The purpose, for which the Croatian Academy Glyptotheque had been established, makes it a unique institution in Croatia. It was founded in 1937, by the name of Gypsotheque, its aim having been the presentation of the plaster casts of the immovable monuments of the Croatian cultural heritage. Over the course of time, its museum holdings had been enriched with numerous important works of the Croatian sculptural art of 19th and 20th centuries. When the Gypsotheque became a constituent part of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, it was renamed to Glyptotheque. Its current museum holdings contain over 13,000 items.
The Glyptotheque (from the Greek glyptos – carved and theke – case; originally a collection of gems, which later expanded to cover a museum of sculptures) is located in the one-time tannery and leather industry facility, the construction of which had begun in 1864, and gradually expanded, until it became the biggest industrial plant in Zagreb. The fire destroyed most of the plant in 1926; and in 1938, the tannery went out of business.
The founder of the Gypsotheque, Dr. Antun Bauer, was the initiator of the move to the one-time industrial facility of the tannery, which took place in 1940. During the Second World War, there were various depots in the major part of the complex, but since 1950, the Glyptotheque has been a constituent part of the Croatian Academy, and has turned into a museum of sculptures, in which creative works of the sculptural art from the antiquity until the present time can be seen. In 2000, a Sculpture Park was created alongside the existing complex (realisation: Miroslav Begović, F.C.A.).
Today, the Glyptotheque has a floor area of over 14,000 square metres, where it keeps and exhibits the biggest collection of sculptures in Croatia, including plaster casts and original works of Croatian sculptural art of 19th and 20th centuries.
The Glyptotheque, Zagreb
The museum holdings of the Glyptotheque were built up from donations, works given into keeping and purchases. The Croatian Academy Glyptotheque is a member of ICOM, UNESCO’s International Committee for Museums.
- The Collection of the Croatian Sculptural Art from 19th to 21st century
- The Study Collection of Drawings by the Croatian Artists of 20th century
- The Collection of Medals and Plaques of 19th and 20th centuries
- The Collection of the Plaster Casts of the Sculptures of the Antiquity from Museums Worldwide (established in 1892)
- The Collection of the Plaster Casts of Sculpture Fragments from the Immovable Monuments of the Croatian Cultural Heritage from 9th to 15th century (from the Pre-Romanic period to the Renaissance)
- The Collection of the Plaster Casts of the Works by Juraj Matejev Dalmatinac (the Šibenik Cathedral: UNESCO – the World Cultural Heritage)
- The Collection of the Plaster Casts of the Mediaeval Standing Tomb-Stones
- The Collection of the Copies of Frescos from 11th to 16th century
- The Collection of the Plaster Casts of the Coats of Arms from Dalmatia
- The Collection of the Plaster Casts of the Votive Tablets of the Seamen from Perast in Boka Kotorska)