2014
RUD 2014-1 | RUD 2014-2

Carpentry understanding and Symbol of Life

Monika Pavelčíková

Carpentry understanding and Symbol of LifeĽubovnianske Museum – Castle in Stará Ľubovňa maintains an exceptional collection of 44 joists (beams supporting the ceiling or floor) including fragments of traditionally built houses from northern Spiš and Šariš, dating back to the 18th-20th century. This important collection was put together by ethnographer of the museum, Ján Lazorík, from 1977 to 1985. Part of the collection of beams along with documents describing the work of the carpentry masters around Stará Ľubovňa were presented at the exhibition "Carpentry Understanding and Symbol of Life" (May – September 2013) in the baroque castle of Ľubovňa.
The joists were placed transversely through the building, forming parts of the ceiling. Decorations of different parts of the beam were kept in their original positions. In the decoration of the underside of the beams, a prevalent motif was the sun, rosettes, and the ring of sun with cross emblems and individual crosses. On another side of the beam, is usually carved the year of construction, the owner's name, or the founder of the building from which the beam originated. In the middle of the dating is often the rosette and IHS (initials of Jesus Christ). The names of masters could be found here from the 19th century on.
Ceiling beams, except for building support, also had magical and protective functions as well as decorative purpose. The richness of their decoration and design was a matter of prestige of the family. In the folk culture environment, the use of these beams can also be traced to use at family ceremonies.

 

 

Further articles magazine Craft, Art, Design 01/2014:

 

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