Geiger, V. & Leček, S. (2020). ''Bog čuva Jugoslaviju'' : politička i ideološka pozadina dizajna i ikonografije novčanica Kraljevine SHS/Jugoslavije. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest. Retrieved from https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:001712.
Geiger, Vladimir and Suzana Leček. ''Bog čuva Jugoslaviju'' : politička i ideološka pozadina dizajna i ikonografije novčanica Kraljevine SHS/Jugoslavije. Zagreb, Hrvatski institut za povijest, 2020. https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:001712.
Geiger, Vladimir and Suzana Leček. ''Bog čuva Jugoslaviju'' : politička i ideološka pozadina dizajna i ikonografije novčanica Kraljevine SHS/Jugoslavije. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest, 2020. https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:001712.
Geiger, V. and Leček, S. (2020) ''Bog čuva Jugoslaviju'' : politička i ideološka pozadina dizajna i ikonografije novčanica Kraljevine SHS/Jugoslavije. 1.. [online]. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest. Available at: https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:001712 (Accessed 27 November 2023)
Geiger V, Leček S. ''Bog čuva Jugoslaviju'' : politička i ideološka pozadina dizajna i ikonografije novčanica Kraljevine SHS/Jugoslavije. [Internet]. 1.. Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest; 2020, [cited 2023 November 27] Available at: https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:001712
V. Geiger and S. Leček, ''Bog čuva Jugoslaviju'' : politička i ideološka pozadina dizajna i ikonografije novčanica Kraljevine SHS/Jugoslavije. 1.. Zagreb, Hrvatski institut za povijest, 2020. [Online] Available at: https://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:255:001712
|Title (croatian)||''Bog čuva Jugoslaviju'' : politička i ideološka pozadina dizajna i ikonografije novčanica Kraljevine SHS/Jugoslavije|
|Author's institution||Croatian Institute of History|
|Scientific / art field,|
discipline and subdiscipline
|HUMANISTIC SCIENCES |
Croatian and World Modern and Contemporary History
|Abstract (english)|| |
“GOD SAVE YUGOSLAVIA” THE POLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND OF THE DESIGN AND ICONOGRAPHY OF BANKNOTES OF THE KINGDOM OF SCS/YUGOSLAVIA Scholarly research warns us that money not only has economic meaning, but social and historical dimensions, as well, and that ever since its inception, it has also been used for promotional purposes. This is even the case with the type of money we mainly use today, commonly known as national currencies. Our awareness of the historical changeability of national currencies has influenced the term’s definition as a relatively short-lasting, changeable, and perhaps even passing phenomenon, which began with the national state in the nineteenth century and could possibly disappear in the twenty-first century. On the other hand, its social (promotional) role has confronted scholars with a number of questions about the relationship between money and national politics in the broadest sense. Studies that began in the 1990s focused on the question of the role of money in the legitimation of the state before its citizens and before the international community, the homogenization of its population, and the confirmation of that population’s identity as a nation. Of the various different approaches to this increasingly complex research, in this book we have mainly used what Emily Gilbert and Eric Helleiner refer to as the cultural perspective, because they approach money as a cultural phenomenon that has a certain social significance. Using this approach, many studies have addressed the visual presentation of the state and the nation, or its iconography. These studies have dealt more with paper money – banknotes – which can embody more complex symbolism than coins. Banknotes are extremely fruitful subjects for analysis, because the necessity of summarization forces the issuers of banknotes to present the entire national conceptualization in a limited number of images. In our study, we posed the question of how this was done by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (SCS) / Kingdom of Yugoslavia between 1918 and 1941. In other words, we investigated the relationship between the state and its complex social and national structure, including (1) the way in which the Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia presented itself as a state, (2) how much understanding it had for broad social strata, (3) whether it presented its national complexity on its banknotes, and (4) how much the chosen symbols could have the desired effect – to awaken the broadest circles to identify with the state and nation (nations) symbolically presented on the banknotes. To enable as broad an overview as possible of the topic of our research, the first and larger part of this book consisted of a detailed analysis of the banknotes of the Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia. Central to our study are regular banknotes, reserve banknotes (wartime currency reserves), and banknotes of the London Emission (banknotes of the Yugoslav government-in-exile issued in 1943, during the Second World War). We performed detailed analyses of 9 replacement banknotes (dinar and dinar-crown), 7 regular, 6 reserve, and 6 London dinar banknotes. But in so doing, we made an effort to place the design and creation of the banknotes in their broader cultural context, so we also showed local banknotes issued immediately after the First World War (which were not issued by the state), as well as unaccepted proposals, but also the appearance of a motif on a similar medium (postal stamps) or in different periods (including today’s banknotes of the successor states of Yugoslavia). In this way, we wanted to sketch the circumstances in which banknotes appear and point out the direct international influences, but also the internal political circumstances, that had the greatest influence on iconographic solutions. In this section, we attempted to give as detailed information as possible about the creation process, as well as an ordinary material description. Therefore, in our analysis we also included data about the issuer, place of issue, individuals in charge of the visual design (artists, designers, engravers), and its technical execution. Still, our basic goal was to analyze the iconography of the banknotes. This we carried out in detail for every single banknote, and along with the technical data, we gave an exhaustive description of everything depicted on each bill. The descriptions clarify depictions of human images and landscapes, which are additionally analyzed in a separate chapter. In addition to these images, we explained the appearance of state and royal symbols (e.g., the process of designing