The first collection purchased by the Museum in 1951 was the collection of Pirot rugs preserved in the Textile and Costume Department. The precious private collection of the famous painter and graphic artist Ljuba Ivanović, was purchased in the same year, and its 3.116 objects represent the very foundation of the Museum’s collections.
The Museum collected new objects systematically and continuously ever since the beginning. During the decade preceding this Anniversary, the Museum’s collections grew richer in 3.843 objects, 467 of which were purchased, and numerous donors kindly donated 3.367 of them.
At this exhibition of the Museum’s acquisitions, titled New in the Collections, we are showing 91 objects that, between 2001 and 2010, entered the collections of the Metal and Jewellery Department, Department for Period Furniture, Textile and Costume Department, Department of Photography and Applied Graphic Art, Ceramics, Glass and Porcelain Department and Department of Contemporary Applied Art. The choice of objects created from the 18th century on – jewellery, furniture, porcelain and glassware, art objects made of metal, clothing, rugs, photography, picture postcards, illustrations, sketches, contemporary ceramic sculpture and installations – covers various applied arts collected and researched in the Museum.
The first significant Museum’s purchase in this period was the salon Napoleon III, made in Bucharest during the second half of the 19th century. It was purchased in 2001 for the Department for Period Furniture. This set has been exhibited since 2004 at the permanent exhibition Traces in the Wood, within the Napoleon III ambient.
In 2005, Museum also purchased – again for the Department for Period Furniture – an important work created by the pioneer of the contemporary Serbian applied arts, Dragutin Inkiostri Medenjak. This is a table made in Belgrade in 1907, as a part of the cabinet set for the Minister of Education of The Kingdom of Serbia. For the collection of the Department of Contemporary Applied Art, the Museum made purchase of an armchair produced in Belgrade after Inkiostri’s designs between 1927 and 1932, as well as of the documentation that pertains to Inkiostri’s work during the period between the World Wars, consisting of 31 objects – sketches, drawings and photographs, in 2007.
As part of the annual exhibition program, the Museum organizes regular shows of contemporary applied artists – the so called Salons of Museum of Applied Art. The Statute of the Salon provides that every exhibitor donate an artwork. In addition, the Museum assigns the purchase awards at October Salon and Majska izložba of ULUPUDS, and at the Ceramics Triennial, every three years. Each year a thematic exhibition is held in the Museum, often both the cause for new acquisition purchases, and the occasion to get to the new ones.
Distinguished friend and donor to the Museum, Mrs. Jelena Jovanović from Belgrade, enriched the collection of the Department of Photography and Applied Graphic Art with her donation 2003 and 2005, which consists of the original photographs by Nikola Vučo, photograms by Marko Ristić and Vane Bor, the Surrealist objects, drawings and publications, as well as the Ristić family’s private photos. Thanking to Mrs. Jovanović, the collection of the Textile and Costume Department houses, as of 2004, the first item of Belgrade couture, that is the evening gown made in 1909 in the Paris branch of the famous couture house Redfern. Mrs. Jovanović also donated 43 objects to the Metal and Jewellery Department in 2007 – these were the 19th and the 20th-centuries’ jewellery and silverware.
In 2009, the Museum received a donation from Reneé Wathier from Fontainebleau – 69 objects made of crystal, porcelain and faience, medal and plaquettes, carpets, posters, books, and other. Among them were a bomboniere and a vase created during the first decades of the 20th century in the famous glass shop of Emile Gallé in Nancy, and now they form part of the collection of the Ceramics, Glass and Porcelain Department. These objects were donated in the memory of the grandfather François Andreu, soldier of the Eastern Army in the World War One, and mother Simonne Andreu Wathier, who were devoted friends of Serbia.
Also, owners of the antique shops or auctions houses, most often themselves collectors, donated valuable items to the Museum.
Although it’s customary worldwide to have owners of the pieces of fashionable clothing donate to museum collections the representative pieces after they go out of style, the apparel in Serbia had not been perceived in this way for the longest time. During the last decade, the situation changed considerably, and the collection of contemporary fashion of the Department of Contemporary Applied Art received numerous new items. With kindness of Mr. Aleksandar Joksimović, the Museum houses, since 2003, in the collection of contemporary fashion the sketches of the models, the photos of the collections, diplomas, awards and press clippings that refer to this respected fashion designer’s work.
The collection of the Textile and Costume Department, thanks to the donation from Čedomir and Rastko Vasić from Belgrade, became richer in 37 objects that are the family legacy of the donors, in 2006. Among them is the wedding gown, sewn in 1911 in famous Belgrade salon of Berta Alkalaj. The importance of such objects for the Museum is illustrated by the fact, among other examples, that of the sixteen dresses from the collection, which are known to originate from Serbia from the beginning of the 19th century to 1918, this is the only one that bears the label of the salon.
Precious in the same sense is a serving tray from the mid 19th century with the seal of Belgrade master Stoić that was donated in 2007 by Živojin Lukić from Belgrade to the Metal and Jewellery Department. Another example is the glass set for the spirits, purchased in 2008 for the collection of Ceramics, Glass and Porcelain Department, made between 1846 and 1852 in the The First Serbian Glass Factory of