After being founded by the mayor of the capital General Vladimir Vazov in 1928 Sofia Art Gallery went through many stages. It became a separate museum in 1952 but got its own space in the building at №1 Gourko Str. only 21 years later in 1973.
The gallery opened its doors in 1977. At that time the necessary architectural reconstructions took place and the exhibition halls and storage rooms were completed. The first exposition of the museum was also in the process of preparation. Turning a small gathering of pictures into a considerable collection had taken a long time. In the mid-seventies it already amounted to 2607 works distributed into three departments – Paintings, Graphic and Sculpture. These works have remained the founding pillar of the museum. The 1977 exhibition included some emblematic works for the history of Bulgarian art from the period between the 20ies and the 80ies of the 20th century. In the course of several years it was only this exposition that was being renewed and enriched.
Recreating the spirit of the “first one” and celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of its inauguration has the ambition to go beyond being just one of the regular exhibitions in the history of Sofia Art Gallery. We hope that it will become a territory where different generations can conduct a dialogue. We will be glad if it further contributes to an adequate analysis of the development of Bulgarian art.
In his speech at the inauguration ceremony on 1st November, 1977 the then current director Atanas Neikov said: ‘The gallery is not going to condemn to a “museum confinement” the works of art it possesses provided that it renews its exposition, constantly enriches its fund, searches for problematic works and recognizes the new phenomena in the vigorous development of our art.’ Unfortunately this outspoken confidence in the development of the museum has been confirmed only to some extent. Since the 80ies the funds have been complemented only by donations and the important process of buying works of art significant for the development of Bulgarian art has been interrupted. It is only this current 2007 that some changes have occurred, which make us believe that what has been missed for the last 18 years will be made up for.
Donors: SOFIA MUNICIPALITY, DEVNYA CEMENT, EIBANK, SP CONSULT, PARKINGS AND GARAGES