosed by four walls at home – the place that was so sincerely recommended to women – could not receive a comparable value and acknowledgement because domesticated art, according to Teige, had no spatial and temporal freedom and thus was not art at all.

Besides Taut’s Die neue Wohnung, it was Loos’s proto-Functionalist legacy that was among the most prominent ones in Czech inter-war culture. The crisis of ornament fulfilled in the work by the foremost avant-garde architects, and a number of important critics and theorists followed Loos’s path in other ways too. They started to explore issues related to the reform of dwelling, and also fashion (predominantly women’s fashion) became the “site” of their interest. Already since the beginning of the 20th century, the reform of women’s clothing was an important task of many medical experts, feminists and progressive intellectuals.20) Czech women fashion designers and journalists publishing in women’s periodicals uncompromisingly fought against the surviving popularity of corsets and of heavy and uncomfortable clothing fabrics.21) Although the clothing reform has been discussed already since the Art Nouveau era, male artists usually paid a little attention to it, and most of them considered the debates to be explicitly women’s business. However, when the first attempt to enforce the clothing reform appeared in the mid of the 1910s, one of the Czech architects, Pavel Janák, noted that “women cannot just change the way of clothing, unless they will change the way of life.”22) Janák as well as other male critics of the female “incapability”, did not take into consideration the most crucial fact that women could not change their life style when the social system did not allow them to take part in civic and political life, including the basic right to vote.23) Instead, they suggested that to change the women’s work and women’s fashion, “the most terrible chapter in cultural history that speaks about secret and mysterious perverse lust of mankind” (Loos), is the duty of men who are to show to women the right way of liberation.

In 1929, a group of Brno-based architects and intellectuals organized “The Exhibition of Modern Woman” [Výstava moderní ženy]. At the occasion of this event, Jan Vanek initiated and published a book focused on new forms of dwelling, Žena doma [Woman at Home]; it was significantly subtitled “We Look for a Woman with Intiative”, and followed by a catalogue Civilizovaná žena [Civilized Woman].

The catalogue Civilizovaná žena concentrated on issues of clothing reform and outlined a historical survey of women’s fashion. It fully adopted the ideas of Loos whose efforts for women’s emancipation were always ironically underlined by vulgar biological determinism. Loos’s denial of ornament as a sign of effeminacy, criminality and primitivism was echoed in Vanek’s essay “Žena konecne civilizovaná“ [Woman Finally Civilized]. “I have been feeling for a long time, and many other cultural people with me”, he wrote, “that women who have the same occupation as we, men, and who always dress according to the quirks of fashion, have to be counted – due to their exotic outfits – to the exotic species, along with colorful parrots or ornamentally adorned savages.”24) The unwillingness to accept gender, ethnic or racial differences, accompanied by self-confident claiming of mankind’s supremacy over the nature, consequently meant that women can be taken among civilized and cultured men only if they will overcome the burden of “feminine” thinking, i.e. if they will appropriate the model of manliness and will be “dressed in cultivate clothing” (Vanek). What was presented as a struggle for harmony and equal rights was, in reality, ultimate reinforcement of men’s sovereignty and gender discrimination. Considering how left-wing intellectuals in Czechoslovakia (and in many other European countries) stood up for non-European colonized nations and their rights for independence, while at the same time arrogantly talked about their lack of cultural foundations and about their degeneration, it becomes clear that the appeal to elevate all “others” onto the level of developed European civilization (represented by white men) was not based on a dialogue with “otherness” but, on the contrary, on the universalist monologue with “sameness”. In other words, the voice of “exotic species” could be heard only under the condition that they accept the uniformity of clothing, wash make-up from their faces and colors from their bodies, and will speak the language of happy classless society of the future.

