An exhibition dedicated to the official Romanian art developed between 1948 and 1965 is open at the National Museum of Art of Romania in Bucharest until April 2nd 2017. The exhibition is titled “Art for the People? Official Romanian Fine Arts between 1948 and 1965” and is curated by Monica Enache.

The exhibition addresses socialist realism in Romania, highlighting the key stages in the style’s development and how they link to historical events. At the same time, it enables visitors to get a glimpse into the visual world of the 1950s and 1960s.

“Taking their clues from the Soviet propaganda machine, communist officials used visual arts to reinforce their messages, to shape the minds and perceptions of the people. Thematic compositions reflect the life of the working class and support the new ideology; how closely artists identify themselves or not with the latter is a matter of personal choice as much as it is one of aesthetics, artistry or craftsmanship,” a presentation of the exhibition reads.

Works by famous as well as lesser-known Romanian artists from Camil Ressu, M.H. Maxy to Ion Bitzan and Iosif Ben are included in the exhibition.

“The fine arts made and promoted in communist Romania represented for the state apparatus an efficient method, more so than in the case of the other arts, to ‘educate’ or ‘re-educate’ the citizen. The entire image edifice introduced by the communist vision on art rested on a small and recurrent thematic repertoire, the so called ‘themed compositions,’ invariably linked to the history of the Romanian Communist Party and to the Soviet one, to the achievements in socialist production or to Romanian history. Everything to support the creed of socialism,” Monica Enache explains.

Two free, guided tours of the exhibition will be organized on December 22nd 2016 and March 9th 2017. Two lectures from the curator of the exhibition and various programs for families on topics associated to the exhibition will take place during the months of February and March 2017.

The exhibition is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 18:00.

A bilingual Romanian-English catalog of the exhibition is available at the museum’s shop.

Photo: MNAR Facebook Page