Author of the exhibition: Jelena Perać MA, Senior Curator, Department of Photography and Applied Graphics
Since the time when they emerged in the third quarter of the nineteenth century, picture postcards – “illustrated post cards”, had been broadly distributed as visual material and they constituted significant part of the modern times visual culture. They belonged to that body of new visual media which were introduced in the nineteenth century. Introduction of picture postcards in our country actually dovetailed the introduction of picture films and the photographs were their great forerunner and source in the nineteenth century.
The 1895-1914 period is the time when picture postcards first emerged and were produced in the Kingdom of Serbia, i.e. it is the period of their appearance, development and broad distribution. The first series of picture postcards in Serbia was issued by the Belgrade bookshop of Velimir Valožić in 1895, soon to be followed by many series of this and other publishers.
The exhibition Picture Postcards in Serbia 1895-1914 is an attempt to treat and evaluate them as unique visual artefacts with function and meaning in the given cultural-historical and artistic context. Being a new, popular visual form massively produced and distributed, picture postcards were a powerful communication means and their function and effects in the public at the end of the nineteenth century could in many aspects be compared to the role taken over by mass electronic and digital media.
It is the function of picture postcards as means of mass communication that is the focal point of the exhibition presentation including the comprehensive paper of the author Jelena Perać. There are 367 exhibits displayed – picture postcards kept in collections of the Museum of Applied Art, National Library of Serbia and the Library of the City of Belgrade as well as in the private collection of Mr. Milorad Jurišić. They cover the following segments:
- Topographical picture postcards (urban public space, public edifices, public monuments landscapes views)
- Commemorating and topical postcards (public celebrations, pictures from the war)
- Portraits on picture postcards (portraits of famous people and heroes, images of ordinary people)
- Picture postcards – reproductions of works of art
- Advertisments on picture postcards
The exhibition is completed with a representative publication – catalogue containing a comprehensive analytical paper, copious choice of illustrations and the catalogue list. Prof. Dr. Miroslav Timotijević in his review of the paper of J. Perać said it had been based on systematic researches and shows profound knowledge of the related literature while methodologically resting on modern theories of visual culture.
Author of this most elegant display is arch. Bojana Djurović and Dragana Lacmanović gewts the credit for the sophisticated graphic design of the catalogue.