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Zbirka medalja Berislava Kopača : donacija Arheološkome muzeju u Zagrebu

Mirnik, Ivan
Zbirka medalja Berislava Kopača : donacija Arheološkome muzeju u Zagrebu, Zagreb: Arheološki muzej u Zagrebu, 2005 (monografija)

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Zbirka medalja Berislava Kopača : donacija Arheološkome muzeju u Zagrebu
(The Berislav Kopač medal collection : donation to the Zagreb Archeological Museum)

Mirnik, Ivan

Ostali urednici
Mirnik, Ivan

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija knjige
Autorske knjige, monografija, znanstvena

Arheološki muzej u Zagrebu





Ključne riječi
Kopač; Berislav; medalja; Hrvatska; 20 st
(Kopač; Berislav; medal; Croatia; 20th c)

SUMMARY THE BERISLAV KOPAČ MEDAL COLLECTION Besides the medal collections in various museums in Croatia, (i.e. Zagreb), there were two major private collections of medals. One was assembled by Dragutin Mandl (*1892 +1959), the bulk of which was acquired from his heirs by the Modern Gallery in Zagreb in the sixties of the 20. c. The other big collection was put together by Berislav Kopač and is now part of the the Numismatic Collection of the Zagreb Archaeological Museum The Kopač Collection generated from the long years of collecting by Viktor Kopač (*Trebinje, Hercegovina, 21 June 1904 +Zagreb, 28 July 1983) and his son Berislav (*Sarajevo, 2 October 1927 +Zagreb, 18 January 2000). Viktor Kopač's main interest lay in numismatics as a scholarly discipline and in collecting ancient coins, as is shown by a rich bibliography of published articles. Berislav Kopač, on the other hand, entirely concentrated on the art of the medal. His father too was a true connoiseur of medals and medallists and also published much in this field. Berislav wrote less, but collected more. In the course of several years he acquired the reputation of being among the best experts in this field in the country. Both father and the son were active members of the Croatian Numismatic Society. Berislav had a cousin, the well-known Croatian painter Slavko Kopač (*Vinkovci, 21 August 1913 - Paris, 23 November 1995). In the Kopač Collection there is a standing cast bronze plaquette by Slavko Kopač (inv. no. E47324, cat. no. 343), another standing plaquette by Želimir Janeš, modelled in 1990 (inv. no. E47230, cat. no. 272) evokes the curtain which was painted for the Osijek Croatian National Theatre by Slavko Kopač. Berislav Kopač presented the Zagreb Archaeological Museum with a medal for the first time in 1994. It was a specimen of the legendary pewter medal « from the bottom of the river Sava» , with the portrait of the Croatian minister, painter and art historian Izidor Kršnjavi by Ivo Kerdić, 1915.With the donation of the entire Kopač Collection more of such specimens came to the Numismatic Cabinet and were exhibited at the big Kerdić exhibition in 2004. Ana Kopač née Čuljat, born in Vinkovci, Berislav’ s widow, decided to present the entire medal collection to the Zagreb Archaeological Museum, while Roman and more recent coins were given to the Osijek Museum of Slavonia. The donation contract was signed by Ana Kopač and Ante Rendić-Miočević, the museum director on 23 March 2001. According to Paragraph 4 this collection will in future be called the “ Berislav Kopač Collection” . It was packed and carried to the Museum on 12 and 13 November 2001, but some medals were brought to the museum later. All the medals have been studied, listed and catalogued. The Berislav Kopač Collection consists of 2180 items, of this 1197 are medals and more important badges. There are various silver, bronze, pewter, lead medals and plaquettes, essays in lead, specimens in terracotta, plaster and wood, reduced and unreduced medals, in original boxes and without them.There are unique pieces as well as rare ones. In some cases there are two or more copies, or copies in various metals or different patina, in several variants etc. There are only plaster casts of some medals, for instance certain works by Frangeš-Mihanović and some Napoleonic or Belgian medals. There is also a considerable number of chiefly modern saints' medals, badges and decorations, which also make an interesting and valuable unit. In many cases badges are only reduced larger medals by important masters, such as Ivo Kerdić, Želimir Janeš or Vladimir Štoviček, or some other well-known artists. The Kopač Collection is accompanied by valuable documentation on artists and medals, such as drawings, notes, manuscripts, many photographs of people and objects, newspaper cuttings, exhibition catalogues etc. The reflection of this important documentation can be seen in the bibliography and the list of exhibitions. It could not have been collected any more in our times. The collection itself is unique in both its size and contents and it can be considered as a cross-section of the Croatian medal of the 20th century. There are very few authors who are not represented here by at least one work. The works by Želimir Janeš alone can serve as a sufficient and rich selection of his oeuvre, created over many years. From what can be understood, the Kopač Collection was not assembled with money only, on the contrary, very few medals were actually purchased. Its creation and growth can be explained by the long-standing companionship and friendship of the Kopač family with several artists. This is also shown by portrait medals of the members of the Kopač family. For example Viktor Kopač and his wife Emilija were portrayed by Želimir Janeš. He even made a poshumous portrait of Ivan Čuljat, the father of Ana Kopač. Stipe Sikirica modelled portrait medals of