The Croatian Museum of Naive Art, Zagreb

The Croa­t­ian Naive Art museum, opened in 1952, is the first museum insti­tu­tion in the world to have been founded to record, col­lect, study, present and pro­mote the Naïve Art.

The Croa­t­ian Naive Art, together with Henri Rousseau and the French clas­sics of the first gen­er­a­tion, is held to be the most impor­tant and artis­ti­cally worth­while com­po­nent of the world’s Naive Art.

This refers above all to the art of , unim­peach­able clas­sics of world naive art, whose works con­sti­tute the back­bone of the per­ma­nent dispay.

Then come works of other key mas­ters of the Croa­t­ian Naive Art, above all the artists of what is called the Hlebine School – of Mirko Vir­ius, Ivan Veče­naj, Mijo Kovačić, Dra­gan Gaži, Mar­tin Mehkek and Ivan Lack­ović – whose paint­ings on glass are con­sid­ered, metier-wise, the most vir­tu­oso ways of han­dling this old tech­nique in the whole of the art of the 20th cen­tury.
In the col­lec­tion of Croa­t­ian Out­sider Art, works by Jakov Bratanić, Hrvoje Šer­car, Ambroz Testen and Drago Trum­be­taš attract par­tic­u­lar atten­tion.

The Museum also pos­sesses a sub­stan­tial col­lec­tion of works of the naive art of other coun­tries, although for rea­sons of space, only a selec­tion from the work of a few of the most pro­fi­cient prac­ti­tion­ers is pre­sented – of the Pole Niki­for, the Ger­man Erich Bödeker, the Ital­ians Pietro Ghiz­zardi and Enrico Benassi and the French Ger­main van der Steen and Simon Schwartzen­berg; Ser­bia is rep­re­sented by Ilija Bosilj, Sava Sekulić, Bogosav Živković and Milan Stanisal­je­vić; then there are the Russ­ian Pavel Leonov, the Nether­lan­der Willem van Genk, the Mace­don­ian painter Van­gel Nau­movski, the Slovene Jože Hor­vat Jaki, the Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina sculp­tress Penavuša and Taizi Harada from Japan.

These works wit­ness to the excep­tional con­tri­bu­tions of croa­t­ian naive art from abroad in the museum col­lec­tion, as well as all the diver­sity of the Naïve and its off­shoots in the direc­tion of Art Brut and Out­sider Art, which have in the last decades gained increas­ingly in impor­tance.
The Museum also pos­sesses a col­lec­tion of anony­mous, ver­nac­u­lar, 19th cen­tury reli­gious paint­ings on glass, as well as works of highly respected mem­bers of the Zemlja Artists’ Asso­ci­a­tion (1929–1935) – of Krsto Hege­dušić, Ivan Tabaković, Mar­i­jan Detoni and Edo Kovačević.

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