Finding the current of modern & contemporary art in every location we visit is one of our primary focuses, so when it came to visiting the Old Town & city walls of Dubrovnik, but with a lack of information provided by our trusted WikiTravel, we weren’t expecting to find too much.
But we’re persistent
Eventually, through a barrage of Google searches on “modern art” & “Dubrovnik” we eventually came across the compact & simple website of Dubrovnik’s modern & contemporary art gallery, the Umjetnička Galerija Dubrovnik.
Located eastwards past the Ploče gate & the Lazareti, we found the entrance to the gallery on the side of a rather plain looking building from street level with only an A-Board & a moderate sized PVC poster above the door detailing the latest exhibition.
Upon entering through the main door & the lobby painted top-to-toe in ‘Art Gallery White’, we found that the gallery at this moment doesn’t accept payment from cards – something we should really be prepared for by now.
On returning from the ATM at the nearest hotel (thanks to the kind advice of the lady in the gallery), we paid our way in & left our belongings in lockers – camera too.
Having the camera forbidden restricts us more than we realise. It makes it harder to review the places we enjoy (and the few we don’t). To counter this we grabbed a notepad & wrote down the names of the works we enjoyed the most.
The gallery, formed more than 65 years ago, captures a glimpse at how local artists lives bled into each other as they strove to inspire each other, and by association, the generations that followed. Some founders of local art movements left to study with great masters & great movements, returned to their home country during civil & world wars and created some of their best works that form a solid history of experimentation & collective development.
Across three floors, as we paced slowly from picture to picture seeing the inspiration from one artist in the work of another, we saw that the gallery has been organised in an almost chronological style fueling more to the imagination of groups of creative minds lending critics to each other over food & drinks on the Dubrovnik coasts & bays.
Upon reaching the top floor & the greeting the 20th & 21st century we saw the emergence of more satirical, modern & social commentary pieces of art.
As we returned to the first floor to collect our belongings and leave our comments of congratulations to well assembled collection we were informed that there was still just a little more to see.
“Go outside and walk up the ramp”, the lady informed us.
Upon reaching the top of the ramp we found a splending rooftop of bronze & ironized sculptures amongst the sun-kissed tiles & twisted baroque-style pillars.
Whilst we typically are not the lovers of sculpture we know others to be, there was something about the way the sun, the mist of the shimmering sea & the panoramic view that made the open air gallery a spectacle we both felt we could enjoy.
Having taken some pictures of the view & some of the pieces we admired most we finally set off to leave the gallery with such glad thoughts of those that have fought to preserve the gallery where it has always stood & hopefully where it’ll stand for another 65 years showcasing the modern art that a modern Croatia has to offer.
How To Find –
The gallery itself is actually quite easy to find once you know what to look for.
As you stand at the eastern city wall gate of Ploče, continue walking eastward along the only road open to you. After 400 metres you should see the building pictured below at the entrance. Easy!
Groups (10ppl+): €3/£2.50/$3.50
Students & Children: Free (Students must show valid ID)
Value for money –
HIGH – For the less than the price of a sandwich you can see a variety of Croatia contemporary art.
Location address & map –
UMJETNIČKA GALERIJA DUBROVNIK
Ulica Frana Supila 23
20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
020 426 590
View UMJETNIČKA GALERIJA DUBROVNIK in a larger map
Though lacking some of the grandeur that most westerners will have come to expect from modern & contemporary art galleries such as the Tate & Tate Modern, this collection is worth double the price & comes as a welcome break from the hustle & bustle of Dubrovnik’s old town & city walls.