On February 17, 2020, the Museum of Arts and Crafts marked its 140th anniversary. On that day, in 1880, the establishment of the Museum of Arts and Crafts was initiated by the initiative of the Arts Society and its former President Izidor Kršnjavi as one of the first institutions of its kind in Europe.
Over the past 140 years, the Museum has developed into one of the the most significant and largest Croatian and Zagreb Art Museums, that has been and remains the leader and promoter of new movements and ideas in the world of art and design.
MUO began the celebratory year by presenting within the permanent exhibition the new design and photography display and a newly renovated third floor, with a new donation by the Croatian-British ballet artist Jelko Yuresha and his wife Belinda Wright, an extremely valuable donation of pre-a-porter and haute-couture fashion of the 1960s and 1970s. The museum presents the donation of fashion pieces from the time that was the culmination of the creation of the great Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuiton, who are not only iconic today but have become an example of artistic practice in textiles.
On the same day, February 17, the Museum opened MADE IN: Crafts – Design Narratives research exhibition, of design and heritage initiatives that foster collaboration and knowledge sharing between traditional craftsmen and contemporary designers.
On the occasion of the great anniversary of the MUO marking its 140th anniversary as one of the largest and oldest Croatian museums, a new visual identity was presented, signed by esteemed creative artists from the studio Šesnić & Turković.
“We are aware of the demands that new generations and the dynamic technological advancements put on museums. Therefore, we have launched a series of activities to modernize exhibitions using new IT technologies and interpretations of museum content as a dialogue of an inspirational past and a dynamic present in which we are intensively changing for future challenges. The new visual identity is only a step towards achieving our goals and fulfilling the potential that the museum has.”, said the Museum Director Miroslav Gasparović.
“With a new identity, the Museum represents a new direction in its work, but it does not reject its foundations as an art collector from all historical periods – it will present with equal fervor the design and photography of the 21st century! We are honored to be in the company of Ivan Picelj and Boris Ljubičić as the third designers of their visual identity, ”said Goran Turković.
“As far as design is concerned, the logo was designed according to the same styles that were used 60 years ago, and are still valid today. So we hope that our logo will live at least 25 years, like the previous two. The visual identity is conceived as a black and white platform that serves to highlight the extremely rich and diverse content the museum has to offer. Although the visual identity is subordinate to the content it presents, it undoubtedly has the power to communicate clearly with the public and just as much character to build a brand. Brenner font of the award-winning Croatian typographer and professor Nikola Đurek was selected as corporate typography, designer Marko Šesnić added.
Design studio Šesnic & Turković have also designed a new slogan ‘See Art Where Others’, or ‘See Art Where Others Don’t’. Numerous variants of this slogan will be the basis of the future communication of the Museum of Arts and Crafts. With the new slogan system, the Museum becomes one of the few museum houses that presents a wide variety of artworks, inviting the public to share their view.
In addition to the new visual identity, the museum marks the 140th anniversary with exciting plans for the future, and exhibitions in preparation, new exhibitions in the Design Collection and Collections of Photography and Photographic Equipment, modified collections of watches, ivory, glass, metal and ceramics, a valuable donation exhibition of the renowned ballet dancer Yelko Yuresha, the publication of the first monograph on the history of the Museum, and an international symposium on the role of permanent exhibitions of museums in the contemporary world.
“The plans for the future are aimed at continuous development, modernization and transformation of MUO into a meeting place for the past and the future of different generations of visitors with different interests”, added Miroslav Gašparović.