official coats of arms) as well as the use of decorative elements. We also pointed out the role of the headings, which clearly reflect political changes. During the 1920s, the country’s banknotes were trilingual (Serbian in the Cyrillic script, Croatian and Slovene in the Latin script), though clear preference was given to Serbian (inscribed on the front). However, after the establishment of the 1929 dictatorship and the renaming of the state as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in keeping with the proclaimed ideology of integral Yugoslavism, trilingualism disappeared from the banknotes, and from then on, their headings would only be in Serbian (inscribed, as a rule, in the Cyrillic script, with Latin script on the back). Here we explain the history of the institutions in charge of issuing money, as well as the crucial influence of the tradition of the Kingdom of Serbia, which the Kingdom of SCS/ Yugoslavia took over and continued. This can be seen in the continuous use of certain iconographic and design solutions from the banknotes of the Privileged National Bank of the Kingdom of Serbia (Privilegovana narodna banka Kraljevine Srbije) not only on the banknotes of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes during the transitional 1920s, but later as well, on the banknotes of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. This change is a telling confirmation of the focused effort by which Serbian monetary iconography from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century became the model in the newly created South Slavic state. In addition, during the 1920s, the practice of printing banknotes at the Banque de France continued (the sole exception being the ten-dinar banknotes of 1920, which were printed by the American Bank Note Company in New York). Hence the similarity in iconography and design to French banknotes, but also to the banknotes of other countries for whom the Banque de France printed currency during the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth. The influence is visible in the artistic design and in the similar classical-renaissance iconographic inventory (classical allegorical characters and symbols, among which Mercury/Hermes, as a symbol of trade, and Ceres/Demeter, as a symbol of agriculture and fertility, were especially popular). This influence is evident on the first dinar– crown banknotes of the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of SCS, printed in 1920. The stylistic influence is also noticeable on the banknotes printed, beginning in 1930, by the newly established Banknote Production Institute of the National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (Zavod za izradu novčanica Narodne banke Kraljevine Jugoslavije), while the abandonment of classical-renaissance iconography in favor of more understandable, realistic depictions simply reflected general trends of the time. The results of our analysis are summarized in the second part, in which the attitude of the issuing authority (the state) towards the users of money is first pointed out. We found that the state did not follow the fundamental principle of issuing money: choosing motifs that would be familiar and popular, at least among the majority of the population. Furthermore, they did not take into consideration positive examples of countries that had solved similar problems of national complexity (e.g., Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia), nor did they decide upon a completely new beginning (a new currency name with new iconography). Rather, they relied on the tradition of the Kingdom of Serbia and emphasized its continuity, while completely neglecting all other former political entities, but even the other officially recognized nations (the Croats and the Slovenes). Our analysis included only the main motifs – the human image and the landscape, because they can express a complex message about the (self-)definition of the issuer, that is, the state and its relationship to the society, while other elements (state symbols, guilloche, and inscriptions) were not specifically considered, although they too can be bearers of meaning. We started with the thesis of Jacques E. C. Hymans, according to which the iconography on the banknotes of different countries exhibits great similarity at one period of time, and drastic change over a hundred years. Hymans showed that the social demand for equality led to a shift in focus from the state to society, as well as devising his own periodization. Therefore, we tried to establish how much the banknotes of the Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia fit into what Hymans considers to be characteristic of the interwar period, namely, a reduction in the appearance of state symbols, and an increase in the meaning of motifs depicting society. In so doing, we posed three questions about the relationship between the state and society. The first question concerns how the state presents itself and what it has to do with the social, national, and gender structure of society; the second, how the state determines its space; and the third, how it establishes temporal continuity (its history – its present – its future). In order to answer the first question, we analyzed images of people. Generally, the human image is the central motif on banknotes, it is the most common, and it carries the most important messages – this applies to the banknotes of the Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia, as well. This study revealed that allegories are most common, images of famous individuals appear less frequently, and anonymous representatives of social groups are the least represented. Retaining the important role of allegorical depictions, which as a rule symbolize the state, indicates that the banknotes did not follow the main processes of time – the gradual involvement of society. A similar conclusion was drawn from the analysis of the portraits of specific individuals on the banknotes. Overall, portraits of real people remained rare, and most of them (representatives of the dynasty) actually embodied state power, which drastically distinguished them from European trends in which the motifs of real people represent the society, its common history, or some great achievements. The only specific people who appear alongside the members of the Karađorđević dynasty are exclusively heroes from Serbian history. Least frequently, a human image represented society, namely, a certain social class, nation, or gender. In conclusion, we can say that the motif of persons (well-known individuals or anonymous representatives of an activity) shows the greatest deviation from European trends. It provided the best opportunity to portray society, so its minimal representation, and even proportional decline