The Secret Museum

The Secret Museum

The Secret Museum

March 8 – July 28


At the request of visitors, the Secret Museum exhibition is extended for the Art Safari public until July 28! Great Romanian artists are still waiting for you to discover them.

Since 1960, the Topalu village on the Danube shores has been preserving a unique treasure: the “Dinu and Sevasta Vintilă” Museum, which houses one of the most important collections of interwar Romanian art, including masterpieces by Nicolae Grigorescu, Nicolae Tonitza, Ștefan Luchian, Theodor Pallady, Corneliu Baba, Gheorghe Petrașcu, Samuel Mützner, Alexandru Ciucurencu, Nicolae Dărăscu, Camil Ressu, Iosif Iser and Constantin Piliuță.

Photos: Woman in Grey (Needlewoman), by Alexandru Ciucurencu; Woman with Child on the Outskirts of the City, by Ștefan Luchian

The Art Museum in Topalu is housed in the childhood home of doctor Gheorghe Vintilă (1898-1978), passionate collector and a close friend of the great Romanian artists. He donated the house, together with all the works he collected throughout his life, to the Topalu village, in order to establish a public museum, dedicated to the memory of his parents. The “Dinu and Sevasta Vintilă” collection consists of 228 paintings, sculptures and graphic works, which the doctor gave to the community in 1960.

This museum is the only art institution of its kind in the countryside in Romania. The Secret Museum exhibition at Art Safari is so far the first external presentation of the impressive Topalu collection.

The “Dinu and Sevasta Vintilă” Museum in Topalu; source: Wikipedia

Sculptor Oscar Han – Gheorghe Vintilă’s guide in the art world

Who was the generous collector to whom this museum owes its existence?

Passionate about art since his youth, doctor Gheorghe Vintilă met sculptor Oscar Han, who became his friend and art consultant, guiding and accompanying him on each acquisition. Thus, he became close to the artists Francisc Șirato, Ștefan Dimitrescu and Nicolae Tonitza, who formed, together with Oscar Han, “The Group of Four” – perhaps the most important artistic group in the history of Romanian art.

Doctor Gheorghe Vintilă worked in Bucharest, where he acquired a great professional reputation, as well as the material means with which he honoured his passion for art, setting up a priceless collection. Towards the end of his life, the doctor wished to donate this valuable collection to his native village, where his parents had been teachers. His only condition for leaving it to the community was for him to be buried in the courtyard of the museum, where he still rests to this day.

One of the most important interwar art collections, displayed at Art Safari!

The “Dinu and Sevasta Vintilă” Museum in Topalu, Constanța County, reveals a part of Romanian culture, a piece of the country’s history, seen through an art collection of great refinement.

Curator: Lelia Rus Pîrvan
In partnership with Constanța Art Museum, with the support of Constanța County Council and Topalu Town Hall

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