About the Project

The project is based on the fact that five brothers from the Straub family were in the 18th century leading sculptors in several cities in present-day Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. The eldest son Johann Baptist Straub (1704–1784) had his workshop in Munich, Philipp Jakob Straub (1706–1774) in Graz, Joseph Straub (1712–1756) in Maribor, Johann Georg Straub (1721–1773) in Bad Radkersburg and the youngest son Franz Anton (1726–1774/76) lived and worked in Zagreb. The artists came from the same sculpture and joinery workshop in Wiesensteig, run by their father Johann Georg (1674–1755) from whom they received the initial education. They enhanced their knowledge and artistic skills, as well as the local levels of artistic production, interacting with the cultural environments they worked in. They achieved remarkable success largely because of the top-grade technical basis, as well as to their exceptional adaptability to the expectations of the communities they worked for. The latter factor, combined with their individual talents, led to considerable variations within their common Rococo vocabulary.

So far, the opus of the Straub family has only been studied at the national level. The project aims at studying the opus of the family members as an artistic and historical unit demonstrating the development and adaptability of the style and the production level of the founding workshop. To achieve this, the project utilizes a single team of experts consisting of researchers from the four countries instead of mere exchange of results of their particular locally focused researches. This is achieved by assembling the researchers from various countries to study together each artwork on site, examining both the artwork and the results of researches obtained so far. Moreover, various disciplines and their respective methods are exercised simultaneously by the entire research team seeking consilience.

The comparative research would cast light on the importance of the Straub family in shaping and propagating the Rococo stylistic features in the framework of the Central European art. The research focuses on the social, political and cultural foundations that brought about reshaping the style in a way specific for each of the studied communities. In order to cover the topic, additional archival research has to be carried out, combined with a comparative study of design, materials and technology.

The goal of the project is to create a catalog of the works of art attributed to the Straub family members. The four countries share some of the similar social, historical and cultural development, therefore many common problems can be detected. The comparative evaluation of preservation and conservation-restoration strategies, which differ considerably from country to country, will be the basis for building a platform of sustainable conservation for this kind of heritage. This means that the artworks have to be presented in a way that makes them accessible to a wide public, including the groups of different social background, age and health status.

The project TrArS was designed to interconnect and intensify the cooperation between European experts and institutions in the field of protection of cultural heritage, to enhance the mobility of the experts, to promote the exchange of ideas and to interweave the culture and the science to bring the outcomes to the wide public.

This project has been funded with the support from the European Commission, as well as the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and Arts.