“Brancusi: Romanian Sources and Universal Perspectives” exhibition in Timișoara visited by over 130,000 people

“Brancusi: Romanian Sources and Universal Perspectives,” exhibition has closed, after being visited by over 130,000 visitors.

On Sunday, the Governor of the National Bank of Romania, Mugur Isărescu, launched the silver coin dedicated to Constantin Brancusi, issued in a run of 5,000 copies. The coin has the portrait of the great artist on the front and the building of the Timișoara National Museum of Art on the reverse, and is available for purchase through the BNR branches in Bucharest, Timișoara, Iași, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova and Constanța, at the price of 547,40 lei, starting with Tuesday, January 30, 2024.

The exhibition received extensive national media coverage, with over 1,000 appearances on major television, radio, print, and online media, and was reviewed in over 70 articles in international publications, including prestigious dailies such as The New York Times, Financial Times, Le Monde, Le Figaro or Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, being praised in the pages of important art magazines such as The Art Newspaper, Artribune, Il Giornale dell’Arte, Artension or Le Journal des Arts.

The exhibition “Brancusi: Romanian Sources and Universal Perspectives” attracted a record number of over 130,000 visitors, including the 3,000 art lovers who benefited from free access on the occasion of the two cultural marathons, on December 20, 2023, and January 15, 2024, respectively. The number of visitors was limited only by the hosting capacity of the exhibition space, with ticket requests far exceeding the organizers’ expectations. The exhibition was the most important cultural event of the Timișoara 2023 – European Capital of Culture program, which certainly attracted the most significant number of tourists from the country and abroad, reconfirming Timișoara’s status as the capital of visual arts and an exceptional cultural destination, contributing to local economic development and the promotion of a positive image.

“The Brancusi exhibition in Timișoara showed two extremely important things that will form the basis of future cultural events in Romania. On the one hand, it was an example of successful collaboration between Romanian cultural entities and some of the world’s great museums, including Centre Pompidou and Tate Modern. On the other hand, we are delighted and overwhelmed by the public’s reaction to the exhibition, the excitement felt among visitors, and how this exhibition has widened the public’s appetite for quality culture. It is a sign that Romania is entering a healthy logic, in which culture becomes a habit and not an exception,” said Ovidiu Șandor, President of the Art Encounters Foundation.

For schoolchildren, the exhibition was a unique opportunity to discover Constantin Brancusi’s universe live. More than 26,000 pupils took part in more than 900 school visits, coming from Timișoara, from 26 cities in the country, 18 municipalities and villages in the region, but also from abroad (Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary). Some classes also benefited from a program of workshops offered by the French Institute and the National Museum of Art in Timișoara.

“The exhibition had a remarkable impact in the international press and was, without a doubt, the element of excellence of the European Capital of Culture, showing that the Timișoara National Museum of Art can reinvent itself as a cultural magnet for the public and have an honorable place in the reference list of European museums,” said Filip Petcu, Director of the National Museum of Art in Timișoara.

The extraordinary exhibition “Brancusi: Romanian Sources and Universal Perspectives” has come to an end, but it leaves behind an important bilingual catalog (Romanian-English) coordinated by Doina Lemny, the exhibition’s curator, which reproduces 190 images of Constantin Brancusi’s sculptures, drawings, and photographs, alongside documentary images. Published by the Art Encounters Foundation, the catalog brings together 16 original texts signed by Romanian, French, and English art historians and can be purchased from the most important bookstores in Timișoara and the country.

“Brancusi’s work is not a local expression; it is the essence of the highest possible expression of universal purity and will remain for the next centuries as the only insurmountable obstacle; ‘My homeland, my family. It’s the revolving world, a breath of wind, the floating clouds, the river flowing, the scorching fire, the green grass – the dry grass – dust, snow.’ These workshop notes express the cosmogonic conception at the center of Brancusi’s work when viewed as a whole and that this exhibition wanted to convey,” said Doina Lemny, the exhibition’s curator and Brancusi catalog’s coordinator.

“Constantin Brancusi is undoubtedly one of the greatest modern artists. The French Institute in Romania was honored to contribute to the realization of this exhibition, an event that is also an important stage in our bilateral cultural cooperation. It is a natural link with the great retrospective being prepared at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, highlighting our two countries. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who worked tirelessly to bring this event to fruition, an event that left its mark far beyond Timișoara, as well as our admiration for the exhibition’s curator, Doina Lemny, who managed to reinvent a way to help people discover or rediscover Brancusi,” said Julien Chiappone-Lucchesi, Director of the French Institute in Romania.

The organization of this exhibition cost 1,222,000 Euros. It brought in revenues of 1,359,000 Euros, of which 900,000 Euros were from tickets and 459,000 Euros from private sponsorships attracted by the exhibition partners, generating a surplus of 137,000 Euros.

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  • Panagiotis Spyridis

    6,92 Euro entrance fee is a good price for entering pure culture. It could have been cheaper but ok.