Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art
The Collection of Modern and Contemporary of the Rovinj Heritage Museum comprises works of Croatian and foreign artists spanning the years between the dawn of the twentieth century to the present.
During the past half century of collecting, the most valuable items of the collection have been purchased by the Education and Culture Council of the National Republic of Croatia, the later Self-Managing Interest Community. Purchases and gifts of this state institution began immediately after the foundation of the Museum and lasted up until the early 1980s. They now constitute the core of Rovinj's collection. The collection was also augmented by the authors' gifts. In fact, most artists traditionally donate one of their works after their solo exhibition at the gallery of Rovinj's museum. Group exhibitions with purchase awards are another constant and good way of building the collection. The collection also grows through various donations, most notably the Vilko Šeferov donation and the donation of Zlatko and Margareta Knežević.
The most numerous items in the collection are paintings (various techniques - from watercolour, gouache, tempera, acrylic and collage to combined techniques and oil on canvas). There are drawings on paper in graphite pencil, charcoal, Indian ink, felt pen, pastel, chalk and wax pencil. There are numerous graphics produced by various techniques such as dry point, etching, aquatint, wood engraving, linocut, lithography and serigraphy. There are not many sculptures. A beautiful ceramic collection with a few glass objects is definitely worth mentioning. The Collection also holds art photographs and woven and batik pieces. Rovinj's Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art is leading the way in the region both for the number and value of collected objects and for collecting various types of art. In fact, it was the first museum in Istria to have purchased various installations, a video and a performance.
One part of the collection (a selection) is available to the general public in the Permanent Exhibition on the first floor of the museum building. The late 1980s saw the development and construction of a storeroom with a picture hanging system with hanging rails which gave the exhibits a good quality storage area and storage solutions.
Most of the remaining paintings of the collection are stored in the above way at the storeroom on the third floor of the museum building. There are 26 hanging rails (2.65x3.75 m). A smaller segment of rails is used to store paintings from the Old Masters Collection. Sculptures and objects made of ceramic, glass, wood and other materials are also shelved on the third floor of the museum building. The same area safekeeps paper items in steel storage cabinets. The storeroom area on the third floor of the museum building is under constant alarm surveillance. A smaller part of the collection holdings is kept at the offices of the Municipality, the Region and the State Administration.
The Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art comprises holdings that illustrate the beginnings, the logical development of particular artistic tendencies and their direct and indirect effects on the future production. The collection also proves that contemporary Croatian artistic production followed the artistic trends of wide regional areas (the republics of the former Yugoslavia, Italy, Austria).
It constantly grew owing to a long tradition of organising exhibitions, artists' gifts, donations, state purchases and modest purchase awards for more recent works by distinguished Istrian and Croatian artists, often beyond the state borders. We can therefore rightly claim that this collection is the most complete and the most valuable collection in Istria. Its content provides a historical overview and cross-section of artistic tendencies from the mid-nineteenth century to the present in Istria and wider, with a special emphasis on Rovinj and Rovinj's Arts Colony.
Rovinj became an important Istrian art centre in the early 1950s. The process of creating an art museum collection began back in 1954, immediately following the foundation of the Museum. The museum was founded owing to the efforts of a group of artists operating under the name of "The Rovinj School". Their initiative raised the awareness of the local community about the need to have a museum. Special mention goes to the first director of the museum, artist Zora Matić, vitally important to the foundation of the museum and the creation of collections. In fact, the relationship between the artists and the museum became a distinctive feature of its development. It was conceived as a museum-gallery institution that will represent, interpret and safekeep contemporary art in all its forms and include it into areas of everyday life.
The holdings in the collection correspond to the exhibition policy of the institution. In fact, from its foundation to this day, the Museum kept showcasing and purchasing works by Croatian and international artists that reflected quality and interesting artistic aspirations of their own time, i.e. the artists who spoke a new and different language of art.
The continuous efforts put Rovinj's museum on an even footing with a few institutions with a permanent collection of modern and contemporary art. It is currently the only permanent collection in the Region. The collection with the permanent exhibition is a testimony to a successful realisation of the primary task of every museum, i.e. to collect, keep, catalogue, study and present its holdings. The Museum's semicentennial holdings tell their own history, tales and anecdotes, the course of its development and its numerous memories.
Some of the most renowned authors whose works make part of the collection are Angeli Radovani, Kosta; Baretić, Biserka; Bućan, Boris; Bunk, Rudolf Gerhart; Cavalieri, Alberto; Crnobori, Josip; Cvjetanović, Boris; Dajht Kralj, Vera; Delimar, Vlasta; Demur, Boris; Dobrović, Juraj; Dodig Trokut, Vladimir; Dulčić, Ivo; Džamonja, Dušan; Feller, Eugen; Floričić, Alen; Gliha, Oton; Gračan, Stjepan; Hadžić, Fadil; Hegedušić, Željko; Herman, Oskar; Ivančić, Ljubo; Jakić, Ante; Jandrić, Đorđe; Jokanović Toumin, Dean; Jurić, Duje; Kalina, Ivan (Ivo); Kavurić Kurtović, Nives; Kinert, Albert; Knifer, Julije; Kocković, Marijan; Kokot, Eugen; Koydl, Nikola; Kožarić, Ivan; Kulmer, Ferdinand; Lah, Milena; Lesiak, Ivan; Lovrenčić, Ivan; Mardešić, Boris; Mascarelli, Bruno; Matić, Zora; Motika, Antun; Murtić, Edo; Parać, Dalibor; Petercol, Goran; Petlevski, Ordan; Picelj, Ivan; Prica, Zlatko; Radauš, Vanja; Reiser, Nikola; Runjić, Jadranko; Ružić, Branko; Seder, Đuro; Srnec, Aleksandar; Stančić, Miljenko; Šutej, Miroslav; Šeferov, Vilko; Šumonja, Bojan; Tiljak, Đuro; Vaništa, Josip; Vidović, Emanuel; Vuco, Miro; Vulas, Šime; Vuličević, Slobodan; Zaluški, Đurđena; Zrinščak, Mirko; Žuvela, Gorki.