Viktor and Berislav Kopač, and medallions with busts of Ana and Berislav were made by the great Slovene master Vladimir Štoviček. This companionship, known to everybody, was sincere, warm, happy and pleasant, a good glass of wine and brandy always went with it and so did a richly set table. Similar parties were traditional within the Medallists' Section of the Croatian Numismatic Society, held at the hospitable Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts. Friends did not only meet in Zagreb in artists' studios, but also all over the country and in Slovenia. Very frequently the aim was to go to Leskovec and see Vladimir Štoviček. No exhibition opening was missed in Zagreb, Vinkovci, Osijek, Brod, Karlovac, Sisak, Ljubljana, Krško, Velenje, Celje etc. Yet, time brings its toll. Little by little this circle of friends was decimated by old age and sickness. The old ones died, the young ones became white-headed and the middle-aged old. Faces became wrinkled, the eyesight bad, the waist wide. Therefore this beautiful collection can be considered as a permanent testimony both of public manifestations and of the more intimate associating of the friends of the medal. We owe this collection to the selfless and patriotic gesture of Ana Kopač. The collection was never kept private, locked under seven locks, by the Kopač family ; on the contrary, the public has had many occasions to admire selected material from this collection at exhibitions prepared by Vinko Zlamalik, and also after his death, within the framework of the Ivo Kerdić Memorials. Specimens were even sent to some of the FIDEM (Fédération de la médaille) exhibitions. Thus for instance at the 1993 Ivo Kerdić Memorial Exhibition of medals and small sculpture in Osijek 31 medals by Vanja Radauš, almost his entire medallic oeuvre, was shown. When the big Ivo Kerdić exhibition was opened at the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb on 4 February 2004, one third of medals came from the Kopač Collection. Thus that exhibition was only a discreet foretaste of what was going to follow when the entire exhibition was shown. Although some specimens date from the 19th c, the bulk of the Kopač Collection consists of 20th c medals. Therefore the exhibition of the most interesting sections of the Kopač Collection can be considered as a cross-section of the Croatian medal of the 20th c. Foreign medals are relatively rare, because the collector’ s aim was to assemble as many Croatian medals as possible. The catalogue contains descriptions of individual medals, in alphabetical order, according to author, and within such groups, medals are arranged chronologically. In the case of a medal represented in several versions, the order follows the creation of the medal, from sketches, to unreduced models, negatives and positives, essays and final products, struck or cast medals. Names of almost all living and deceased authors are represented ; there are even painters or sculptors who almost never or seldom ventured into medal making. Some of them were mere engravers. Therefore the appearance of some of the names here is suprising: Kosta Angeli Radovani, Ivan Antolčić, Grga Antunac, Antun Augustinčić, Antun Babić, Viktor Bernfest, Emil Bohutinsky, Kruno Bošnjak, Vojtjeh Braniš, Zdravko Brkić, Brane Crlenjak, Vera Dajht-Kralj, Ante Despot, Boris Duk, Robert Frangeš-Mihanović, Ivo Grbić, Griesbach i Knaus (Zagreb), Vladimir Herljević, Radivoj Hudoklin, Ljubo Ivančić, Stanko Jančić, Želimir Janeš, Ivan Jeger, Hinko Juhn, Franjo M. Kares (Karress), Ivo Kerdić, Albert Kinert, braća Knaus, (Zagreb), Marijan Kocković, Franjo Kodrić, Slavko Kopač, Đurđica Kovačiček, Teodor Krivak, Maja Krstić-Lukač, Frano Kršinić, Stjepan Kukec, Zvonimir Lončarić, Velibor Mačukatin, Vladimir Marenić, Damir Mataušić, Vlado Mataušić, Fran Meneghello Dinčić, Ivan Meštrović, Ante Orlić, Vjekoslav Parać, Josip Poljan, Vanja Radauš, Josip Radković, Željko Radmilović, Branko Ružić, Iva Simonović-Despić, Stipe Sikirica, fra Josip Ante Soldo, Franjo Sorlini, Ante Starčević, Marin Studin, Zlatko Tudjina, Marija Ujević, Rudolf Valdec, Branko Vujanović, Mila (Ludmila) Wod (Vodsedalek, Wood), and other. Almost all medals bear the author’ s signature, usually an easily identified monogram. But sometimes several signatures are similar – let us remember the frequent monogram VM. Here lies the trap: VM can be read as Vladimir Marenić, Vlado Mataušić, Velibor Mačukatin, even Vladimir Heljević, because his monogram VH, especially if much reduced can also be read as VM. The authors of several unsigned medals or plaquettes still remain unknown. The best represented Croatian medallist in the Kopač Collection is Želimir Janeš. Janeš was born in Sisak on 12 December 1916. He was always proud of his native town and expressed this on many medals, small sculpture and tactiles, many of such can be found in the Kopač Collection. Some of these medals bear motifs taken from various Roman statues or reliefs. Janeš went to secondary school and later the Crafts School in Zagreb. In 1937 he entered the Academy of Fine Arts, and became a student of Frano Kršinić, the sculptor, and Ivo Kerdić, the medallist. The same year (1937) saw the execution of his first public monument: a beautiful, limestone well-head in a small garden at the crossing of King Zvonimir and Šubić streets in Zagreb. In 1941-42 he specialized with Ivan Meštrović, and in 1945-46 with Antun Augustinčić. For several years he was a free-lance artist, then between 1950 and 1955 was active in the Kršinić studio. From 1956 to 1961 Janeš taught at the Crafts School (the School of Applied Arts) and from 1961 to 1987, when he