Marina Cvetković
Ethnologist, Ethnographic Museum, Belgrade


Journal 2/2006 (Museum of Applied Art), pages 53-64

745 : 929 Суботић С.

Abstract (original language):
Savka Subotić je ostavila trag o svom bogatom životu i javnom delovanju u multikulturnoj Slavoniji i Vojvodini u drugoj polovini XIX i na početku XX veka. Aktivno radi na afirmaciji i modernizaciji tradicionalne ženske tekstilne radinosti. Učestvuje na domaćim i međunarodnim izložbama. Na Zemaljskoj izložbi u Pešti (1885) izlaže predmete, inspirisane etnomotivima, koje je ona kreirala. Imala je sledbenike u praksi i na teorijskom polju.

Key words: (original language)
ženski pokret, tekstilne ruko-tvorine, afirmacija, reforme, izložba, priznanja, sledbenici

This paper revisits the role and contribution of Mrs. Savka Subotić (1834–1918), a prominent public personality, a versatile, educated citizen of Novi Sad in the cultural development of multicultural Vojvodina and Slavonija in the second half of the 19th century. Written sources indicate her important role in the recognition and reform of traditional textile crafts, part of the Serbian material cultural heritage. The paper underlines the fact that Savka Subotić, according to what we have learnt so far, is the first woman in our region to engage in textile design inspired by ethnic motifs.

The conceptual basis of her work comprises very original, at the time quite advanced but also utopian views on the revival of domestic industry. She believed that the recognition and reform of these crafts would encourage and improve the economy, family standard of living, and, consequently, the status and standard of living for women, creators of these handicrafts. This, in turn, would enable the strengthening of the national economy and national culture. These ideas were in line with the efforts for national independence and, therefore, in line with the struggle for a better status of women in the society.

Intent on putting her ideas to practice, she was tirelessly exploring women's handicrafts around Slavonija and Srem countryside. She participated in the National Exhibition held in Budapest in 1885 where she displayed textile objects made after her design (parts and accessories of the town costume and town room furniture). These objects are inspired by traditional textile handicrafts and decorated with ethnic motifs.

She also deserves credit for the reforms made on the linen from which parts of traditional folk costumes were made. These reforms were implemented in the folk costumes of Srem and Slavonija.

She also had followers in the theoretical field. She was a role model for Jelica Bernadzikovska and influenced Dragutin Inkiostri Medenjak and Vid Vuletić Vukasović. The data on textile handicrafts that she left are still valid and used by modern experts for traditional and artistic textile crafts.

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