Collecting Experience in the 1930s. Indonesian and Pacific collections of Růžena Charlotta Urbanová in the National Museum
This study focusses on the collections made by Růžena Charlotta Urbanová during her travels in the 1930s. Her journey took her through some of the islands of the Pacific, as well as many parts of the Dutch East Indies, and the varied collection reflects the material produced locally at that period. It includes textiles, paintings, puppets, bark cloth, wood carving, metalwork, jewellery and basketry. Exquisite and rare items are complemented by souvenirs made for tourists and mundane objects bought in the local market. The book explores the history of the collection, as well as considering how the material relates to Urbanová’s life and work. The study shows that Urbanová, like many others, valued and preserved a whole range of material, not just prestigious art objects. As she travelled, she gained experience and gathered objects which told of that experience. The collection thus speaks as much of human experience as it does of art.