retired, at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1983 he was elected collaborating member of the Yugoslav (Croatian) Academy of Science and Arts in Zagreb, corresponding member of its Seventh Class in 1987 and regular member in 1991. Želimir Janeš died in Zagreb 21 January 1996. In his work he paid due respect to the red star, the hammer and sycle, and the central and other committees, both on monuments and medals, so that he could freely and abundantly, without reprimand, produce medals and reliefs depicting various saints, churches and popes. In the first category of his works it was human suffering and the strife for freedom that he most sincerely expressed and in the second category his profound belief as a Christian and Catholic. Besides being the author of countless medals and similar artefacts, Janeš also realized some public monuments (in Gomirje, Krapina, Karlovac, Ozalj, Roč – Hum, Novi Vinodolski, Sisak, Brezovica, Vukovar, Zagreb, Zenica). Among those the most beautiful are in Istria, at Roč and Hum, symbolizing Croatian Glagolitic literacy from the Middle Ages to our day. The white limestone monuments in the shape of Glagolitic letters, scattered across an untouched landscape, make their own wonderful impression. Janeš also made the massive bronze doors with twelve medallions symbolizing the laboure'r calendar, for the city gate of the mediaeval town of Hum. Even after retiring Janeš kept his workshop on the ground-floor right of the Academy, with large windows turned to the park and the foundry on its northern side. There he continued giving advice to young medallists, receiving friends. The creative disorder gave this studio a special warm atmosphere, as the Italian proverb says dove c'è ordine, non c'è genio. Janeš was a heavy smoker and there was always some mist there. As coffee always goes with cigarettes, so there was always good strong coffee for the host and his guests. It was truly exciting to watch the master, wearing bifocal glasses, make models or use a scalpel or giving the last touch to a plaster model for a medal, while discussing various topics. Besides many museums and private collections in Croatia, works by Janeš can be found in Bosnia, Poland (Wrocław), Serbia, Slovenia, the U.S.A, Vatican City etc. He began exhibiting in 1948, and he held his first solo exhibition in 1953 in Zagreb. Since then his works have been shown at very many collective exhibitions both in Croatia and abroad, and more than twenty one-man exhibitions. Texts for the exhibition catalogues and reviews of these exhibitions in newspapers have been written by almost every noted Croatian art historian and some other people dealing with medals. Self-portraits by Želimir Janeš, and portraits of him by other artists, are part of the Kopač Collection, and a permanent reminder of a great artist whose enormous oeuvre has greatly enriched the art of medal making in Croatia. During his student days in Paris and Vienna Ivo Kerdić, another very well represented artist in the Kopač Collection, perfected the art of modelling and became a master of many techniques. He was able to engrave, emboss, cast, strike, reduce, retouch, patinate and enamel. In all this nobody could match him. Even his lettering was perfect as was his composition. The sources of his art are to be found in Greek and Roman art and he also knew well the great Italian medallists of the Renaissance. And of course, all the time he closely observed what was going on in the art of the medal both at home and abroad. His early medals clearly show the influence of French Art Nouveau and the Austrian Sezession. After the First World War his style changed. Some medals and plaquettes are true examples of art déco, but most of Kerdić's medals remain timeless. Like some of his statuettes, particularly the beautiful « Goldsmith's Gold» , and some of his plaquettes and medals – just like those by Valdec and Frangeš-Mihanović - can still often be seen in the homes of old Zagreb families. The popularity of his work is shown by the fact that several of them have been reworked even after his death. During his long artistic career Ivo Kerdić created an enormous number of medals and plaquettes, in fact no one has yet made a complete list. His works in the Zagreb Archaeological Museum are an impressive cross-section of his entire oeuvre. There are many medals, from one of the earliest (1906) to the very last (the succession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952). One medal was even antedated and bears the year following the artist's death. This is an unsigned medal, modelled to mark the reopening of the Cultural Centre in Petrinja in 1954. This medal is also part of the Kopač Collection: there are large, representative medals and plaquettes, in several variants, but there are also tiny medals and various badges, which are, from the point of view of their inventiveness and execution, in no way less important than the former and bear all the stylistic marks of the master. Some were signed with the artist's initials IK, or with a lime-tree leaf. They were struck either at Griesbach and Knaus, T. Krivak, or some other firms in Zagreb, and also in Vienna and Bohemia. There are also some small, unsigned medals whose authorship is still in doubt.. Such small pilgims' medals or societies' badges have largely been neglected and almost never exhibited, not only for practical reasons but because of their small size. The range of medals by Kerdić from the Kopač Collection is very wide. The earliest ones beari all the stylistic marks of Art Nouveau. On medals Kerdić marked and followed many historical, social and less important events in Croatia over almost fifty