Head: Mira Francetić Malčić, Senior Curator
The educational work in the Croatian Museum of Naive Art inheres in the activities of providing guided tours of the museum, of visual art workshops, lectures and educational exhibitions. The guided tours of the permanent exhibition of the museum for both foreign and Croatian visitors, provided in Croatian or English, allow us to acquaint art lovers with the phenomenon of Naive art, its individual features, and with the main figures in the world of the Croatian Naive.
Attendees of the visual art workshops, mainly children, are introduced to the techniques in which Croatian artists have expressed themselves: painting on glass, painting natural wooden forms and surfaces (paying attention to the original configuration of the support), watercolour, drawing in Indian ink on paper and so on.
We pay particular attention in the workshops to the technique of painting on glass, which is a highly distinctive feature of the Hlebine School. For this purpose, several leading artists have been invited to the Museum to demonstrate to the children the technique and themes of this idiosyncratic phenomenon in painting. This involves painting with tempera or oil paints on sheets of glass, the motifs being predominantly landscape and rural life. The manner of painting on glass is the reverse of that on paper or canvas; first of all, everything in the foreground is painted, then the middle ground and finally the background. There is always a prototype of a pencil drawing on paper.
The Croatian Museum of Naive Art and its educational programmes became involved in the celebration of International Museum Day, May 18, as early as 1996. For a month, the museums of Zagreb County carry out a specified educational campaign around a common theme. The point of these joint projects is to make particular museum material and the work of a given museum more familiar to children and young people, to animate the younger population, and to stimulate interest in visiting museums.
Along these lines, the CMNA organises occasional educational exhibitions, visual arts workshops, prints educational worksheets and brochures, organises prize competitions and so on. For example, in 2004, all the Croatian museums focused on the common topic of "Clothing", and the CMNA took part with an educational exhibition called Rabuzin’s Motifs on Textiles / Let’s Dress Up in Rabuzin’s Motifs. Cloth, headscarves and umbrellas with motifs by Rabuzin, a classic of the world and Croatian Naive, were on show; elements of the paintings had been transferred by the designers to the cloth of garments and other use items. Eight visual art workshops were held for the occasion, where painting on silk was demonstrated. The children taking part, who were all from the art groups of Zagreb elementary schools, painted head squares and scarves inspired by Rabuzin motifs.
We exhibit the best works produced in such workshops in the museum showcase.
As well as in the Museum itself, the educational work also takes place in other institutions, such as children’s libraries, in schools, old people’s homes, third age universities and so on, where several lectures have to date been held about Naive art and the role of our Museum in the preservation and presentation of this important segment of the national heritage.