Dozent Jin Mašin, art historian and teacher, died a year ago (27 May 1923 – 17 March 1991). His work at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague always included the field of restoration. He took a degree in history of art and aesthetics at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague (1945-49). He began work at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1959, at the time when Professor Bohuslav Slánský was still active there; first as external teacher, from 1964 as lecturer and in the years 1968-1973 as Dozent. In his lee tures he concentrated on the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Baroque and he ran special courses in the School of Restoration and Painting Techniques. All his life his main centre of work was the National Gallery in Prague. Dr Ladislav Kesner, the Director of the Gallery, sent AHVT a detailed study, from which the following excerpts derive:

»In a long series of exhibitions at home and abroad Masin's attitude to and sense for artistic quality, historical value and the state and needs of a work of art became refined in natural manner. Interest in contemporary work proved the profound inner logic of continuty and artistic tradition and the ethnic need to give care to works of the distant past as those of recent days. For that reason Masin's approach to problems of restoration grew out of his own knowledge and personal responsibility as well as profound respect for the professionalism of others.
This is perhaps best exemplified on Masin's relationship and respect for the work of Professor B. Slánský, which over the years grew into close personal ties.

  

Professor Slánský was as founder of the School of Restoration responsible for developing in Mašin valid moral and expert criteria of the purpose and work of restoration. Daily contact at the Gallery and collaboration with Professor Slánský s follower Mojmír Hamsík at the National Gallery ensured that these norms were no mere prerequisites but served practical everyday experiences and needs...

Anyone who know Jiří Mašin really well knows that this proverbial everypresent liveliness hid the inner sorrow of a truly spiritual person. I cannot but end this miniature reminiscence by recalling for his friends and students, his colleagues and collaborators among the ranks of restorers, the passing of time. The passing of time that brought an end to the unforgettable meetings every year on »Professor's Day« at the Hradčany flat of the Slánský family when Jiří Mašin was always among us.«

  author
Ladislav Kesner, Ph. D.

And to this reminiscence we, the students of Dozent Mašin, would like to add our own experiences: his lectures provided direct contact between the idea of a work of art and the material from which it was created – that is, a direct attitude to historical art technology, whose development he encouraged as our teacher.

annk (T.G.)