The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Bronze is beautiful …but where was Plecnik?

Just been to the wonderful Bronze exhibition at the Royal Academy– full of amazing things, beautifully displayed and altogether uplifting and inspiring…  but not much C20, apart from the very obvious (one Moore/one Hepworth/ those vast Matisse plaques of girl’s backs from the Tate — I’d like to cast one or two of those in concrete and install them in my garden….) .    It feels a bit churlish to say “why didn’t you include…..”  but I am going to anyway….  I personally would have added these fab door handles from the National and University Library in Ljubljana. The building was  constructed in 1941, and is one of architect Jože Plečnik’s best known works— I’d like to have made the point that, as in earlier centuries, bronze was still used for decorative objects in the C20 that were (and are) regularly touched.   These handles look and feel great–and I love the fact that they go shiny showing where they’ve been grasped  …. but I’m hoping they are firmly still where they belong .   I guess the fact that I’ve been thinking about them, is partly what the exhibition sets out to achieve anyway….. anyone else want to nominate their favourite C20 example?


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