in its frequency of occurrence, shows the primacy of another motif – the state and its political power. The avoidance of any direct representation of the complex national structure is particularly striking. However, in other ways (the motif of peasants in costumes, which was then considered a symbol of national identity) enabled the dominance of symbols of the Serbian nation. They dominated not only in the 1920s but also after the official ideology no longer allowed it, through the continuation of circulation of one of the most important (most common) banknotes, depicting a peasant with characteristic Serbian features (the 1929 100-dinar bill). As for the gender structure, we can say that it corresponded to the iconographic solutions of other countries. As a rule, the female character appears typically as an allegory, and the only exception is the depiction of Queen Marija Karađorđević. However, here she symbolizes the dynasty and the state, rather than special female achievements. Unlike the female images, male images are more often portraits of concrete (named) heroes, thus confirming the unchanged patriarchal character of society. The second and third questions address two important topics concerning the modern state and national ideology: space and time. The modern state and national ideology both link their existence to a certain space (and the right to it) and the common history of their citizens. The analysis showed that motifs of space refer almost exclusively to the state; that is, they should confirm its authority over what, in reality, was a heterogeneous space. The emphasis is on the present, but some motifs have historical connotations. Spatial motifs confirmed what the analysis of human characters showed, and that is, firstly, that the motifs of the state greatly surpass in both frequency and position (the front of the banknote) those that symbolize society, and secondly, that the state did not balance power relations between the different nations, nor did it even prove to be nationally/historically neutral. In other words, its preference for the Serbian ethno-landscape (Belgrade, Gračanica, Kajmakčalan, etc.) proved clear. Croatian motifs appear marginally, in a subordinate position and with ambivalent or Yugoslav symbolism, and the status of Slovene motifs was much the same. Banknotes are also supposed to confirm the power of the issuing authority over another dimension – time. Our analysis showed that the link here between history, the present, and the future is seriously broken. No common heroes or history appear on the banknotes, and thus no major basis for rapprochement, which iconography in principle should foster using collective memories and national culture. And that which is historical on the banknotes had significance only for one (the Serbian) nation. We can conclude that, in a world where history was extremely important, the issuing authority did not exploit its potential to create a community. Therefore, on the banknotes we notice the hypertrophied role of the state and the present, the selective use of history (historical traditions of only one previous state and nation, the Kingdom of Serbia), and the marginalization and ambivalent use of symbols of the other recognized nations (Croatian and Slovenian). In the final part of the analysis, we tried to present a user perspective by expanding or summarizing our insights into three aspects of the relationship between user and money. The first aspect is the availability of money, the second is the economic context (economic policy), and the third is the question of the overall impression on the users. Of course, the beneficiaries did not form a uniform group, so its socio-economic complexity was once again pointed out, as well as the fact that 75% of the population of Croatia at that time were peasantry (in Yugoslavia as a whole, this percentage was even higher). Judging by the income of most peasant households, they would only have come into contact with smaller denominations of the dinar–kruna currency, as well as banknotes of 10 and 100 dinars. The one-thousand-dinar banknotes, and also the symbols on them, were intended primarily for the wealthy domestic social strata, but also for international business circles. Secondly, we drew attention to the economic context, which is most closely linked to trust in the issuing authority. The basic problems of economic policy, which was perceived as negative and discriminatory in Croatia almost without exception, are briefly presented. This unfavorable economic reality completely nullified the possible positive message of the already rare Croatian (and Slovenian) motifs. Thirdly, we once again reminded of the banknotes that could have had an impact on the people of that time, and we briefly summarized the appearance of Croatian motifs. We showed how Croatian users could rarely see motifs on banknotes that they would recognize as their own. They appeared on regular banknotes only four times, and their significance was marginalized by position (on the backs of banknotes), duration of circulation (from 2 to 10 years), and availability of the banknotes (in the case of 1,000 dinar notes). Then we briefly showed how banknotes that were in wider or longer use (10 dinars, two 100-dinar banknotes, and two 1,000-dinar banknotes) and which bore only state and Serbian motifs could work. We can conclude that the Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia failed to use the potential of banknote images to ensure trust and legitimacy in the eyes of its population. One great problem was the poor economic policy, which destroyed the credibility of the state, which some consider to be the most important factor in achieving trust among users. Another problem lay in the very choice of motifs on the banknotes. The issuing authority did not take into account the entire population and its complexity (primarily national, but also social structure); rather, the state’s continuity was based solely on Serbian history and the Karađorđević dynasty, and in its use of symbols took into consideration almost exclusively the Serbian population. Therefore, the banknotes were able to achieve the desired reaction among Serbian users, but for everyone else they remained incomprehensible, emotionally neutral, or even negative.
|Publication type||Authored book-Scientific book-Scientific monograph|
|Peer review||Peer review - domestic|
|Publication version||Published version|
|Series title||BIBLIOTEKA HRVATSKA POVJESNICA. Monografije i studije|
|ISSN of series or publishing unit||2670-885X|
|Numeration of series or publishing unit||III/89|
|Printed book publication date||2020|
|Type of resource||Text|
|Publisher||Hrvatski institut za povijest|
|Access conditions||Institutional access|
|Created on||2022-02-01 07:59:52|