The Horezu Gallery of Contemporary Folk Art

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Horezu belongs, through its geographic structure and through a series of material and spiritual culture aspects, to a greater area in Northern Oltenia, which it defines in a unique manner, known on the Romanian folk art map as „The Horezu Ethno-folkloric Area”. This is because it acquired, over the time, both features that are common to Romanian folk art and culture as a whole and original forms of expression, that give it its own specific character.

Among the multitude of traditional customs and crafts in the Horezu area, pottery occupies a place of choice. The ceramists in this area have been producing clay objects for centuries, both in order to obtain additional income and in order to fulfill an innate inner artistic calling with ancestral roots at the level of the entire Romanian people. In the valuing of the artistic heritage of folk traditions, Horezu has a special merit through the organization, for more than four decades, of the Romanian Folk Pottery Fair “Cocoșul de Hurez” – bringing together, at the beginning of every summer, ceramists from all over the country – but also through the founding of the Gallery of Contemporary Folk Art, where the most valuable clay pieces are showcased, preserved and kept for the posterity.

The idea of organizing the Gallery of Contemporary Folk Art inside the “Constantin Brâncoveanu” house of culture, in the town of Horezu, at the beginning of the 1970’s, can be considered a fulfillment of the Horezu ceramists’ desire of having – why not? – an official representation of their art, who can facilitate their national and international acknowledgement through their works, worthy of being seen, admired and valued.

The collection, housed in a space of 350 sq m, consisting of 7 exhibition rooms and a storage room, contains over 4000 pieces of pottery, from Horezu and the most representative active ceramic centres in Romania. This fund was created in more than 45 years and it originates in direct donations of the ceramists. Together with the organization of the national manifestation “Cocoșul de Hurez” Romanian Folk Pottery Fair, in 1971, on the basis of the Organization and Functioning Regulations, the participating artisans donate to the gallery 1-3 ceramic pieces – the most representative ones from the point of view of authenticity, specificity of the centre and artistic achievement.

The gallery is unique in the country and it impresses through the richness and diversity of the exhibits, offering the visitors the opportunity to get a general impression on Romanian pottery. The exhibition is structured on regions, centres and authors, creating a kind of „map” of this traditional craft in our country.

In the exhibition are present the creations of ceramists from Horezu, Slătioara, Vlădeşti and Lungeşti (Vâlcea county), Oboga (Olt county), Curtea de Argeş (Argeş county), Braniştea (Galaţi county), Şişeşti (Mehedinţi county), Jupâneşti (Timiş county), Corund and Miercurea Ciuc (Harghita county), Baia Mare (Maramureş county), Marginea and Rădăuţi (Suceava county), Obârşia (Hunedoara county), etc.

In the interest of the better appreciation and popularization of the Romanian folk art, in all its beauty, purity and permanent evolution, our collection represents an important step forward, especially due to the fact that the fund grows ever richer in ceramic objects, but not only – folk costumes, wood sculptures, household items – testimony of the crafts that have lasted for centuries on this land.