2005
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Tales of masters

This is the name of an exhibition of two important masters of folk art production - Jozef Lenhart and Juraj Leporis. It is open from mid November to the twentieth of January next year at the ÚĽUV Gallery in Bratislava. The tales of Jozef Lenhart and Juraj Leporis talks about the continuous line that connects their current master craftsmen’s ability with their childhood, the place where it started to be created. They belong to a generation that lived through the natural transfer of craft abilities and skills in the environment where they were growing up. Their emotional connection with their craft and work is therefore very significant, underlined with personal reminiscences of their family and others who created the basis for their professional work. The detail=orientation that characterizes traditional production closely connected with the functionality of objects is reflected to the last letter in the work of both masters.

Juraj LeporisJuraj Leporis (1925) comes from a family of building and furniture carpenters, turners and carvers. However, his father died when he was ten years old, and he learnt the craft alone in his father’s workshop as well as in classes with a local carpentry master. After WWII in 1945 he started his own business, but in 1950 the state regime cancelled his business. He continued his work as a labourer to maintain the machines, while he practised the craft of turning at home. In 1960 he contacted the Centre for Folk Art Production and started to cooperate with it as a producer. Since 1962 he has devoted himself only to this craft as a producer of this cultural organization. In 1982 he received the title of master of folk art production.

Jozef LenhartJozef Lenhart (1920) comes from old shepherding family, and in this environment he became acquainted in detail with the art of shepherds. From 1950 to 1980 he worked as a restorer in the museum in Bojnice. After the establishment of ÚĽUV, he became one of its first producers. The wide and varied products of Jozef Lenhart come from the shepherds’ art. The most well known are his large milk beakers as well as small wooden milk beakers, milk vessels, wooden spoons, various forms, forms for cheese, greybeards and salt shakers. Jozef Lenhart is a self-learner in producing items made of metal and leather as well as the creation of musical instruments. His wide multi-buckle belts and narrow belts, shepherd’s bags, shoes are very typical. We also need to mention whips, axes, whistles and chalumeaux, bagpipes, wrist jewellery and rings. He can process wood, metal and leather very well as well as keratin and antlers. Jozef Lenhart’s products are either copies of older works or, more frequently, these works are actually his inspirational source. Only sparsely are they enriched with new examples. His works were often used as props in folk groups, films and theatres. Jozef Lenhart is one of the first producers holding the title of master of folk production.

 


Further articles magazine Craft, Art, Design 04/2005: