Houses of Arts

"Iskra" Art Gallery

'Iskra' Art Gallery

Kazanlak is home to one of the oldest and richest galleries in Bulgaria. The visitors of the Gallery can get an almost complete idea of Bulgarian fine arts since the National Revival until today.

Kazanlak is also famous as a town of artists, many of whom have reached the top of Bulgarian fine arts, such as Petko Klisurov, Dimitar Chorbadzhiiski - Chudomir, Ivan Milev, Ivan Penkov, Dechko Uzunov, Nenko Balkanski, Vasil Barakov, Mara Yosifova, etc. This is why it is not by coincidence that Kazanlak has one of the oldest and richest galleries in the country.

In 1901 a Museum of Antiquities and Arts was established in Kazanlak, today transformed into the "Iskra" History Museum, which at the time hosted - after the initiative of the artist Ivan Enchev - Vidyu - a collection of art works with his and other artists paintings.

The most fruitions period for the development of the Gallery was the time between 1930 and 1958 when its director was the prominent Bulgarian writer and painter Dimitar Chorbadzhiiski - Chudomir, who turned it into a real art gallery and, thanks to his personal contacts, enriched its collection by adding works of nationally acclaimed artists.

Since 1973 the Gallery is an independent cultural institution. In 1981, after the proposal of the artist Ivan Radev and eng. Stefan Papukchiev, the Gallerys exposition was transferred to a specially built new building.

Kazanlaks Art Gallery owns a valuable fund of paintings, black-and-white drawings and sculptures, a collection of icons and prints, a collection of ex libris (bookplates) and a collection of decorative-applied works of art. Its permanent exposition is displayed in four halls and a lobby, featuring 57 icons, finished between the XVII and centuries and 266 paintings and sculptures of over 147 artists. Amongst the artists are such prominent names as Ivan Murkvichka, Petko Klisurov, Nikola Kozhuharov, Ivan Penkov, Chudomir, Mara Chorbadzhiiska, Stanyo Stamatov, Dechko Uzunov, Nenko Balkanski, Vasil Barakov, Stefan Ivanov, Boris Denev, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Tsanko Lavrenov, Vladimir Dimitrov - The Master, Mara Yosifova, Konstantin Tringov, Iliya Petrov, Andrey Nikolov, Ivan Lazarov, etc.

The Gallery offers excellent conditions for hosting temporary exhibitions of various natures. The Gallerys curators are ready to show you and to acquaint you with every work of art displayed in the exposition. The specialists at the Gallery can also assist you with the evaluation or purchase of works of art of Bulgarian or foreign artists.

Gallery of the Tourist Information Centre

This Gallery became one of the favourite places of contemporary artists as it is excellently equipped. It hosts various exhibitions of painting, photography, black-and-white drawing, posters, etc. and it is also an important focal point during the Rose Festival.

The Gallery on 4 Iskra Street has turned into one of the favourite places of Kazanlaks citizens of all ages where they can experience art: exhibitions of painters, designers and photographers, musical concerts, discussions and lectures. The Gallerys hall was refurbished in 2006 as part of the joint projects between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Kazanlak Municipality. The hall has capacity for display of 30 to 35 works of art. There is also a seminar room with 20 seats, adjacent to the hall, and a show-stand displaying the souvenirs and works of members of the Association of Masters of Artistic Crafts in Kazanlak and the region.

"Prof. Nenko Balkanski" House-Museum

The exposition consists of a selection of the donation of the artists sister, displayed in three rooms of the house. After the death of Prof. Nenko Balkanski in 1977, in its desire to popularise his immense contribution to the art culture in Bulgaria, the Kazanlak Municipal authority renovated his native house. In 1981 his wife Lilyana Balkanska donated to Kazanlaks Art Gallery 267 paintings and 1271 black-and-white drawings of her late husband. Subsequently, a small gallery hall was built within the renovated house and in 1991 the "Prof. Nenko Balkanski" House-Museum was open to visitors.

The exposition contains a selection of the donation and is displayed in three rooms of the house, showing 13 works of art, related to the home and family, while in the lower floor there are 38 paintings and black-and-white drawings. The exhibition hall also hosts 55 works of art of Nenko Balkanski from different periods of his artistic career. The "Prof. Nenko Balkanski" House-Museum is a branch of the "Iskra" Art Gallery of Kazanlak.

"Acad. Dechko Uzunov" House-Museum

The works of art, donated by the wife and the niece of the artist, are situated in four rooms and special exhibition hall. The native house of Academician Dechko Uzunov was renovated at its current place after a decision of Kazanlak Municipality already while the artist was still living, but it was open to visitors in 1987 after his death, functioning as a branch of the "Iskra" Art Gallery of Kazanlak.

The exposition is situated in four rooms of the house and in a specially built exhibition hall. The house displays 21 paintings of different periods of his artistic career, donated by his wife Olga Uzunova and by his nephews Atanas and Hristo Neikovi. The lower floor hosts works of Atanas Neikov, Hristo Neikov and of Uzunovs other niece and nephew - Elena Vulchanova and Penyo Vulchanov. The exhibition hall hosts 42 watercolours and drawings of Dechko Uzunov, which further enhance the idea of his artistic talent.

"Chudomir" Literary and Art Museum

The museum contains an exclusive archive of Chudomirs literary and artistic works. The house of the prominent Bulgarian writer, artist and public activist Dimitar Chorbazhiiski - Chudomir in Kazanlak was declared a museum only the year after his death - in 1968. It is an architectural monument of culture of national significance. The museum complex existing today was first opened in 1979. It includes the house of Chudomir with its unique atmosphere, a documentary and artistic exposition displayed in three halls of total area of 300 sq. m., a modern depository and a pleasant conference hall with multimedia equipment. The museum is a municipal cultural institution that serves to preserve, research and promote the exceptionally rich artistic heritage of Chudomir. It keeps more than 15,000 original manuscripts, drawings, sketches, letters, books and personal belongings of Chudomir and his wife - the artist Mara Chorbadzhiiska.

This is the only literary and art museum in Bulgaria. It is included in the "100 National Tourist Sights" movement. It also hosts the headquarters of the prestigious "Chudomir" Cultural Foundation.

"Petko Staynov" House-Museum

It presents a museum exposition of the life, works and public activities of the big Bulgarian composer, creator of Bulgarian symphonism - acad. Petko Gr. Staynov. The musical salon of the House-Museum hosts the personal piano of the composer from the 1920s. The salon has 25 seats and it is designed for musical training as well as hosting productions and chamber concerts. The electronic archive includes digital copies of the documents and materials of the funds and libraries of "Iskra" History Museum, the Central Scientific Archive of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Archive of the Art Studies Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Association of Bulgarian Composers, State Music Academy "Pancho Vladigerov", Sofia Philharmonic, "Iskra" Community Centre, etc., which relate to the activities and works of Petko Staynov. All visitors of the House-Museum have free access to this archive.

The native house of Academician Petko Staynov is an architectural monument of culture of national significance.

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