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Exhibition

Bags
from the 19th and the early 20th century from the collection of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade

23 February – 26 March 2016
Pančevo National Museum

Opening ceremony: Tuesday, February 23 2016 at 7 pm

Curator of the exhibition: Draginja Maskareli, senior curator of the MAA

Organized by: Pančevo National Museum and the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade

Bags

Since the earliest times, bags were a useful addition to clothing worn both by men and women. Through history, the emergence of modern bags was preceded by a series of various types, from medieval pouches attached to a belt, through 18th-century pockets, pocket books and workbags for handwork accessories, to coin purses of the 19th century.

The emancipation of women in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries left a significant imprint on the development of bags that we use and know today. A more significant participation of women in the business world and their increasing mobility gave rise to bags of large sizes and various types, ranging from business and travel bags, to day-to-day handbags and elegant evening bags.

The content of bags, which has changed over time, is also an important part of their history. Money, make-up and handkerchiefs have continued to be carried in them, whereas handwork accessories have disappeared because women have long ceased to do embroidery when socializing. Over time, new items have become part of their contents: banknotes and coins have been joined by credit cards, make-up sets have gradually increased, while hand-embroidered linen handkerchiefs have been replaced by packs of paper tissues. Various electronic devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, have taken the place previously occupied by handwork accessories, whereas cigarettes, which entered women's bags in the 1920s as an expression of women's struggle for freedom and equality, have been expelled from them over the past decade in accordance with the current trend of a healthy lifestyle.

Unlike shoes, which eventually adjust to the feet of the person wearing them, a bag becomes a projection of a personality through the way in which it is used. The bags held in the collections of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade date from the period between the second half of the 19th century and present. The bags from the Museum’s holdings were mostly worn in Serbia and within the Balkan region and they were part of the family heritage of their previous owners.

The exhibition Bags (from the 19th and the early 20th centuries from the collection of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade), presents thirty-three bags from the holdings of the Museum’s departments of Textile and Costume and Metal and Jewellery. These are bags of various types and purposes from the 19th and the early decades of the 20th century: coin purses, workbags for handwork accessories, handbags, evening bags and theatre purses. The exhibited items reflect the development of bags in Serbia, offering an insight into a variety of materials and manufacturing techniques, such as metal mesh, beads, leather, crochet or embroidery in half cross-stitch (petit point).

Photographs of the bags
Workbag
Austria-Hungary, Vienna, late 19th century; leather, metal, rep; 8×14.5×6.5 cm; MAA accession no. 16142
According to the inscription inside the pertaining notebook, the workbag was given to an unknown person by the Princess Jelena Karadjordjević in Vienna in 1900.
Workbag
Austria-Hungary, Vienna, late 19th century; leather, metal, rep; 8×14.5×6.5 cm; MAA accession no. 16142
According to the inscription inside the pertaining notebook, the workbag was given to an unknown person by the Princess Jelena Karadjordjević in Vienna in 1900.
Bag
Serbia, around 1880; muslin, Brussels lace, tulle, beads, sequins; embroidery; 24×22 cm; MAA accession no. 1953
Theatre bag
France, early 20th century; leather, metal, glass, bone; bag: 6×10 cm, opera glasses: 4.5×8.5 cm; MAA accession no. 15503
Belonged to the family of Colette Janković, a wife of the artist Dušan Janković.
Theatre bag
France, early 20th century; leather, metal, glass, bone; bag: 6×10 cm, opera glasses: 4.5×8.5 cm; MAA accession no. 15503
Belonged to the family of Colette Janković, a wife of the artist Dušan Janković.
Coin purse
France, Paris, late 19th century; tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, metal, leather, silk; painting; 5×7 cm; MAA accession no. 10986
Coin purse
France, Paris, late 19th century; tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, metal, leather, silk; painting; 5×7 cm; MAA accession no. 10986
Bag
Serbia, early 20th century; beads, silk, cord, cotton thread; embroidery; 25×21 cm; MAA accession no. 9714
Given by Dr. Radivoje Spiridonović from Belgrade.
Bag with the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Serbia
South Serbia, first quarter of the 20th century; beads; embroidery; 19×16 cm; MAA accession no. 22734
Given by Velislava and Darko Vidanović from Belgrade.
Bag
Early 20th century; linen, woolen thread, metal, glass, enamel; embroidery, casting; 13×16 cm; MAA accession no. 9982
Bag
Austria-Hungary, Vienna, around 1918; linen, woolen thread, metal, glass, enamel, embroidery, casting; 17×19×8 cm; MAA accession no. 22635
Belonged to the mother of the previous owner, Ana Jevrić (b. Radivojević-Vačić) from Belgrade, a wife of Srbislav Jevrić, director of the Banking and Commercial Joint Stock Company.
Bag
Western Europe, first quarter of the 20th century; silver, sapphire; silver mesh, casting; maker’s mark: M?; import mark of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; 21×12 cm; MAA accession no. 9698
Given by Dr. Radivoje Spiridonović from Belgrade.
Bag
Western Europe, first quarter of the 20th century; silver, sapphire; silver mesh, casting; maker’s mark: M?; import mark of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; 21×12 cm; MAA accession no. 9698
Given by Dr. Radivoje Spiridonović from Belgrade.
Bag
Russia, early 20th century; silver, sapphire, leather, mirror; casting, engraving; maker’s mark: ЩV; 10.5×15 cm; MAA accession no. 5282
Bag
Russia, early 20th century; silver, sapphire, leather, mirror; casting, engraving; maker’s mark: ЩV; 10.5×15 cm; MAA accession no. 5282
Bag
Austria-Hungary, Bosnia, late 19th – early 20th century; metal thread, cloth, linen; embroidery; 13×18 cm; MAA accession no. 15509

Authors of the photographs:
Veselin Milunović, Veljko Džikić, Nikola Mitić

Exhibition Opening Video

Radio-Television of Vojvodina

Bags - from the 19th and the early 20th century from the collection of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade