The Slovak National Gallery was founded in 1948 and a significant
part of its academic expertise was dedicated to research and
presentation of Old Art from its very beginning - not only Slovak Art
and not only from Slovakia. This seemingly trite statement may prove to be
surprising, if one considers the situation of the 1950s in the context
of contemporary cultural politics. On one hand, state institutions were
enriched by the funds from confiscated property on the basis of Beneš
decrees, on the other hand, particularly sacral art was put aside.
Nevertheless, acquisitions and gifts formed the core of the collection
of classical art from the very beginning. Gothic and Baroque sacral
artworks are also given the necessary attention through acquisition,
restoration and, in the 1970s, even presentation, whether in Zvolen
Castle, or the central SNG in Bratislava.
The Slovak National
Gallery is currently curating the following collections: Collection of
Gothic Art, Collection of Baroque Art and Collection of Old Drawings and
Graphic Art, Collection of Old European Art and Collection of 19th
Because of the reconstruction of main SNG
building in Bratislava, only a fraction of the Old Art Collection is on
exhibition in the capital city - SNG Non-Permanent Exhibition. Large
parts of the Collection of Gothic Art and the Collection of European Art
of 16th - 18th Century are presented as part of permanent exhibitions
of SNG in Zvolent Castle. Visitors can also find works of Master Paul of
Levoča (copies made during restorations in the 1950s), and the
transfers of wall paintings from the "Zvolen Rectory" and small
collection of icons.
Zvolen is also key facility for maintenance of old art deposits. Strážky Chateau near Kežmarok is also very important when it comes to classical art. The permanent exhibition of portrait and works of Ladislav Mednyánszky is housed here.