Awarding ceremony of thanks to donors: Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 18:00
Curators of the exhibition MAA: Mila Gajić, Draginja Maskareli, Jelena Perać
Conservators MAA: Marija Labudović, Milan Andrić
Organized by: Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade
As a sequel to previous exhibitions of museum acquisitions (1970, 1999 and 2010), this time, we present a selection of artefacts acquired by the Museum of Applied Art through purchase and gifts between 2011 and 2015. They belong to various fields of applied art and design: furniture, ceramics, porcelain, jewellery design, fashion design and textile design, illustration and photography. In accordance with the assumption that the identity of a museum is defined by the collections in its possession, in this period, too, the acquisition policy of the Museum of Applied Art, as a clearly profiled specialized art museum, was primarily focused on highly aesthetic historical and modern artefacts of a local and European provenance.
Between 2011 and 2015, 894 items were acquired for the Museum of Applied Art, 305 of which were purchased, while 589 were gifted. When selecting the artefacts, the curators of various museum departments were primarily focused on the items that would complement the existing museum collections in terms of stylistic features, applied materials production methods. The collection of Wood and Period Furniture Department was enriched with a wall mirror (1870–1880) and two historicist pieces of furniture: a glazed cabinet (1876) and a chest of drawers (1878), which bear the initials of the local artistic carpenter Radovan Pantić. In this respect, they are a special rarity, important for future research in this area of applied art. Among the items acquired between 2011 and 2015 for the collection of Metal and Jewellery Department, which includes jewellery, silverware and items made of precious metals, two pairs of gold earrings (18th and the mid-19th c.) and silver toiletries (1837) stand out. The acquisition policy of Textile and Costume Department was focused on clothing and fashion accessories. The rich collection of the Department is on this occasion represented by a coin purse (the second half of the 19th c.), a pair of slippers – terlik (19th c.), a belt (early 20th c.) and a pair of Pirot kilims (ca. 1925). Photography and Print Room Department was primarily focused on the Serbian and European photography of the 19th and early 20th centuries; the richness and diversity of these collections are represented at the exhibition by numerous items. Ceramics, Porcelain and Glass Department laid the emphasis on the study of food culture and table art; accordingly, the same direction was followed by the acquisition policy, which is illustrated by three services: a dinner set (late 19th c.), a dessert set (1890–1895) and a coffee set (1822–1825).
Along with the above-mentioned criteria, the acquisition policy of Contemporary Applied Art Department, is determined by the rules of the Salon of Contemporary Applied Art, according to which some works of artists who exhibit at this event enter the Museum’s collections as artists’ gifts. In this way, as well as through purchase from artists, the collections of contemporary applied art were enriched with illustrations and photographs of Jugoslav Vlahović, made between 1974 and 2011. Furthermore, the collections of items from the period between the two world wars, modern fashion clothing and textile art within Contemporary Applied Art Department were complemented through purchase and gifts with numerous works of prominent contemporary artists and artists of the inter-war period. For this occasion, three works by the pioneer of artistic ceramics in Serbia – Dušan Jovanović Đukin, are selected: the decorative plate Woman with a Bird and a Vase of Flowers (1929–1930), a pot (1941–1944) and the figurine Birds (1941–1944). Between 2011 and 2015, the collections of contemporary ceramics and design were complemented with multimedia works and ceramic installations by young women artist, Ljubica Jocić Knežević and Valentina Savić, as well as Nikola Knežević’s revolutionary work exploring the application of new technologies in industrial design. An important place in the collections is occupied by the iconic and avant-garde works by Katica Pavelka Vukajlović and Velimir Vukićevića from the 1980s, works from the opus of Biljana Milenović and Nataša Vasilić, as well as the work entitled Kvapil by Lana Rakanović, gifted to the Museum by the artist after her exhibition within the Salon of Contemporary Applied Art.