In Žijeme from 1931, the comparison between women and “primitives” explicitly appears in a couple of photographs illustrating the article “Prehistorie a standard” [Prehistory and Standard] written by Jirí Mahen. On the left, we see a fragment of a photographic portrait of a white European woman wearing a luxurious pearl necklace; the right picture shows a fragment of a photograph depicting a woman from Congo, whose dark body is embellished around the waist by three lines of pearls. Mahen comments both similarity and contrast between the two pictures, and writes: “Standard will never succeed among masses, unless you will unteach them the prehistoric rubbish that exists inside of all of us, and that makes people to ignore everything what a cultured person wants. Prehistoric rubbish is especially developed by all those people who we would want to help to ascend from poverty up to the light, and it is such a strong feature [of their character] that it is totally unbelievable. […] I do not think that you would convince a mediocre person to invest 5 crowns for buying a shaving brush, when he can buy for the same price a seductive and sparkling ‘thing’ with which his daughter will make a jungle speechless.”25)

The opinion that women can cope with the requirements of developed civilization only when they fully adopt the male model of reality could be found in miscellaneous periodicals published in Czechoslovakia at the turn of the 1920s and 30s – from avant-garde and politically engaged journals to fashion and, ironically, even women’s magazines. In 1929, Eva – a journal known for promoting women’s emancipation in all spheres of professional and private life, published for example an essay by S. V. Brejník entitled “Od dedictví barbaru k gentlemanství” [From the Heritage of Barbarians to Gentlemanliness]. The author writes that “the heritage of barbarians is used up until today, and mainly women profit from it”, and he ads that in order the life of future generations could reach a real peak, it will be necessary to install a masculine model of organization as a “gentlemanliness of both spirit and body”.26)

Identification with the side of the “strong ones” certainly gave women artists a possibility to participate in building new life style, and it also provided them an illusion of equality. Women active in avant-garde circles adopted the ideals of modern dwelling and clothing, and some of them even showed up occasionally in the public cressed a la garçonne. The 1920s was an era characteristic for unprecedented transformation of social and cultural codes of femininity that could be found in art, popular culture, film and science. To acknowledge uniformity could be perhaps understood as an expression of women’s emancipation; however, in the modern age, when the tension between individualism and collectivism culminated, such a move towards universalism (which was nevertheless gendered male) was likely to end up in a loss of identity. Moreover, women identification with “gentlemanliness” without challenging its gender biases and stereotypes meant to accept chauvinist ideas about woman’s inclination to nature and her backwardness; I dare to say that even such a false picture – an illusion, in fact – of the civilized woman disqualified most pre- but also post-war attempts to introduce a truly critical feminist discourse in Czech art and architectural history.

