0269 Altering the Titles of Artworks for New Functions. Two Plaster Groups by Josip Urbanija (1877–1943)

  • Karin Šmid (Author)

    Karin Šmid graduated with a master’s degree in art history and history from the University in Maribor (2019). In her master’s thesis, supervised by Dr. Barbara Murovec, she analysed the Slovenian sculptor Josip Urbanija (1877–1943) in the period of the First World War. From January until June 2020 she worked on the HERA project "Transfer of Cultural Objects in the Alpe Adria Region in the 20th Century" funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 649307.

Identifiers (Article)


Slovenian sculptor Josip Urbanija (1877–1943) received his initial training in workshops in Ljubljana, Selce pri Škofji Loki and Klagenfurt, then he studied with Hans Bitterlich at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna shortly before the First World War. He spent the war years in Bosnia, where he completed two monuments. After the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy, he settled permanently in Vienna. This is partly the reason why his life and work have hardly been researched and are almost unknown. The aim of the present study is to provide insight into the origin of two monumental sculptural groups initially named Quelle (Water Spring) and Tunnelbrecher (Tunnel Breaker). In addition, it also discusses later names of the two plaster artworks and examines what they reveal about the intended functions of the sculptures.


Josip Urbanija, early 20th century, Ljubljana, Krainer Landhaus, monumental sculpture, plaster group