General information
The history of the Gallery
The permanent display
Virtual walk
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THE HISTORY OF THE GALLERY


The Ivan Mestrovic Palace was built in Split between 1931 and 1939. Mestrovic himself made the original plans based on his own design, the architects Harold Bilinic and Lavoslav Horvat developed them, and the builder Marin Marasovic was in charge of the works. The construction was built section by section, starting from the East and ending with the western parts, and it was designed to serve living, working, and exhibition purposes.


Ivan Mestrovic and his family resided in their palace at Meje from the summer of 1932. In 1941, Mestrovic left for Zagreb, while his wife and children remained in Split for another year. In the owner’s absence, it was Dr. Milan Curcin who first took care of the artist’s house and property (1942-1947), and Dr. Cvito Fiskovic took over between 1947 and 1952. The palace, later converted into the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery, was inhabited by several families between 1947 and 1965.
In 1952 in his will Ivan Mestrovic made a donation to the Republic of Croatia, which made possible the founding of a museum institution - the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery. The Gallery was ceremoniously opened for the public on 9th September 1952.
The Gallery was under the jurisdiction of the Conservation Institute for Dalmatia until 1955, when it became independent and was placed under the Culture and Education Department of the City of Split.
Since 1991, the Gallery has been an integral part of the Ivan Mestrovic Foundation with the headquarters in Zagreb.
Its mission is to collect, protect, present, and professionally and scholarly treat the museum material and documentation relating to Ivan Mestrovic's life and work.

The holdings of the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery were established in 1952 by a contract of donation concluded between Ivan Mestrovic and the Peopl's Republic of Croatia. The initial Gallery holdings contained 70 sculptures, listed by the artist on the lists 1 and 2 of the contract and selected to be placed in the future museum of his works in Split and in the Kastelet-Crikvine complex. In time, those holdings grew through purchases, exchanges, casting of bronze and stone sculptures from plaster models, and donations from the artist himself, his heirs, or other donors. Today, the holdings contain 192 sculptures, 583 drawings, 4 paintings, 291 architectonic plans (almost entirely made by Ivan Mestrovic and dating between 1898 and 1961), and 2 furniture sets, one of which is made according to Mestrovic's sketches and is a part of the New Permanent Display of the former dining room. The Ivan Mestrovic Gallery houses not only works owned by it, but also 168 works of art owned by Ivan Mestrovic's heirs. Apart form the museum holdings, the Gallery collects documentation relating to Ivan Mestrovic's life and work. Especially interesting items are the photographs of the artist's first works (taken at the beginning of the century in Vienna and in 1908 and 1909 in Paris) and the archive

material. There is the family archive found in the house in 1952, containing letters of the family members and friends, as well as their personal documents, and the archive of the builder Marin Marasovic, covering the building of The Most Holy Redeemer Church in Otavice, the erection of the Monument to Unknown Hero on Avala, and the building of the family villa and Kastelet at Meje in Split.
 
     
     
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