CZY TYLKO PROWENIENCJA? O METODOLOGII I NARRATOLOGICZNYM UJĘCIU W BADANIACH NAD KOLEKCJONERSTWEM NA PRZYKŁADZIE KOLEKCJI BRONISŁAWA KRYSTALLA
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Studies on collecting are indispensably accompanied by questions on the methodology of research. The circle of art historians and museum professionals has established the conviction that they are mainly linked to provenance studies. However, in the 1980s, mainly within the Anglo-American humanities, there was a discussion on the social and cultural conditions of objects in humanities, which was also of significant importance for studies on collecting. The incorporation of such currents of thought as constructivism, deconstruction, textualism and narratology, as already applied in literature studies, philosophy and sociology, has broadened the scope of the meanings analysed, and has opened up the perspective of interdisciplinary studies. The article presents different methodological stances, which mainly discuss the issue whether it is possible to extend the notion of narration, if so to what degree, and whether objects may become a narration or whether they may tell a story. From the semiological perspective, the collector’s narration starts when a series of random acquisitions or gifts becomes a meaningful sequence – it is when a collector becomes a narrator who creates a kind of semiotics for the narration devoted to various problems, those of identity, history and transience, etc. A perfect illustration for the potential of narrative research methodology is its application in the case of Bronisław Krystall, a collector and patron of the arts from Warsaw, whose life and activity was briefly described. Krystall created his collection mainly in the inter-war period, focusing first on contemporary sculpture, in order to gradually extend his interest with paintings, graphics and crafts. At the beginning, aesthetic reasons in Krystall’s activity prevailed over other motives, and over time the narration of collecting was dominated by the desire to obtain a place in the collective memory, as evidenced by his donations to the National Museum in Warsaw among others. Amassing sacral art was of particular significance for Krystall as it was initiated by personal tragedies (the death of his wife and son). Collecting provided Krystall with his own way of fulfilling his needs, not only aesthetically but also spiritually and religiously, which, together with the overlapping motive of commemorating the death of his loved ones, constitutes an eschatological expression of the collection.
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