Most of the Art Gallery of B&H assets are the works of authors from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The collection is a result of centuries old tradition of collecting and keeping the works of art and dates back to the period when the collection was an integral part of the holdings of the National Museum of B&H. The Gallery is by far the best place for studying the development of fine arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina from their earliest days.

Today, the Gallery holds not only the works of all the well-known artists who worked in this part of the world, but has the monographs from almost all of the most significant ones, whose retrospective exhibitions, accompanied by their respective catalogues, were both organised and published by the Gallery. A vast majority of our collection is displayed within our permanent exhibitions. However, due to the lack of space, the rest of Gallery holdings can not be shown as permanent exhibits, but rather in thematic exhibitions we organise both in the country and abroad.

Due to the fact that the Art Gallery of B&H was founded in the time of S.F.R. Yugoslavia, while its core collection was developed in the period of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, it owns a small, yet invaluable collection of the 20th century Yugoslavian art. Its assets read like “who is who” in the realm of Yugoslavian paintings, sculptures and prints, with several masterpieces of artists from the former Yugoslav republics. The collection covers the period from the last decades of the 19th century to the 1980s, and contains most of the styles and authors that appeared in this part of the world in this period.

This collection is inherited from the National Museum of B&H. It mainly contains the works of bourgeois art and its main parts, which influenced significantly the development of modern art, are:The archive of “NADA”

This is education, entertainment and art magazine that had been issued in the period from 1895 to 1905. In addition to its literary value, it contributed significantly to art of B&H. Alongside the articles in the areas of culture and art, this magazine has also published drawings (mainly by foreign authors) depicting local themes, such as landscapes, folklore, and customs.

U njemu su, pored priloga iz kulture i umjetnosti, objavljivani i crteži (mahom stranih umjetnika) koji su tretirali domaću tematiku (pejzaži, folklor, običaji).

The most renowned authors whose works were published on the pages of “Nada” were: Ewald Arndt Čeplin (editor of the art section), Leo Arndt, Maximilian Liebenwein, Ludvig Kuba, Carl Liebscher, and Ivana Kobilca. The Art Gallery of B&H has almost an entire artistic archive of “Nada” that consists of several hundreds of drawings and paintings. It is almost impossible to speak about the beginnings of the modern art in B&H without mentioning the importance and influence of the artists whose works were published in “Nada”.

The beginning of this collection dates back in the 1950s, mainly with the works of local masters of art photography (Gojko Sikimić). After the recent war, it saw a considerable development. Today, this collection comprises of around five hunderth works, mainly made by internationally recognised and affirmed B&H photographers (Danilo Krstanović, Milomir Kovačević Strašni, Damir Šagolj, Dejan Vekić, etc.).

Many of these photographs, taken by local as well as by foreign photographers, were inspired by the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Collection of new media is formed in last decade and it corresponds with contemporary artistic intention to express themselves in forms of video art and video installations, sound installations, digital photography and prints etc. (Danica Dakić, Maja Bajević, Damir Nikšić, Zlatan Filipović).

The collection of works of the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler is one of the Gallery’s greatest peculiarities. This artist – whose opus is characterised by the Secession-like linearity and rhythm, as well as the transience and constant changes that are ideologically close to the meaning of the impressionism; with the Césannesque solidity of landscape, as well as monumentalism that is typical of the Historicism art works – has achieved a full affirmation while he was still alive.

Today, he is one of the most important representatives of international Style 1900. The collection held by the Art Gallery of B&H contains over a hundred authentic works by Hodler, mainly drawings, as well as several oil paintings, prints and photo-engravings.

Today, the icons’ collection of the Art Gallery of B&H contains about eighty works that were made in the timeframe between the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 19th century. The collection includes the works of local, Italo-Greek and Russian authors. Amongst represneted local authors it is worth noting Dimitrijević – Rafajilović family, as well as individual authors such as Stanko Daskalo, Simeon Lazarević to name a few; as well as foreign authors who belonged to the Corfu, Moscow and other schools.

Although small in size, this collection contains all the basic styles of icons made in this part of the world so that we can distinguish – within this collection – the main features of each of these styles.

Thus, combined with the collection of the old Orthodox Church in Sarajevo, the collection of the Art Gallery of B&H is a home to one of the richest and the best known icon collections in the country.