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A dyeing shop in the village of Hranovnica

by Monika Tkáčová

Feather bed with hunting motifsElemír Montško from Hranovnica (a village situated around 8 km southwards from the town of Poprad) was one of the last blueprint printers in the Spiš region. His dyeing shop remained open until the 1970s. The shop was founded at the turn of 19th and 20th century, when the Spiš region benefited from many blueprint shops. Elemír Montško assumed the family trade and when his younger sister Cecilia joined him, they developed the work of their farther. The siblings sacrificed their lives to blueprint. They never married and left no descendants. E. Montško was an entrepreneur until January 1953. Then, he had to resign the trading activity and began to produce blueprint garments for the Centre for Folk Art Production in 1955. When 74-year old Elemír died in 1974, the last blueprint shop in the Spiš region died with him.

The Museum of Tatras Region in Poprad purchased the shop including its equipment in 1980. Over 900 blueprint moulds were preserved. The Resurrection of Jesus from around the 19th century is perhaps the most valuable mould in the collection. The mould was used for curtains separating mothers after childbirth and for ordinary curtains in the Spiš region and as bed linen until 1945.

Elemír Montško specialised in printing skirts for women from Važec which are, according to an expert on blueprint craft Josef Vydra, the top of printing and dyeing art.

A mangle appeared as part of the Hranovnica blueprint shop. Now, the mangle is one of several preserved mangles in Slovakia. In 2003, the village of Hranovnica acquired ownership of the blueprint shop, a house of the Montško family and the mangle room and promised to reconstruct them. The Museum of Tatras Region retained the possession of the equipment of the shop and the mangle itself. The museum and the village plan to renew the shop and the mangle room and open it to public as a permanent exhibition. Unfortunately, funds for the reconstruction have not been identified yet.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 02/2008:


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