World War One in the NSK Collections: In Images and Words

Objavljeno 3.7.2014.

One hundred years from the beginning of the Great War, the National and University Library in Zagreb prepared a special exhibition in order to present unique resources related to this global armed conflict preserved in its collections. The exhibition entitled World War One in the NSK Collections: In Images and Words (Prvi svjetski rat u zbirkama NSK: slikom i riječju) will be opened on Friday, 4 July 2014, at 12:00 in the lobby of the Library. The exhibition will be presented by Professor Tvrtko Jakovina, Professor Zvonko Maković and Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Krešimir Nemec.

As the central Croatian institution providing information, the National and University Library in Zagreb holds an impressive number of resources from the period of and relating to the War, a selection of which will be presented to the public as part of this exhibition. Visitors will be able to see various official documents, political proclamations and manifestos, postcards, newspaper articles and other press material, geographical maps, along with personal testimonies documented in journals and works of art, born from the ashes of war. A special place in this thematic collection belongs to the works of two exceptional artists – Oton Iveković and Miroslav Krleža.

Oton Iveković, visual artist and war painter, volunteered himself for war service. During four years that he spent at the battlefields of Soča, Galicia and Serbia, he captured numerous scenes of the life of soldiers. The Print Collection of the National and University Library in Zagreb preserves 158 Iveković’s pencil and charcoal drawings, tempera, oil and watercolour paintings, with various motifs. The exhibition will highlight 18 drawings by Iveković created on various battlefields in the period between 1915 and 1918.

Miroslav Krleža, one of the central figures of Croatian literary and public life in the 20th century, kept addressing the subject of World War One throughout his rich and varied work – in novels, plays, essays, poetry, prose memoirs, as well as his newspaper writing. Along with other works carefully selected for this exhibition from the rich legacy of this prominent Croatian author, the National and University Library in Zagreb will also present Krleža’s Davni dani (Olden days). These diary notes from the time during and after the War, preserved in the NSK Manuscripts and Old Books Collection, represent a kind of chronicle written in the modernist style and thus characterised by fragmentation and the use of hybrid genre forms.

The opening of the exhibition on 4 July will be part of the programme of the 3rd Miroslav Krleža Festival. The exhibition will be open for visitors until 31 July 2014.