Vladan Desnica: 2005

Author of the exhibition:

Olga Krasić Marjanović

Exhibition design:

Siniša Babić and Snežana Rajković

Marking 100 years since the birth of Vladan Desnica

The exhibition presents the most important moments from the life and work of Vladan Desnica. The 25 posters made in digital printing, through documents, manuscripts, typescripts, photographs and newspaper documentation are presenting the following: Desnica family tree, childhood, youth, schooling in Zagreb, family circle, meetings with foreign and local writers, participation in congresses, correspondence, office in Zagreb at Kraševa 14.

As a particular segment of the exhibition, quotes from the works of Vladan Desnica, newspaper articles that accompanied the publication of the books, as well as manuscripts, present the diverse activities of the writer and excellent intellectual Vladan Desnica: poet, storyteller, playwright, novelist, composer, screenwriter, editor of the magazine “Magazin sjeverne Dalmacije”.
Archives and institutions from Belgrade and Novi Sad were used in the collection and selection of materials: SASA Archives, Manuscript Department of Matica Srpska, holdings of the National Library of Serbia and the Belgrade City Library, Archives of the Museum of Theatrical Arts of Serbia, newspaper and audio documentation of Radio Belgrade. From Croatia, the archives of the Desnica family, the Manuscript Department of the National and University Library in Zagreb, the State Archives in Zadar and the holdings of Jankovich castle were used for the most part.
In addition to the writer’s personal items: glasses, inkwell, letters, and coffee machine, the posters present numerous photos of Vladan Desnica with writers and friends, as well as in the family circle. The manuscript material consisting of essays, the manuscript of the novel “Proljeća Ivana Galeba“, poems, private letters addressed to his wife and mother, etc.) contributed significantly to the exhibition.



Some issues of the magazine “Magazin sjeverne Dalmacije” from 1934 and 1935, which was edited by Desnica, were scanned and presented. Photographs from the premiere of the play “Ljestve Jakovljeve“, which took place at The Yugoslav Drama Theatre in 1961, were taken from the Museum of Theatrical Arts of Serbia, as well as music sheets of compositions composed by Desnica personally. A part of the libretto’s text for the opera “Adelova pjesma” was also exhibited.


The exhibition’s opening was also attended by the two daughters of V. Desnica, Nataša and Jelena, who travelled from Zagreb for the occasion. The exhibition was opened on September 19, 2005, in the BCL gallery by the director Jovan Radulović. Nebojša Kundačina read excerpts from the work. After the exhibition, a scientific meeting dedicated to Vladan Desnica was held in Vuk’s Hall.


“Even when you have put aside a manuscript, it consciously lives in you. The matter is ripe, even though you didn’t think so… Something cannot mature at the writing desk; the work is always created further away from the writing desk. Consciously driving the thought to find one solution does not lead to the goal. There must be a certain spontaneity in the solutions that come. Moving away from work removes conscious attention so that the subconscious work on it will help the writer start again.”

Taken from a conversation with F. Pašić, Borba. December 22, 1963, clipping from the Exhibition panel


“…The games of spring and death. Dualism, that opposite, that pair of opposites, is the basic theme of every artistic creation. Spring is taken as an element of light, death as an element of darkness… The feeling of infinity, and then the feeling of finitude – that is that intimate contradiction in human nature on which the whole art is woven. I deliberately wanted to give more space to that feeling and that duality in my novel. That is why that book was written.”

Desnica about the novel “Proljeća Ivana Galeba, a clip from the exhibition panel


The exhibition can be viewed here.