The Slovenia Times

National Gallery to Reopen with Ambitious Permanent Exhibition



Its director Barbara Jaki says the gallery has systematically collected works of art over the past few years, managing to obtain some "exceptional new works".

She says the gallery is planning to launch a permanent collection of works by acclaimed Modernist painter Zoran Mušič (1909-2005).

This will be the first such Mušič collection in Slovenia, featuring almost 60 works from the 1936-1999 period donated by his niece last year.

Since its establishment in 1918, the National Gallery has grown to keep the largest collection of art made on Slovenian territory between the Middle Ages and Modernism.

Among the many treasures it keeps is also a collection of Slovenian Impressionists, such as Ivan Grohar, Rihard Jakopič, Mitja Jama, etc.

Jaki also announces that the new permanent exhibition will no longer separate Slovenian artists from European ones, as this has often proved problematic.

She says that even in the past artists such as Almanach, Franz Ignaz Josef Flurer, Kremser-Schmidt and Franc Kavčič used to be exhibited as part of both collections.

"Although of other ethnic backgrounds, they worked in the area of present-day Slovenia, so we have always classified them as Slovenian artists."

"Older art is even more difficult to distinguish along the lines of ethnic background as we understand it today," says Jaki.

The historic building of the National Gallery - Narodni dom - closed in September 2012, when restoration works began, followed by construction works a year later.

The project has cost EUR 14m, with 85% of the funds coming from the EU and the rest from the Culture Ministry.

Designed by Czech architect František Škabrout, Narodni dom was built between 1893 and 1896 as a pan-Slovenian cultural and social centre.

The National Gallery launched its first exhibition in it in 1933.

Due to space constraints, the gallery expanded to a new building designed by acclaimed Slovenian architect Edvard Ravnikar (1907-1993) just nearby in 1993.

In the early 2000s, both buildings were connected with a glass gallery designed by the Sadar Vuga studio of architects from Ljubljana.


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