The Art Collection Museum, K.H. Zambaccian Museum and Theodor Pallady Museum are hosted by historical buildings and present many interesting art collections featuring the spirit of the old Bucharest.
Inaugurated in 1978 as a Department of the National Museum of Art of Romania, the Art Collections Museum showcases artistic interests that prevailed in Romanian society from the early 20th century onward. Over 30 collections on permanent display incorporate a variety of art pieces and collectibles, ranging from Romanian and European fine and decorative arts to Oriental art. Donated over nearly a century by both collectors and artists, they bear witness to their owners’ taste and economic power, their leaning toward famous names or contemporary art, as well as to the artists’ particular interests, surroundings, and daily studio practice. Works by well-known Romanian painters such as Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Ioan Andreescu, Nicolae Tonitza, Gheorghe Petraşcu, Theodor Pallady, Lucian Grigorescu, Iosif Iser, Camil Ressu, Francisc Şirato, Alexandru Ciucurencu, Dimitrie Ghiaţă are exhibited alongside European and Japanese prints and drawings, French furniture, Oriental carpets, and folk icons from Transylvania. This unique museum is hosted by the former Romanit palace. The building, an example of modern Bucharest architecture, was recently restored and refurbished. Wherever possible, displays suggest the original layout and atmosphere of individual collections.
Art collector and critic Krikor H. Zambaccian (1889-1962) put together one of the richest and most valuable private collections in Romania. In the 1940s Zambaccian had the house purpose built so as to enable him to display the paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings and furniture he had acquired over more than half a century. Both the collection and the house were donated by him to the Romanian State in 1947.
In celebration of his deed, Zambaccian was made a member of the Romanian Academy.
The collector’s portfolio of Romanian artists offers a brief but dense overview of modern Romanian art, covering representative paintings by founding figures like Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Ioan Andreescu, classical modernists like Ștefan Luchian, Nicolae Tonitza, Theodor Pallady and Gheorghe Petrașcu, and post-war figurative painters like Corneliu Baba, Alexandru Phoebus and Horia Damian. Sculptures by Brâncuși, Milița Petrașcu, Oscar Han and Cornel Medrea reflect Zambaccian’s preference for a more traditional vein of modernism. To create a context for Romanian art and enhance his prestige, Zambaccian also acquired works by Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, Bonnard, Utrillo, and Marquet, which lend his collection a profile unmatched in Romania.
The museum brings centre stage a core selection of paintings by Theodor Pallady. Together with over 800 prints and drawings from the artist’s Parisian years, these are part of the Serafina and Gheorghe Răut collection, donated to the Romanian state at the end of the 1960s. The collection also comprises French, Dutch, English and Spanish paintings, European furniture and sculpture and a host of various objets d’art which speak eloquently about the manner in which Romanian inter-war intellectuals tried to emulate general trends.