“Croatia’s Great Women – Here’s Who They Are” exhibition on view until 31 March 2023

Objavljeno 9.3.2023.

On 8 March 2023, marking this year’s International Women’s Day, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) put on Croatia’s Great Women – Here’s Who They Are, a special exhibition presenting the life and work of eight Croatian prominent female writers and artists in the field of visual arts and music Marija Jurić Zagorka, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, Vesna Parun, Vjera Bojničić, Anka Krizmanić, Fani Daubachy Brlić, Ivana Lang and Blanka Chudoba.

Organised with the support of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, the exhibition will remain on view until 31 March and wishes to bring the attention of the wider public to the courage, intelligence, creativity and dedication of these and other notable women who marked Croatian cultural heritage.

After the introduction by one of the exhibition’s six authors and Head of the Library’s Marketing and Communications Section Maja Priselac and a welcome address by the Library’s Director General Dr Ivanka Stričević followed the addresses by the Director of the Ministry’s Directorate for Archives, Libraries and Museums Anuška Deranja Crnokić, Dr Ivana Skuhala Karasman from the Institute for Philosophy and Head of the Library’s Print Collection Tamara Ilić Olujić, also one of the exhibition’s authors. The opening programme also included a lively presentation of distinguished female figures of Croatia’s history and culture through a sketch performed by the Zagreb Upper Town Witches ensemble.

A virtual exhibition on the 20th-century composer and pianist Ivana Lang is also part of the exhibition programme, along with a video presentation featuring 30 woodcuts by Anka Krizmanić of the famous German dancer and choreographer Gertrud Leistikow and the murals created through the Library’s cooperation with the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts of which the more recent, entitled ‘The Witch of Grič’ (Grička vještica), is dedicated to Croatia’s first professional female writer, journalist and journal editor Marija Jurić Zagorka and the other, entitled ‘Corals returned to the sea’ (Koralji vraćeni moru), to one of the greatest authors of Croatian literature and the most translated Croatian woman poet Vesna Parun, the centenary of whose birth the Library marked in 2022.

The mural dedicated to Marija Jurić Zagorka, created under the supervision of the Academy’s collaborator Dr Melinda Štefčić, authored by Anamarija Kvas and painted by Kvas and Manuela Košević, both students of the Academy, has been prompted by the 150th anniversary of Zagorka’s birth, while other significant anniversaries, such as the 85th anniversary of the death of a six-time nominee for the Nobel Prize for Literature Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, 140th anniversary of the birth and the 60th anniversary of the death of painter and printmaker Vjera Bojničić, the 140th anniversary of the death of painter Fani Daubachy Brlić (Franjica Daubachy-Doljska Brlić) also provided the background for NSK celebrates women, the Library’s 2023 programme as part of which the Croatia’s Great Women… exhibition has been organised.

Apart from Priselac and Ilić Olujić, the authors of the exhibition are also the Head of the NSK Manuscripts and Old Books Collection Dr Irena Galić Bešker, member of the NSK Information Centre Sonja Martinović, Head of the NSK Music Collection Dr Tatjana Mihalić and Senior Public Relations Adviser at the NSK Marketing and Communications Section Dobrila Zvonarek, while its design is the work of the Section’s graphic designer Goran Hasanec.