|About the museum:
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Rijeka was founded in 1948, and was opened to the public in 1949. It is located in a Historicist building in the very centre of Rijeka. Despite the exceptionally rich holdings of the museum, a suitable exhibition space has not yet been found for the permanent collection. Nevertheless, the museum often organises contextual exhibitions of its collections, as well as exhibitions and events on diverse forms of artistic expression (RijekaSalon, Biennial of Young Artists of Yugoslavia, Biennial of Young Artists of the Mediterranean, International Exhibition of Drawings, BQ). Based on its programmes, the museum has built a reputation as one of the most prestigious institutions in the field of visual arts in Croatia.
The plan is to build a new museum building where the rich and diverse holdings of the MMCA (more than 8,000 works from the late 19th century to the present) will be exhibited.
The museum collections (paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, posters, media arts, film and video, and the R. Venucci, B. Rašica, S. Grčko, and M. Ilić specialised collections) provide an artistic and historical overview of works by predominantly local artists, dating from the end of the 19th century to the present.As a result of this exhibition structure, it is possible to reconstruct the major artistic movements in Croatia and its surrounding region, parallel to international trends. These collections include the representative works of leading artists, art collectives, movements, and individual expressions in Croatia, (especially those from the second half of the 20th century) that follow the tradition of modernity and the living reality of contemporary art. Besides these works, the museum also possesses works by foreign artists from the same period.
The best and most fully represented in the collection of paintings are the works by artists whose lives and activities were related to Rijeka and/or Opatija, primarily those of I. (G.) Simonetti, R. Venucci, I. Kalina, and J. Smokvina. There are exceptionally valuable oils and watercolours by J. Smokvina, as well as masterpieces of Croatian abstract expressionism and flamboyantly treated collages from the 1960s by I. Kalina. Kalina is one of the top painters of late modernism whose work has strongly influenced other contemporary artists from Rijeka (Stipanov, Frank, Milić, Sorola-Staničić, and other artists).
Works created by artists in Rijeka, particularly those paintings by Simonetti and the pieces by A. Angelovic and the other representatives of the Biedermeier, realist, and academic painting of the 19th century are particularly distinctive because of their particular quality and uniqueness. These paintings represent portraits of the citizens of Rijeka, panoramas, landscapes, interiors, and genre scenes (M. Ostrogovich, C. Ostrogovich, and I. Moretti Zajc). Especially interesting is the group of artists from Rijeka who were active between the two world wars. They were influenced by Italian art and brought certain artistic novelties through their works that combined futuristic and art deco elements (R. Venucci, L. de Gauss, M. Arnold, M. Raicich, and other artists.)
There is also a collection of works by one of the greatest artists of Rijeka, Romolo Venucci (1903-1976), whose life reflected the most important changes of the city and its history. This collection consists of his most important works in post-Cubism, cubist constructivism, and futurism, as well as his personal documents.
The collection of Božidar Rašica (1912-1992) - an architect, set designer, and painter from Zagreb - includes his artistic opus from 1930 to 1992. His opus forms a crucial part of the history of 20th century Croatian visual art. Rašica was a co-founder of the EXAT 51 Group and one of the key figures in Croatian post-war modern architecture and theatre set design.
The collection of sculptures includes famous works by Croatian artists from Rijeka: Lj. de Karina, B. Bahorić, Z. Kamenar, J. Diminić, V. Radoičić, M. Zrinšćak, G. Štimac, S. Majkus, N. Ukić, and S. Stilinović.
The collection of drawings includes pieces by local and foreign artists that were collected as independent works of art and as examples of the stylistic trademarks particular to certain artists. Since 1968 the collection has been complemented with works exhibited at the International Exhibition of Original Drawings, launched by the MMCA with the aim of evaluating and popularising artistic drawings.
In addition to the representative works by local and national art photographers, the collection of photographs also includes works by Pedro Meyer and Marcus Doyle.
The works in the collection of prints present a chronological overview of the development of Croatian graphics from the late 19th century to the present. The collection also includes works by foreign artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The collection of media arts, film and video includes productions by Croatian artists such as A. Kulunčić, A. Floričić, T. Brajnović, L. Sega, N. Cvijanović, D. Maljković, and D. Oki.
Among the artists whose works are included in the collection of posters (museum, theatre, tourist, and political posters), Z. Pliskovac, V. Radoičić, V. A. Rozman, and A. Brajdić stand apart from the other designers from Rijeka.