Collecting Central Europe  
  The History of Collecting of Central and Eastern Europe  

Prince Paul with Milan Kasanin, director of Museum of Modern Art/Prince Paul Museum in in 1933


Programme 2024

30 April

Jelena Todorovic (University of Arts, Belgrade)

lecture of 40 minutes followed by discussion

Prince Paul and the Prince of Dealers

On the Role of Prince Paul Karadjordjevic as collector and Joseph Duveen as a major art dealer in the creation of the State Art Collection of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
The history of collecting in Europe and even more in the America of the 1920s and 1930s would be impossible to imagine without the figure of Joseph Duveen. Very little is known, however, about the decisive role he played in the creation of the State Art Collection in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929-1938) and the influence he had on the politics of collecting of this newly-founded country on the Balkans. This presentation aims to shed more light not only on the role of Joseph Duveen in the foundation of the State Art Collection, but also on the rarely discussed collaboration and friendship between Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Joseph Duveen. This most successful “joint venture” between a Royal Prince and a Prince of Dealers profoundly shaped the State Art Collection (SAC). It also made possible the foundation of the Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade and of Prince Paul’s personal collection. The SAC, comprising European and Yugoslav works of art, had a rich and a curious history which is an integral, albeit neglected, part of the European cultural history of the twentieth century. It was symbolically founded in 1929 on connection with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and works of art were added to it until the late 1970s, prior to the death of President Tito. Although by its contents and its historical importance the SAC forms a notable part of the European and Yugoslav cultural heritage, this collection was never fully researched and was virtually unknown outside, and even within the borders of the former Yugoslavia. It was for the first time in 2014 that a complete Catalogue of the fine arts collection of the SAC in Belgrade was printed and its works of art were finally made available to the wider local and European audience.

Jelena Todorovic studied Art History (1993-1998) at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade before gaining her MA and PhD at University College London (UCL – 1998-2004), where she worked as a teaching assistant and part-time lecturer. In 2005, she transferred to the University of the Arts in Belgrade where she presently teaches in the Faculty of Fine Arts as Full Professor.
Although an art historian by training, her interests have always been more directed towards early-modern cultural history, including the fields of festival culture, of art and propaganda, concepts of time and transience, and the understanding of liminal spaces in the visual arts. She teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, with the aim of introducing the approach of cultural history and interdisciplinary, which are so important for future artists and theoreticians.

28 May

Presentation of the Gallery of Matica Srpska, Novi Sad, Serbia by Tijana Palkovljevic Bugarski and Jelena Ognjanovic

20 minute presentation followed by q&a and discussion

The Gallery of Matica Srpska, an institution of national importance, was founded in 1847 in Budapest under the auspices of Matica Srpska, the oldest cultural, literary and scientific society among the Serbs. It was located in Budapest until the Matica Srpska moved to Novi
Sad in 1864. From the very beginning, first as the Museum of Matica Srpska and then, from 1947, as an independent institution, the Gallery has been engaged in collecting, preserving, studying, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of Serbian cultural heritage.
Opened to the public in 1958 in a building on Gallery Square in Novi Sad, with its permanent exhibition and ongoing exhibitions, Matica Srpska Gallery aims to be a place of education about the development of artistic ideas, teaching the public about artists, works of art, as well as about the Gallery's benefactors.
With a collection of over 11,000 works of art, the Gallery is one of the richest art museums in the country. The collections of paintings, graphics, drawings and sculpture of the eighteenth , nineteenth and early twentieth (ca. 1950) centuries, illustrate the origin and development of Serbian art of recent eras and indicate the position and place of national culture in the European context.
In addition to basic museological, scientific and research work, the Gallery of Matica Srpska presents highly developed activities in the fields of exhibition and publication, conservation and restoration, educational programmes and creative workshops for children and teenagers. The Gallery is constantly engaged in introducing new contents and forms of activities, always with the intention of improving and extending the dissemination of culture and art towards a wider audience and the preservation of the national cultural heritage.

Tijana Palkovljević Bugarski, PhD, is the director of the Gallery of Matica Srpska. After graduating from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade in 1999 in art history she received her PhD from the Department of Museology in 2016 with a dissertation on The Gallery of Matica Srpska. An Image of a Cultural Identity through the Presentation of Artworks.
Tijana has been director of the Gallery of Matica Srpska since 2010, transforming the institution into an active and modern museum. Her research interests include national art and visual culture of the twentieth century, as well as the protection and promotion of cultural heritage and the development of innovative museological approaches. She is currently engaged in creating the Gallery’s programme and publishing activities, developing international cooperation networks, and positioning the Gallery
of Matica Srpska at a national and international level.
Tijana is a member of the Department of Fine Arts of the Matica Srpska and its Board of Directors, a member of the Executive Board of the National Committee of ICOM (International Committee of Museums), actively participates in the work of NEMO (Network of European Museum Organization), ICTOP (International Committee for the Training of Personnel) and the Forum of Slavic Cultures. Ever since 2012, she has been the national coordinator of the European Museum Academy, as well as the
President of the Board of Directors of the Foundation “Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture”, and a member of the Council of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia for creative industries, since 2018. She is a guest lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, at the Department of Comparative Literature. She is the winner of numerous awards and recognitions and the holder of the Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of France, 2019, as well as the Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria, 2023.

Jelena Ognjanović, MSc, senior curator and Programme Director of the Gallery of Matica Srpska, graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade in art history and earned her master’s degree at the Faculty of Philosophy in Novi Sad, in the Department of Pedagogy.
Since 2013, she has been working at the Gallery of Matica Srpska as a museum educator and PR manager and, from 2022, as the programme director, dealing with the preparation and realization of exhibitions, the coordination of international projects and public relations, as well as  activities related to educational programmes for children and young adults. In her role as museum educator, she has created numerous educational programmes and workshops for children and young adults and coordinated several European projects. She curated several exhibitions at the Gallery of Matica Srpska, for which she also prepared accompanying publications. Jelena is engaged in the study of museology and museum education. She actively participates in the work of specialist meetings, conferences, and
workshops nationally and abroad, primarily in the field of museum education and museology. She is also a member of the National Committee of ICOM, Serbia.