The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb
The Museum's library was established shortly after the foundation of MSU (then Contemporary Art Gallery) in 1954 and today is among the richest Croatian libraries in the field of modern and contemporary art. Its holdings have been growing alongside those of the Museum, and a large part of the literature on artists or phenomena represented in the Museum's collection can be found in the library. Its holdings are classified into several sections: scholarly journals, exhibition catalogues on contemporary art in Croatia and from various world museums, theoretical literature, and literature from the fields of architecture, photography, design, film, the new media, comic strips, music, and fashion, as well as some audio-visual materials.
A special collection is that of Rare and Old Publications, which contains several seminal titles from the period of historical avant-gardes, such as the almanac of Der Blaue Reiter and the journals Der Sturm and Bauhaus, some twenty issues of the Zenit journal and a number of "Zenithist" publications, such as the Manifesto of Zenithism, Kola za spasavanje, and Anti-Europe. The collection also contains several portfolios of graphic art, the most valuable being the poem Jama by Ivan Goran Kovačić with lithographs by Edo Murtić and Zlatko Prica. This rare first edition, bound in parachute cloth, was printed in 1944, a year after the poet's tragic death.
The library owns numerous valuable editions from the period of the neo-avant-gardes, such as the journal of Azimuth gallery in Milan or the book on Cybernetics, Art and Ideas, edited by Jasia Reichardt. For Croatian conceptual art, it is Maj '75 journal, published by the Group of Six Authors, that has exceptional value. Of the Museum's publications from the 1960s and 1970s, two journals that were especially dedicated to the new media must be mentioned: BIT International and SPOT.
Digitizing the avant-garde publications from the Collection of Rare and Old Publications has signalled the beginning of the project of digitizing the entire collection of the library. The publications collection already features a number of publications of the Museum of Contemporary Art and some of the most frequently requested exhibition catalogues.
The library currently comprises 17000 items and acquires approximately 600 new titles a year through exchange, purchase, or donation. It is involved in exchange programmes with 200 relevant libraries of art museums and galleries in Croatia and abroad.
The library will remain closed for external users until the Museum has moved into the new building.
Librarians: Zrinka Ivković
Jasna Jakšić, curator
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