years, thus for instance: the Croatian Ball in Vienna (1912), the Sarajevo assassination (1914), the First World War (« For Orphans and Invalids» 1916), the Fourth International Congress of Architects in Zagreb (1930), the Matrix of Croatian Theatre Amateurs (1935), the centenary of « Croatian Newspaper» (1935), etc. As states, regimes and political systems alternated, it was always the case that some of Kerdić's works had to be forgotten. Thus some medals from the times of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were discreetly laid aside after its destruction in 1918. After 1945 it was even dangerous to posses certain of his creations dating from period between the two world wars, and particularly some from the era of the Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945). For instance the portrait of the Croatian political leader Dr. Vladko Maček or Kerdić's models for the coins of the Independent State of Croatia, all in the Kopač Collection. Kerdić also modelled medals and badges for several societies: Petrinja, the ladies' handicrafts society (1908), the Croatian Radiša Society etc. There are also several sports medals, as for instance the « Falcon» rallies in Zagreb (1911, 1925). The portait medals are a wide gallery of the artist's contemporaries of different professions and from different social strata. There are also portaits of important men of the past. Among them memorials to: the archaeologist Mihovil Abramić (1950), the archaeologist Antun Bauer (1947), Leander Brozović, the founder of the museum at Koprivnica (1947), the writer August Cesarec (1946), the archaeologist Viktor Hoffiller (1938), Miss Valeska Ludwig (1910), the lawyer and politician Dr. Vladko Maček (1938), the leading Zagreb craftsmen Đ. Matić and M. Ramuščak (1933), the writer and art historian Andro Vid Mihičić (1951), the teacher Ivan Tomašić (1943). The plaquette bearing the striking profile of a charming Miss Valeska Ludwig was sometimes wrongly called the portrait of Mrs, or even Countess Walewska from Napoleonic times. It was only from the variant of the plaquette from the Kopač Collection that the whole name of this young lady, of whom we know nothing, could be read. After the 18th c. virtuoso Franz Schega (Šega), Štoviček can be considered the greatest Slovene medallist. Vladimir Štoviček (*1896 - 1989) almost lived to witness the exhibition held in Brežice in Slovenia in order to mark the centenary of his birth. He was born the first of seven children, of Czech parents on 26 June 1896 at Bošanj near Sevnica. In 1900 his father entered into Prince Auersperg’ s service at the Turn Castle near Krško. After finishing primary school in Krško, Vladimir Štoviček continued his education in Ljubljana at the Crafts’ School. In 1913 he went to Prague, but was not admitted to the Academy of Arts. Nevertheless, he studied with Josef Maratka, Jan Štursa and Stanislav Sucharda. When the Great War was over, Štoviček finally entered the Prague Academy and became a pupil of the sculptor Jan Štursa and the medallist Otokar Španiel. He graduated in 1923. In 1926 he went to Paris and in the following year he did some work for Antoine Bourdelle. In 1929 his skill in producing medals was given an impetus through his friendship with Raymond Delamarre. Having started exhibiting in the twenties, his presence at various exhibitions became more frequent in the thirties. Finally, in 1931 he returned to his homeland and settled in the Šrajbarski Turn Castle near Leskovec. From then on he began receiving and accepting more and more commissions for full sculpture, portrait medals and plaquettes His activities continued on a full scale after the Second World War. In 1959 he showed at the FIDEM exhibition in Vienna (he took part at the 1971 FIDEM in Cologne), and in 1961 he spent a considerable time studying and working in Cairo. Active almost to the very last moment, Štoviček died on 11 December 1989. Among connoisseurs he was famous not only for his medals, but also for his ample hospitality, warm personality and radiating vitality. There are only a few works by other Slovene sculptors in the Kopač Collection: Lojze Dolinar, Boris Pengov and Anton Sever. This collection also contains medals by a number of Austrian medallists: Arnold Hartig, Edmund von Hellmer, Georg Herrmann, Josef Heu, Hans Köttenstorfer, Rudolf Ferdinand Marschall, Carl Radnitzky, Anton Scharff, Stefan Schwartz, Hans Schwathe and Theodor Stundl. The only German artist is Karl Xaver Goetz. Among the Italian medallists are Costantino Affer, Francesco Bianchi , Brancondi, Marcello Mascherini and Aurelio Mistruzzi. French artists are: Daniel-Jean-Baptiste Dupuis and Gustave Joseph Martin. Hungarian medallists are Sandor Dudás, Andras Kis Nagy, Gyula Kiss Kovacs and István Lisztes. Sandor Dudás studied in Zagreb and was a pupil of Želimir Janeš, whom he portrayed on a medal (inv. no. E46821, cat. no. 66). There are also some Russian artists who made medals for a series of Russian writers’ and poets’ medals: A. JU. (A.Ю .), Aleksej Koroljuk, N.S. and Jurij Sasurin. Two signatures have not been identified. Besides this part of a series of Russian medals, there are also medals made by several Croatian artists for a peace award chain (1980), parts of two Hungarian series of medals and finally tokens struck by the Croatian Numismatic Society. The old Swiss engravers' firm Huguenin Frè res of Le Locle, founded in 1868 (the Faude & Huguenin Firm) is also represented. Finally we may mention the three Czech artists, whose works can be found in the Kopač Collection: Milan Knobloch, Johann Baptist Pichl and Otakar Španiel. The last was one of Štoviček's teachers.

