As you might have guessed, Danubiana is a floating art museum on the biggest river in Slovakia - Danube, that flows through Bratislava. The Danube happens to be also the biggest river in the neighbouring countries Hungary and Austria. Therefore, the main idea behind the Danubiana is to connect the art of those three countries, just like Danube River connects them geographically.
Danubiana Mulensteen Art Museum is the full name of this magnificent object located approximately 20 kilometers south of Bratislava, in the district called Čuňovo. The word “Mulensteen” pays tribute to one of its former owners. The location of the art museum is not random either, and there is an important reason why it is not directly in the city of Bratislava. Danubiana Art Museum is located on the border of three countries that used to be one during the former Austro-Hungarian Empire - Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. The main aim of the art museum is to promote not only Slovak artists but also those from the whole Central European region. The art museum is built on an island in Danube River, and it connects a unique design with nature and surroundings. A part of the art museum is also an outdoor sculpture park. The whole area looks unique in every season of the year and every moment of the day.
In 1990, the Slovak art enthusiast Vincent Polakovič visited all the places where famous artist Vincent van Gogh used to paint. This journey changed his life, and he decided to open a first private gallery in Slovakia, devoted to Vincent van Gogh. While he was in charge of his own gallery, he had met a lot of important people from the art world, one of them being a Dutch art collector Gerard Meulensteen. They got along pretty well and decided to open the art museum, which in that time was the only one in Slovakia. Danubiana opened its gates for the first time in 2000, and back then, it was a unique and expensive institution in Slovakia. Owners decided to give it to the Slovak Ministry of Culture as a gift, and the Ministry committed to take care of it and continue with renovations.
Since the opening of the gallery, many renowned names had their art exposed here, namely: Joan Miró, Sam Francis, Karel Appel, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lucebert, Walasse Ting, Antoni Clavé, Martín Chirino, Markus Prachensky, Ilona Kesserü Ilona, Jozef Jankovič, Rudolf Sikora, Vladimír Kompánek, Miroslav Cipár, Vladimír Popovič and many more. The Danubiana is trying to promote Slovak artists, as well as foreign ones. The permanent exhibition includes a personal collection of one of the Danubiana fathers, Gerard Meulensteen. There is a special exhibition where young and unknown Slovak artists can display their work. There are always several ongoing exhibitions in the Danubiana. They change every 3-4 months and mostly includes modern art from the 20th-21st century.
The most pleasant way for tourists to visit the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum is by boat as part of the sightseeing tour. It is not just about the art that connects Slovakia, Austria and Hungary, but also about the unique and futuristic design of the building, amazing architecture that complements the nature, outdoor sculpture park and modern coffeeshop from where you can enjoy the scenery. This is a place you shoud not miss while you are in Bratislava.
Cover Photo © credits to Danubiana
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