A place where I rest my soul, where my pupils widen at the sight of the rainbow colors of the paintings; where I learn of things I did not know of before and where I expand my horizons. An institution, whose line of work is founded upon the highest social and cultural values of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond, is what I consider the Art Gallery of B&H to be. Join and support this temple of art and culture.
Executive Director of the Association “Education Builds B&H”
Unfortunately, Bosnia and Herzegovina is in the economic, social, educational, and what is even more tragic, in a sense of a word, a moral crisis, so it is no surprise that the culture is in a complete collapse. The Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one designated place for those who appreciate art and those who create it to come together in their creativity. Here they express their imagination, talent and work and further their knowledge. I present my creativity, talent and work on a ‘green’ (soccer) field, while the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a ‘field’ for artists to show their own. With 6,000 works, in its holdings, the kind of immense treasures this cultural institution houses becomes evident, and as such the Gallerys significance is unquestionable.
B&H Soccer Representative
Foreigners and locals have deliberately added, and still continue to add, a great burden to lives of us the ordinary, loyal, common Bosnians and Herzegovinians.
Through work, science and culture we are the ones who can best help ourselves and make our lives easier, by reducing and perhaps even removing the burden and ultimately creating a normal, dignified, worthy of a mankind, life for all. In this context, the Art Gallery of B&H sounds so profound and optimistic.
Edhem Šabić PhD. Architecture, Director Caparol LLC Sarajevo
Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina is arguably the most important and the most representative institution of art in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its holdings, like the permanent exhibition, give its due and full appreciation to the artistic expression that has originated from this region, by portraying it well and accurately. This in itself qualifies the Art Gallery of B&H as the institution of great importance in regards to arts and culture of this country. A special place that continues to host countless exhibitions that have, throughout the decades, stood as a testament to the creativity of artists emerging from this land as well as the introducing the global trends and developments of foreign artists to the locals.
Former President of the Helsinki Committee of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Art Gallery of B&H is the overarching institution of fine arts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since art is considered to be the first and last name of civilization, there is an undeniable need for the existence of such institution. The younger generations, or protégés, who daily emerge from the art scene, gravitate, consciously or unconsciously, towards the institutions such the Art Gallery of B&H. As an artist, who is honored to have his work kept in the holdings of The Art Gallery of B&H , and one of the pioneers of the post war art scene of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I have achieved coveted recognition, the support and assistance, among other things, from the Art Gallery of B&H. This is just one of many reasons why this institution needs to be embraced so that it can continue to promote the newcomers, still unnoticed Visual Artists of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A primary role of this unique national institution, the Art Gallery of B&H, revolves around the maintainance of the basic museum functions, despite its unresolved status and financial situation, it’s been in since the end of the war and up until this day:
The museum infrastructure has survived; it’s building was restored (thanks to foreign donations); its collection was not only preserved but also enriched with the new acquisitions, extremely valuable contributions from the local and foreign artists; its depot has been organized; Conservation and restoration are operative as well as the processing and cataloging departments; the specialized library and the permanent exhibition are renovated. The underlining premise beneath the above mentioned is the expert staff (from the director and curator to the necessary technicians and administration) that has, under nearly impossible conditions, managed to maintain professional standards without which a museum institution would not be able to exist. The neglect of a so-called wider community towards the cultural and artistic heritage – as well as the contemporary art creation, in the fine arts filed, which is single handedly encouraged and nurtured by the Art Gallery of B&H – would be inconceivable in the rest of the civilized world. This institution is kept alive exclusively by high professionalism, responsibility and enthusiasm of its leaders.
Every conscientious citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is equally respectful and in awe of the national treasure in a similar manner. This is especially applies to the treasure chests of the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Gallery’s yesterday is our tomorrow. Because of the equity of its holdings and because of its ongoing work, with every passing day, the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina only grows in value, which I am proud of! On this page, dear reader, you are given the opportunity to join the family of the Art Gallery’s friends and with your contributions foster the ‘well being’ of this elite temple of art not only for its work, knowledge and experience, as an official institution, but also to preserve our memory and our future. It is, for all of us, a great and invaluable, moral pledge.
Ljiljana Marinković Labović-
Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art RS
Art Gallery of B&H is my favorite institution in Sarajevo. Every time I enter its hallways, I feel at home. Not only because of all the art it holds, but also because of the kindness of all those who work there, from the doorman to the curators and to the director. I am impressed by my fellow curators who have succeeded to create the unimaginable, under the impossible financial circumstances in which they have worked. This not only saddens me deeply but it also angers me, because I can’t grasp why the most important cultural institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been left to operate, for decades now, without adequate and regular funding. I was honored to be given a chance to cooperate with the Gallery since the eighties. Besides its rich collection of art works, Gallery is very dear to me because of its scent. There is not one art house in this world that smells just like the Art Gallery of B&H. Despite the war and everyday problems one feels a sense of continuity in the Gallery, a better version of the past … I am aware that this institution, because of the treasures it holds, should have more space, but I appreciate fully its current ‘home’, because it has a “humane”, and unpretentious dimension, that just ‘simply fits’. I can only wish for more financial stability which needs to come from the above, or the state level. As far as the Gallery’s “inner workings” are concerned, I attest to its professionalism as world class.
Dr. Bojana Pejić
Considering art and culture as an important and powerful vehicle for peace building and Fostering of mutual understanding, trust and genuine respect, Switzerland has been strongly engaged in cultural cooperation with BiH for many years. Already in 1996, Switzerland recognized the National Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a reliable partner and cultural as an institution whose importance is not only in the preservation of artistic and cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in promotion of new, innovative and up-and-coming artists and artistic trends. Indeed, we see the National Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a space for active communication, where visitors are able to get acquainted with exhibitions, participate in cultural and educational programs and share cross-cultural values. As the treasure house of Irreplaceable national and international resources and cultural heritages, the National Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina is in a prime position to enhance the Appreciation of visual arts and Enrich the cultural, artistic and intellectual life of present and future generations in the country.
Dr Rolf Lenz
former Ambassador of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina