Past Now Future
The Museum of Visual Arts of Galați is the first museum of Romanian contemporary art from our country (and the only one until 2002, when a second one is established in Bucharest), which was conceived to show the newest trends in plastic arts. Inaugurated in 1967, the museum holds in its patrimony Romanian creations from the second half of the 19th century and the 20th century made by artists such as Teodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Theodor Pallady, Gheorghe Petrașcu, Nicolae Tonitza. It also contains creations of the romanian avangardue representatives among Victor Brauner, M.H. Maxy, Mattis-Teutsch, Marcel Iancu, Irina Codreanu sau Milița Petrașcu, as well as works from artists that make a bridge between the first and second half of the 20h century: Corneliu Baba, Alexandru Ciucurencu, Ion Țuculescu, Henri H. Catargi, Rudolf Schweitzer – Cumpăna, Camil Ressu.
Initially, at its foundation in 1956, it housed around 150 works of some artists from different periods. Its patrimony got enriched substantially, thus at its inauguration, in 1967, it housed over 850 exibits. Then it was installed in the building of the former Episcopal Palace, architecture monument, situated on Domnească Street and changed its profile as well, becoming a modern and contemporary art museum.
Later, in 1973 it was named The Museum of Contemporary Art, and from 1991 changed its title into The Museum of Visual Art. From November 2013 it moved to the first floor of an apartment building, on Tecuci Street, No. 7, after the building of the Episcopal Palace was retro cessed to the Archiepiscopate of The Lower Danube. From the autumn of 2018 began the construction of the new building which will be the museum headquarters, which is being built near Rizer Park. The grand project has been given the Award of the Romanian Architects Order, and its author, the architect Dan Ujeucă, considers the new building a tourist attraction firstly because of the art interest and on secondly for the futuristic appeal of the building: a central body, cylindrical, with its roof – luminary, slightly inclined to the east, like an immense gable, supported by circular walls, from ceramic plates, opaque, with heights of over 20 meters, with each floor 4-5 meters tall and a surface of almost 3000 square meters. The purpose of the museum is to become a visual arts complex, where, near paintings, sculptures, art installations to have room for workshops, big spaces for looking at art and for the viewer’s leisure, spaces for film projection, light shows making, sculpture deposits, painting, graphics and decorative art. This new edifice will be finalized in 2020.
At present, the approximately 150 works (from a 6000 total) exhibited in the museum’s space, represent only a selection from an extensive patrimony often completed by virtual patrimony, from the workshops of contemporary artists, cultivated with consistency in its almost five decades of existence of this lair of knowledge.
The most meaningful part of the museum’s collections are the works made after 1967, there are creations of some renowned personalities of contemporary romanian painting and sculpture like: Horia Bernea, Ion Sălișteanu, Ion Alin Gheorghiu,Marin Gherasim,Teodor Moraru,Octav Grigorescu, Ștefan Câlția, Ion Irimescu, Vida Geza, George Apostu, Ovidiu Maitec, Napoleon Tiron. The works of these artists have a value known on the national plane and on the international one.
The painting and sculpture collections are completed by bountiful exhibits of decorative art and graphics of some artists like: Wanda Mihuleac, Marcel Chirnoagă, Mircea Dumitrescu, Dan Erceanu, Mimi Podeanu, Cela Neamțu, Riti and Peter Iacobi, Costel Badea, Radu Tănăsescu.
With a very dynamic structure, the museum holds a series of exhibits, micro-exhibits, public manifestations, (concerts, debates, art themed expose, art history lessons, movie projections), symposiums, creation camps and other programs meant to improve the most significant orientations from the Romanian contemporary art in the country and abroad.