Diocesan Gallery Of Friendship

The Artistic Legacy of Mostar: A Journey Through Time and Culture

Nestled in the heart of Mostar lies an emblem of art and faith: the Art Gallery of the Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkan Dioceses. Founded in 1989 through the decree of Bishop Mons. Pavao Žanić, it was initially named the "Gallery of Friendship". Conceived with the mission of promoting modern art and safeguarding the Church's cultural heritage in Herzegovina, this gallery reflects the rich tapestry of art and faith intertwined throughout the ages.

Though officially established in the late 1980s, the seeds of artistic appreciation were sown much earlier. As early as the 1930s, the celebrated painter Karlo Afan de Rivera (1885-1979) immortalized the portraits of the Mostar-Duvno bishops and apostolic vicars.

As time passed, the gallery's collection grew richer and more diverse, incorporating meticulously chosen masterpieces from the 20th century, making it one of the most esteemed art collections in this part of Europe.

Acknowledging the Catholic Church's pivotal role in the development of cultural and educational thought throughout history, the diocesan administration, in 1990, took the monumental decision to construct the Diocesan Center in Mostar. Today, the heart of this center is the art gallery itself. Designed by renowned architect Zlatko Ugljen, the center took shape during the episcopal service of Mons. Ratko Perić. By 2023, under the guidance of Mons. Petar Palić, the center, with its art gallery, opened its doors to both local and international audiences, culminating in a narrative almost a century in the making.

Today, the gallery's collection showcases contemporary art pieces, painstakingly gathered over half a century by Herzegovinian priest Dr. Vjeko Božo Jarak, primarily through collaborations with artists and professors from the Sarajevo and Zagreb academies. In addition to modern masterpieces, the gallery boasts archaeological artifacts, an impressive collection of icons, liturgical clothing, vessels, and ancient liturgical books.

For art enthusiasts and curious souls alike, a more in-depth exploration awaits on their official Facebook page.

So, take a step back in time and embrace the rich heritage and artistic brilliance of Mostar at this iconic gallery. Each artifact tells a story of faith, culture, and the enduring spirit of a community that has cherished art for generations.