O SATOVIMA IZ ZBIRKE MUZEJA VOJVODINE
ON CLOCKS FROM THE COLLECTION IN THE MUSEUM OF VOJVODINA
Journal 1/2005 (Museum of Applied Art), pages 93-97
The collection of clocks in The Museum of Vojvodina has been built through a long-lasting process of collecting, and with its stylistic and artful craftsmanship it gives an insight into the development of clocks in Vojvodina over two centuries.
The Museum has been interested in clocks, objects of a narrowly defined use, primarily because of their artistic, namely visual and stylistic characteristics. The criterion and the principle of acquisition led to the purchase and the collection of the objects that were made or used in Vojvodina. They were bought directly from the families, their heirs or collectors from this region. The clocks come from wealthy families, where they were preserved as marks of certain times that cherished the taste for art objects and their luxurious appearance. As an object clearly utilitarian in character, in a domestic ambience clock was also a decorative object with artistic design that reflected the taste as well as the social status of the commissioner.
The oldest clocks in the collection, the Baroque tower clock and Rococo and Classicist tabernacle clocks, come from 18th century. The need for clocks grew with the pace of everyday life at the beginning of the 19th century, and it was reflected in a rich typology of clocks during the Bidermaier, the last grand style. After the Neo-Rococo, there comes a period of stylistic disintegration that led to the retrospection of historic styles in every area of the applied arts.
With industrialization in the second half of the 19th century, wide masses of people needed an accurate, movable and cheap clock, the principal function of which consisted in its being an alarm clock. The alarm clock was the first mass-produced functional clock. The Collection features the alarm clocks of famous European firms, such as Junghans, Kintzl, Gustav Becker, Doksa and Zenith.
An example of the late Middle European Secession also exists in the Collection, and an example of Art Deco clock represents the clean and bold forms in harmony with „the aesthetic of the machine“.
After the Second World War, clocks tend to grow smaller. The electric clocks, either the battery operated ones or the plugged- in ones, grew popular. The industrial production in Yugoslavia – in the beginning limited to alarm clocks, and to be extended to the production of the wall, desk and street clocks – starts at the beginning of the 50’s, with opening of the „Insa“ clock factory in Zemun. Thus clocks ceased to be an imported luxury item.
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