Notes:
1)    F. X. Šalda, Nová krása: Její geneze a charakter [New Beauty: Its Genesis and Character], Volné smery VII, 1903, p. 117.
2)    For more see Martina Pachmanova, Neznámá území ceského moderního umení: Pod lupou genderu [Unknown Territories of Czech Modern Art: Through the Looking Glass of Gender]. Prague: Argo 2004.
3)    Josef Chochol, K funkci architektonického clánku” [About the Function of the Architectural Element], Styl 5, 1913, pp. 93 – 94.
4)    Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime, quoted in Mark Wigley, White Walls, Designer Dressses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press 1995.
5)    Compare with Martina Pachmanová, Pohlaví a avantgarda [Gender and Avant-Garde], Ateliér 20/1998, p. 2, 10.
6)    While this paper focuses more on fashion and interior design, I discussed the problems of Czech Functionalist architecture elsewhere. See Martina Pachmanová, Collective Desires: Czech Inter-War Avant-Garde and the Production of ‘Degendered’ Space, Umení / Art XLVIII/2000, No. 4.
7)    Quoted in Magdalena Droste, Bauhaus 1919 – 1933. Köln: Taschen Verlag 1990, p.41. For more on Bauhaus from the gender perspective, see for instance Christiane Keim, Der Bauhausdirektor, das Meisterhaus und seine Frauen, in: Katharin Hoffmann-Curtins – Silke Wenk (eds.), Mythen von Authorschaft und Weiblichkeit im 20. Jahrnundert. Marburg: Jonas Verlag 1997; Anja Baumhof, Zwischen Berufung und Beruf: Frauen am Bauhaus, in: Profession ohne Tradition: 125 Jahre Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen. Berlin: Berlinische Galerie 1992 [catalogue], etc.zz
8)    Hans Hildebrandt, Die Frau als Künstlerin. Berlin: Rudolf Mosse Buchverlag 1928.
9)    Slávka Vondrácková, Jarmark umení 9, March 1994, p. 9. Vondrácková was the representative of the second generation of Artel, a group of decorative artists that was established in 1908, and promoted Cubism in the area of furniture, glass, ceramics, and interior design.
10)    Ibid.
11)    Jaroslava Vondrácková, Bytová textilie [Home Textile Design], in: Výtvarné snahy 1927 – 28, p. 135.
12)    Jindrich Chalupecký, Božena Pošepná. Prague 1951, p. 3 [catalogue].
13)    Vondrácková, p. 9.
14)    Compare for instance with Alena Adlerová, Ceský funkcionalismus 1920 – 1940: Bytové zarízení [Czech Functionalism 1920 – 1940: Interior Design]. Prague: Museum of Decorative Arts 1978 [catalogue].
15)    For more information about the life and work of L. Sutnar see a remarkable and comprehensive monography Iva Janákova (ed.), Ladislav Sutnar. Prague: Museum of Decorative Arts, 2002.
16)    Predpoklady a zásady vnitrních zarízení [Premises and Principles of Interior Equipment], Stavba IV, 1925 – 26, p. 35 [editorial].
17)    Bruno Taut, Die neue Wohnung: Die Frau als Schöpferin. Leipzig: Klinghardt & Biermann 1924, p. 99.
18)    Vondrácková, p. 9.
19)    Karel Teige, Jarmark umeni. Prague: Ceskoslovenský spisovatel 1964, p. 55 [orig. 1936].
20)    Beside A. Loos, it was mainly Henry van de Velde who, as early as in 1900, organized a ground-breaking show “Die künstlerische Hebung der Frauentracht” [….]. Both architects, Loos and Velde, were strongly influenced by theories of a German physician, Paul Schultze-Naumburg, an advocate of nudist culture, preacher of racial purity, and author of the well-known book Die Kultur des weiblichen Körpers als Grundlage der Frauenkleidung [The Culture of Female Body as a Basis of Women’s Clothing], Leipzig: Diederich 1901.
21)    See for instance Eliška Vozábová, Vliv tisnícího odìvu na ženské choroby [The Impact of Tight Dress on Women’s Sicknesses], in: Kalendár paní a dívek ceskych [Callendar of Czech Women and Girls]. Prague: J. Otto 1908; Magda Bílá, O ženách, móde a umení [On Women, Fashion and Art], Ornamenty 1/1913, I, p. 1, etc.
22)    Pavel Janak quoted by Eva Uchalová, Ceská móda: Od valcíku po tango, 1870 – 1918 [Czech Fashion: From Waltz to Tango, 1870 – 1918]. Praha 1997, p. 105.
23)    The general women’s voting right was accepted in 1918 when the First Czechoslovak Republic was established.
24)    Jan Vanek, Žena konecne civilizovaná [Woman Finally Civilized], in: Civilizovaná žena [Civilized Woman]. Brno: Jan Vanek 1929, p. 7.
25)    Jirí Mahen, Prehistorie a standard [Prehistory and Standard], in: Žijeme 1931, I, no. 7, pp. 193, 194.
26)    S. V. Brejník, Od dedictví barbaru k gentlemanství [From the Heritage of Barbarians to Gentlemanliness], Eva 1, 1929, no. 12, p. 19.

The text is a reduced version of the Chapter II of my book Neznámá území ceského moderního umení: Pod lupou genderu [Unknown Territories of Czech Modern Art: Through the Looking Glass of Gender], Prague: Argo 2004.