Culture and tradition > Križevci Municipal Museum and Gallery of Fine Arts
In 1952, marking the 700th anniversary of proclaiming Križevac a " Free Royal Burgh ", a collection of historic works was displayed, providing visual evidence for the town's rich history, and preserving it for future generations. Dragutin Zajec, who had already assembled most of the items by himself, was entrusted with organizing the collection. He donated his private collection to the town Museum, and later on he was appointed first curator of the museum. Hrvatski dom (Croatian National Hall) housed the collection from 1952 to 1961, when the renovation of the Karas House (the so-called Pauline Inn, since it was built next to the Pauline monastery as an inn for its visitors) was completed and the collection was transferred there. It has been displayed there ever since.Apart from housing art collections, the gallery offers another special service-an open air cinema. Every summer evening the audience can enjoy a film projected onto a large screen in the gallery atrium experiencing the summer evening, and the exciting social atmosphere. It is also an ideal place for open air concerts.
The Karas House is laid out in a U shape, and has wooden outdoor stairs, as well as an exterior porch. The house assumed its present-day shape in the 18th century, while some of its parts may be even older. The main entrance was on the south side of the house, with the year 1796 carved on the doorway. In its yard, there is an ethno-park with representative examples of traditional architecture of the area around Kalnik that is known for its use of wood.
The permanent and some temporary exhibitions are displayed in the building of the Gallery of Fine Arts. The building of Gallery of Fine Arts is placed within the old "Assembly House", and is situated in the town centre, next to the town park. Its style is that of the border-land Baroque with simple ornaments and a massive mansard roof. The "Assembly House" was being built in several phases, and its older part dates back to the 18th century. A modest one-story building was added to the north part. Both of the buildings are one of the oldest buildings in Križevci. The last renovation of the Gallery building was carried out in 2006.
In late 20th century this tenement was turned into the Museum. Vladimir Srimšek, the art history professor and the Museum manager, initiated the adaptation and adjustment of the building for its future purpose – exhibiting Museum collections. In the 1983 renovation of the building due to its instability, some old parts were pulled down, and the Museum atrium started assuming its present-day shape.
The Gallery holds more than 300 different items related to the history of Križevci, which was a precondition for an item to become a part of the collection in the first place. Thus one can find the works of renowned authors who were born in Križevci (like Marijan Detoni, Jelka Struppi Wolkensperg), attended a school in the town or worked here (like Dragutin Renarić, Ivo Friščić, Josip Turković, Marijan Kolesar, Vlado Srimšek, Julije Čikoš Sesia, etc.), or those who painted the landscape of Križevci or surrounding area, local people and historic events (like Oton Iveković, Joso Buzan, Nasta Rojc, Edo Kovačević, Ivan Zasche, and many other). The permanent display of the Gallery can only be seen in summer, due to a large number of temporary exhibitions held there throughout the year.