Mestrovic Museum, Split
He created 2,000 sculptures over a 60 year life span of sculpting. Ivan was also a very good artist besides the sculptures. He had a weak side for nude "full body" women, but apparently the mistress he had for so many years was actually thin. His work is t depict the bizarre and somewhat grotesque abstract in some cases. Ivan got into religious people and Saint John the BAptist was his favorite, but also did many of Jesus and Mary in scenes.
The museum holds maybe around 100 pieces and they keep trying to find and retrieve others for display from owners/collectors. Ivan named all to try and indict the theme he was conveying.
Ivan's life career started when he was sent to a sculpture school in Split. From there his skill became known to the gentry and he made a lot of money sculpting for them. He lived in Paris, Zagreb, United States and even taught at Syracuse University for nine years. In Indiana he carved 28 reliefs of Christ(see next page) and they are in a small church down the road that he bought. He died in 1962 and left 400 pieces to Croatia plus this summer home that was built 1921-29.
Fee is $6 and well worth the tour that also includes the church down the road. Open 10-5 daily
Inside the museum home is some real strange, but unique pieces. Saint John the BAptist and Jesus were many of his works once he turned to this theme for his work. He bought a small church just 1/2 mile form the summer home, and spent a lot of money fixing it up from disaster ruin. Now housed there is the 28 panel of Christ life that took him 4 years to carve out of various special woods found in the US, like cherry, oak, walnut, for a few.
We walked to the Mestrovic museum from downtown, which took maybe 45 minutes. It's like a walk on any city street, except the brilliant Adriatic's there on your left, of course.
The admission wasn't too expensive, less than $5 US for sure. There were few sculptures as striking as Grgor downtown, but there were plenty of lovely works, many with Christian themes. It was a nice, mellow change of pace from all-beach-all-the-time. I'd certainly recommend it if you tire of Diocletian's palace and shopping as we had.
Visit the Mestrovic Gallery in the Split area. Ivan Mestrovic (1883 - 1962) was a famed Croatian sculptor. The gallery is housed in the summer home Mestrovic designed and built in 1939 for himself. The exhibit inside and out is incredible. Mestrovic was extremely talented and had a contemporary, but unique style.
This is the entrance to the Mestrovic Gallery, facing the sea. What a fabulous view for a summer home!