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March 23, 2023

Arts and national identity at MNAR

The Romanian National Art Museum (MNAR) is hosting until February 13 an exhibition inviting visitors to discover the way in which arts have contributed to defining Romanian identity. Prof. Dr. Augustin Ioan is holding a conference with a provocative title within the exhibition on Wednesday: ‘Romanian architecture does not exist’.

If you want to understand Romania, its history and its people better, it is worthwhile paying a call to the exhibition ‘National myth. Contribution of arts to defining Romanian identity (1830 – 1930)’ which hosts the works by some of the best known Romanian artists. The exhibition has been put together by curators  Monica Enache and Valentina Iancu, in cooperation with historian Lucian Boia and explores the ways in which the most important modern Romanian artists contributed to defining national identity during a period very charged with historic events that turned out o be crucial to the formation of the Romanian state: the 1848 Revolution, the Unification of the Principalities in 1859, the enthronement of Carol I as ruler in 1866, the War of Independence 1877-1878, the proclamation of the Kingdom of Romania in 1881 or the Great Union of 1918.  The exhibition proposes approximately 250 works of painting, graphic, sculpture and decorative art created between 1830 and 1930 by some of the most acclaimed modern Romanian artists: Barbu Iscovescu, Constantin Daniel Rosenthal, Carol Popp de Szathmari, Gheorghe Tattarescu, Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Ioan Andreescu, Stefan Luchian, Nicolae Tonitza, Oscar Han, Camil Ressu, Dimitrie Paciurea etc.Starting from the perspective proposed by historian Lucian Boia in his works ‘History and myth in the national awareness’ and ‘For a history of the imaginary, this particular exhibition seeks to identify in the various artists’ works some of the dominant themes of the mythology of Romanian history: Latinity, territorial unity, fight for independence etc. The exhibition is completed by side events such as lectures, family programmes and theme guided tours. Prof. Dr. Arh. Augustin Ioan will be presenting on Wednesday, October 17, from 18:00 the conference ‘Romanian architecture does not exist’. His lecture follows the mechanisms of the construction, re-construction (in the communist years) and de-construction of national themes in architecture, proposing a critical history in opposition to the ‘formal’ histories of architectural manifestations on Romania’s current territory. Entry is free up to the limit of existing sitting.Bookings at comunicare@art.museum.ro.

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