The Department of Prints and Drawings of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Department of Prints and Drawings of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts is a specialised museum, which engages in gathering...
The Department of Prints and Drawings of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (CASA Department of Prints and Drawings) is a specialised museum, which engages in gathering and presenting drawings, prints, posters and print plates. Since 1997, CASA Department of Prints and Drawings includes a chalcographic workshop, which prepares print maps of contemporary authors and maps of chalcographic imprints from the Collection’s print plates.
The Department of Prints and Drawings has developed high-quality exhibition-mounting, publishing as well as informative and training activities. The Department of Prints and Drawings holdings are divided into four collections, numbering over 17,500 inventory units - works by both domestic and European artists. The collections are as follows: the Old collection of drawings and prints (15th-19th ct.); the Collection of 20th and 21st centuries (drawings and prints); the Collection of posters; and the Collection of chalcographic plates.
Many famous names of the Croatian and European history of art are represented here; for instance: J. J. Klović, M. Rota Kolunić, A. Medulić, M.A. Raimondi, the Carraccis, G.B. Tiepolo, G.B. Piranesi, P. Cezanne, J. Arp, R. Delaunay, M, Kraljević, M. Cl. Crnčić, T. Krizman, Lj. Babić, S. Glumac, S. Šohaj, E. Murtić, Z. Prica, M. Šutej, G. Zigaina, R. Canogar, etc. Due to the holdings being susceptible to light, dampness, change of temperature and mechanical damage, the Department of Prints and Drawings keeps no permanent exhibition. Occasionally, exhibitions from the holdings are mounted; furthermore, there are exhibitions of the more recent art – the Croatian Prints Triennials and the Croatian Drawings Triennials; finally, some exhibitions are organised in co-operation with other domestic and international institutions. Each exhibition project is accompanied by the exhibition catalogue and in the last five years with an interactive CD as well. At the premises of the Department of Prints and Drawings and the Chalcographic workshop, informative and training activities are organised for primary schools as well as for the students of the Academy of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Arts of the Zagreb University.The Department of Prints and Drawings was established in 1916, as a constitutional unit of the Arts Department of the then Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. It was a Division of the Strossmayer Gallery.
The holdings had been collected from various sources. The museum began the process of institutionalisation after the Second World War (end of 1948 and beginning of 1949), when the after-war policy of promoting the cultural heritage protection led to gathering, classifying and integrating the artistic items, following the principle of being congeneric. At that time, the Valvasor Collection of the Zagreb Archdiocese was joined to the Department of Prints and Drawings. In 1951, after Dr. Stella Ubel had been appointed director of the Department of Prints and Drawings and curator of the Valvasor Collection, the official operation of this Academy museum unit began.
In the following year, the Department of Prints and Drawings was given the premises located on the ground floor of the east wing of the Vraniczany Palace: there, the depository, the reading-room for users, office premises and exhibition rooms were housed. As early as in 1953, when the first exhibition of the prints by J. Callot from the Valvasor Collection was mounted, the public operation of the Department of Prints and Drawings had begun. Five important exhibitions had been mounted in the three decades, during which the Valvasor Collection had enjoyed the hospitality of the Vraniczany Palace.
In 1996, at the request of the Zagreb Archdiocese, it had been re-joined with the Metropolitan Library and located at the premises of the Croatian State Archives (Zagreb, Marulić Square), where it has remained seated up to the present. In the last fifteen years, the Department of Prints and Drawings holdings had reached their double original size. During this period, various artists had, by mediation and initiatives, collected many donations for the Department of Prints and Drawings.
Among them, the most important ones are the donations by S. Glumac, P. Gavranić, S. Šohaj, I. Lovrenčić, M. Šutej, E. Murtić, Z. Prica, G . Zigaina, R. Canogar, B. Suhy, etc. The exhibition-mounting, publishing as well as informative and training activities have been intensified lately. Furthermore, the processes of the digital notation of the holdings as well as of the securing of the holdings in conformity with the international standards regarding the safekeeping and protection of the works of art are underway.