Art Collecting in Romania

Capture Friday, May 10, 2013

5:00pm until 7:00pm

UNAgaleria Bucharest, G-ral Budisteanu, nr. 10, sector 1

Friday, May 10, 2013, 5 pm

UNAgaleria Bucharest, Romania
10 G-ral Budisteanu Street, sector 1, Bucharest

Collectors are able to play an important and active role in the art communities: prospecting for the traces of the contemporary in art, they are becoming supporters and partners of the artists, galleries, and art institutions, and they are convincing role models for their surrounding by their vouching for art. Collecting (contemporary) art is often connected with interesting and important processes in the society, it can play an important role in nation-building. Collecting is mirroring the intellectual activities of a society; the style and the numbers of collections of a society are displaying its sociological structure and its wealth, and, very important, its position and connections in the international economical exchange. But art and its collections have high importance for the local society itself, too. Art and art collections are indicators for the democratic levels of a society, they can play an active part in integrating minorities or immigrants, they are showing the level of internationalization of a community, and, finally, they are important for education.

More than 20 years after the change, collecting art is still not very widespread in the Eastern European countries. Both the public museums and the private collections are not much connected to art of our time, especially not to international contemporary art. The museums are suffering of lack of budgets, and, with very few exceptional cases, most of the public collections in the former socialist countries are not connected to contemporary art at all. Few private collections have started already in the 90s, they have become more after 2000, though not all publicly known. Most of these collections have started with their local contemporary art, sometimes growing up from collections of old or ancient art, and few, again, have become internationally orientated.

The symposium wants to put attention to the mentioned topics. Simona Vilau, one of the two authors of the research text on Romania in the EEC project, will report of her research about collecting art in Romania during the recent 20 years.

A short Introduction to the text Art Collecting in Romania

Simona Vilau will give a short survey of the research “Art Collecting in
Romania”, research project together with Valentina Iancu, published on the EEC website

A short Genesis of Collecting – Notices about Collecting after Socialism

Hans Knoll will report how the different layers of collecting are appearing since 1989 in the countries of Eastern Europe.

Collecting Contemporary Art in Romania

Diana Dochia (owner of Anaid Gallery Bucharest and speaker of the Contemporary Art Galleries Association from Romania) will inform about the situation of collecting in Romania.

Experiences with Collecting Art and Curatorial Projects

Peter Bogner (curator, Vienna) contributes with his experiences with Collecting Art and Curatorial Projects.

Initiated by Hans Knoll, Knoll Gallery Vienna+Budapest
Organized by Simona Vilau
Many thanks to Mrs. Aurora Kiraly and to UNA Bucharest for hosting the conference.

(*) Hans Knoll, gallery-owner in Vienna and Budapest, has initiated the project Eastern European Collectors, EEC, for which he and his partners are doing research about collecting art in the former socialist countries. Up till now the first research results about the countries Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania are published on the website:

The project is supported by Departure – the creative agency of the city of Vienna:

Organizer: Knoll Galerie Wien

Sponsor: Departure

Partner: UNArte