Sv. Ćirila i Metoda 3, Gornji grad

Phone: (+ 385 1) 4851 911
Fax: (+ 385 1) 4852 125

Croatian Museum Of Naive Art

In 1952, the Peasant Art Gallery was founded in Zagreb; from 1956 it operated under the name of the Gallery of Primitive Art, while since 1994, in line with a decision by the Croatian Parliament, its title has been the Croatian Museum of Naive Art. From the very beginning the establishment was organized and run according to strict museological principles, and is thus deemed to be the world’s first museum of naive art.

The Naive – also called naive art, the art of the naives, primitive art, the art of the modern primitives and so on – is a distinct segment of the art of the 20th century. It is comprehends a discrete group of painters and sculptors untrained in the ways of art, among the limitless number of kinds of expressions and trends in modern art. The Naives are always distinguished from other self-taught, amateur, popular and vernacular artists by their identifiable artistic style and poetical singularity; by, then, their sheer artistic excellence. The Naive is a concept – just like the concepts of Expressionism, Cubism, Abstractionism, Dadaism and the Surreal and so on – that we use to interrelate some of the separate worlds of modern artistic creativity.

The concept of the Naive has been accepted as a necessary convention for want of a more appropriate definition. Today a large number of artists and works from very diverse localities and cultures, heterogeneous topics, stylistic and morphological, craft and poetic features are brought together under this name. In spite of its lack of appropriateness, the name is nevertheless today so widespread and so well accepted, in all its various forms, that it would be improper to chang... [ Read all ]

 Permanent Collection Highlights (35)

 Click on the images to enlarge [ View All ] 

Permanent Collection

The Croatian Museum of Naive Art holds 1,748 works of art – paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints – mainly by Croatian artists.

The permanent display of the Museum was established according to the maxim: Naive Art as a Segment of Modern Art. Some eighty anthology-piece paintings and sculptures of a score of classics of the Croatian Naive are on display, from the early thirties to the 1980s. The focus is on Croatian artists – of the celebrated Hlebine School, and a few of the more highly-valued independent artists. In conjunction with their works, artworks of significant artists of other nations are also on show.

In the first room are the pictures of Ivan Generalić (1914-1992) the first master of the Hlebine School, and the first among the naive painters of Croatia to create a personal style and art of a high level. The display starts with the early works, created at the beginning of the 1930s when the social question was stressed (The Requisition, 1934), goes on through works of poetic realism, with a powerful Romantic charge (Cows in the Forest, 1938; Harvesters 1939), to the surreal phantasmagorias of the 1950s and 1960s (The Death of Virius, 1959). Then come the refined approaches of the seventies, where powerful condensation can be seen, acts of summation and empty, abstract backgrounds (Self-Portrait, 1975). In the pictures of Franjo Mraz (1910-1981), who started painting and exhibiting contemporaneously with Generalić, and in the works of Mirko Virius (1889-1943), who appeared a few years later (Return in the Rain, 1939; Harvest, 1938), we can see many diverse scenes of rural life. The stone sculptures of Lavoslav Torti (1875-1942), alongside thos...+ [ Read all ]


MARCH 2008. - Permanent display.
APRIL 2008. - Permanent display.
10.4-27.4.2008. IVAN RABUZIN: Lounch of a monograph IVAN RABUZIN / A BIO-BIBLIOGRAPHY and an exhbition of Rabuzin's works from the collection of the Croatian Museum of Naive Art.
MAY 2008. - Permanent display.
18.5.2008. - Launch of a picture book with verses by Salih Isaac.
JUNE/JULY/AUGUST 2008. - Permanent display.
SEPTEMBER 2008. - Permanent display.
OCTOBER 2008. - Permanent display.
23.10-15.11.2008. - Exhibition IVAN GENERALIC 1930-1945.
NOVEMBER 2008. - Permanent display.
20-30.11.2008. - Exhibition of children's works from the art workshops.
DECEMBER 2008. - Permanent display.

Previous Exhibitions

For more indepth information about previous exhibitions go to

- 22.11-9.12.2007.

- 25.10-18.11.2007.
Exhibition UNKNOWN SKURJENI / from the Collection of Radovan Ivsic, Paris.

- 12.7-12.8.2007.

- 9.11. - 26.11.2006
Exhibition KRESIMIR TRUMBETAS  / Sculptures

- 27.3. - 16.4.2006
Exhibition RABUZIN / Etchings, Watercolour Etchings & Aquatints

- 3.5. - 28.8.2005
Exhibition The Art of the Hlebine School

- 3.11.2004
Exhibition Fejes /Petercol

- Mid December 2003 - end February 2004

- 1998-1999
Travelling Exhibition Rabuzin / Watercolours

- December 1998 - January 1999
Exhibition Ivan Lackovic Croata / Drawings 1957-1971

- March 2001
Exhibition 'Hommage a Rabuzin'

- February 2002
Exhibition Ivan Lackovic Croata

Exhibitions (1)

Click on the images to enlarge


Forthcoming exhibitions

For April 10th 2008, a dossier exhibition of the work of Ivan Rabuzin from the holdings of the Croatian Museum of NaĂŻve Art is planned.

The same day the lounch of a monograph, IVAN RABUZIN / A BIO-BIBLIOGRAPHY will be held. This short review essay concerning the life and workf of the artists, an extended encyclopaedia entry in style, is accompanied by reproductions of all Rabuzin’s works (68) held in the CMNA collection, and with complete documentation, organized according to strict museological principles (4875 bibliographic data).
The exhibition will be on view until April 27, 2008.
Project Author: Vladmir Crnkovic
Documentation: Ksenija Pavlinić-Tomasegovic.


Entrance fee for individual visitors:
- adults: 20 kuna
- children, schoolchildren, students and pensioners: 10 kuna

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday: from 10:00 to 18:00
Saturday and Sunday: from 10:00 to 13:00
Closed on Mondays


Museum Shop

At the reception of the Museum, apart from numerous books and catalogues from the area of the Naive, we offer postcards, posters, mugs with motifs of pictures from the collection of our institution, T-shirts with the logo of the Museum, decorative mouse pads, and decorative refrigerator magnets and so on.

Every visitor, on purchasing an entrance ticket, receives a free brochure. These brochures are printed in Croatian, English, French, Japanese, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish.

Museum internal and external photos (3)

Click on the images to enlarge


The educational work in the Croatian Museum of Naive Art inheres in the activities of providing guided tours of the museum, of visual art workshops, lectures and educational exhibitions. The guided tours of the permanent exhibition of the museum for both foreign and Croatian visitors, provided in Croatian or English, allow us to acquaint art lovers with the phenomenon of Naive art, its individual features, and with the main figures in the world of the Croatian Naive.

Attendees of the visual art workshops, mainly children, are introduced to the techniques in which Croatian artists have expressed themselves: painting on glass, painting natural wooden forms and surfaces (paying attention to the original configuration of the support), watercolour, drawing in Indian ink on paper and so on.

We pay particular attention in the workshops to the technique of painting on glass, which is a highly distinctive feature of the Hlebine School. For this purpose, several leading artists have been invited to the Museum to demonstrate to the children the technique and themes of this idiosyncratic phenomenon in painting. This involves painting with tempera or oil paints on sheets of glass, the motifs being predominantly landscape and rural life. The manner of painting on glass is the reverse of that on paper or canvas; first of all, everything in the foreground is painted, then the middle ground and finally the background. There is always a prototype of a pencil drawing on paper.

The Croatian Museum of Naive Art and its educational programmes became involved in the celebration of International Museum Day, May 18, as early as 1996. For a month, the museums of Zagreb County carry out a ...+ [ Read all ]