Izvorni jezik
Hrvatski, engleski

Znanstvena područja



Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb


Avatar Url Ivan Mirnik (autor)

Citiraj ovu publikaciju

Mirnik, Ivan
Zbirka medalja Berislava Kopača : donacija Arheološkome muzeju u Zagrebu, Zagreb: Arheološki muzej u Zagrebu, 2005 (monografija)
Mirnik, I. (2005) Zbirka medalja Berislava Kopača : donacija Arheološkome muzeju u Zagrebu. Zagreb, Arheološki muzej u Zagrebu.
@book{book, author = {Mirnik, I.}, collectioneditor = {Mirnik, Ivan}, translator = {Mirnik, Ivan}, year = {2005}, pages = {207}, keywords = {Kopa\v{c}, Berislav, medalja, Hrvatska, 20 st}, isbn = {953-6789-17-5}, title = {Zbirka medalja Berislava Kopa\v{c}a : donacija Arheolo\v{s}kome muzeju u Zagrebu}, keyword = {Kopa\v{c}, Berislav, medalja, Hrvatska, 20 st}, publisher = {Arheolo\v{s}ki muzej u Zagrebu}, publisherplace = {Zagreb} }
@book{book, author = {Mirnik, I.}, collectioneditor = {Mirnik, Ivan}, translator = {Mirnik, Ivan}, year = {2005}, pages = {207}, keywords = {Kopa\v{c}, Berislav, medal, Croatia, 20th c}, isbn = {953-6789-17-5}, title = {The Berislav Kopa\v{c} medal collection : donation to the Zagreb Archeological Museum}, keyword = {Kopa\v{c}, Berislav, medal, Croatia, 20th c}, publisher = {Arheolo\v{s}ki muzej u Zagrebu}, publisherplace = {Zagreb} }

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