The Gallery Square in Novi Sad is the meeting place of art, history and the modern spirit of a city that inherits a rich cultural heritage, and an unavoidable tourist destination for numerous visitors to the European Capital of Culture. We bring you the story of the origin and development of the city square, synonymous with gallery art.
Today’s Gallery Square in the centre of Novi Sad was created after the end of World War I, during the period of prosperity and development of the city, and it was first envisaged as a business district. In the past, before the construction of Mihajla Pupina Boulevard, four well-known Novi Sad streets – Vase Stajića Street, Ilije Ognjanovića Street, Mike Antića Street, as well as a small street that was actually an extension of Mike Antića Street, led to the square, which until 1992 was called Proleterskih Brigada Square, and ended with the former Armenian Church. As the construction works of the aforementioned Boulevard progressed, the former beautifully decorated park was transformed into a square of its current appearance, with three imposing cultural institutions and a large parking lot.
Did you know that the building of today’s Gallery of Matica Srpska, in the Gallery Square, was purpose-built for the Novi Sad commodity exchange called Produktna Berza in 1926? The construction project was done by the famous Novi Sad architect Lazar Dunđerski. The building was transformed three decades later into the Gallery of Matica Srpska in 1958.
From that moment, the transformation of the Square from a business-purpose to a gallery began, and soon the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection was opened in 1961, and the Rajko Mamuzić Gift Collection was opened in 1974.
The Gallery of Matica Srpska continued the tradition of the Museum founded as part of the Matica Srpska in 1847 and became one of the richest and the oldest institutions in the country, which celebrated the 175years of its foundation during the European Capital of Culture title year. As a guardian of the wealth of cultural heritage, GMS is an unmissable destination for tourists due to its imposing permanent exhibition, as well as current exhibitions. We invite you to plan a visit, as A Quite (Un)Usual Serbian-French Connection Olga Kešeljević and Marc Barbezat exhibition awaits you until 7 May.
The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection is the first building in Novi Sad built exclusively for the needs of the museum space, and it is the architectural creation of Ivo Kurtović. You can enjoy the masterpieces of artists such as Nadežda Petrović, Sava Šumanović, Milan Konjović, Petar Lubarda, Zora Petrović, learn about the life of Pavle Beljanski and our most important artists, but also visit the current exhibition A Sculptor Sreten Stojanović and Tactile Spaces, open until 28 May. On the lawn in front of the building, there is a monument to one of our most prominent painters, Nadežda Petrović, erected in 1995.
The third gallery in the Square, which together with the other institutions form a unique cultural unit, is the Rajko Mamuzić Gift Collection, which was opened in 1974 and very quickly became known for its impressive collection of modern Serbian and Yugoslav artists. You can currently see the Spring in the Gallery exhibition, which is open until 21 April.
In the square, in addition to the mentioned cultural institutions with a long tradition, there is also the Železničar Mountaineering and Skiing Association, founded in 1951, which today has around 600 regular members, fans of mountaineering. The premises of the society are located at Trg Galerija 4.
Author: Marina Marić
Photo: Vladimir Veličković