• Eager to present their cultural assets, most nations in Eastern Europe, while ruled by foreign empires, were setting up museums from the 19th century on. With many of them attaining national sovereignty in the 20th century only, the museum expansion in this region has been taking new twists and turns to date. Much of this development has relied on private initiatives, even under Communism when defiant cohorts of the suppressed civil society helped art patronage survive. By spanning two-hundred years and integrating numerous case studies, this volume examines public institutions and private collections in their historical progress and in a coherent, unified approach, as equal pillars of national heritage as much as of contemporary art.

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