MMSU, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka was founded in 1948. From its very beginning, the Museum has been building reputation of one of the most prestigious visual arts institutions in Croatia. Its programmes included events such as the first group exhibitions of contemporary art in former Yugoslavia, which under the title of “Rijeka Salon” were held from 1954-1963; Biennial of Young Yugoslav Artists 1960-1991; Biennial of Young Mediterranean Artists 1993-1997; a tripartite research-exhibition project entitled “Architecture of Modernism, Secession and Historicism in Rijeka”, realized in 1996-2003 period; International Drawings Exhibition, organized regularly from 1968 to the present day and since 2005 Biennial of Quadrilateral. Due to its high standards, MMSU has been entrusted with presentation of Croatian art and artists at prestigious international art events such as: Venice Biennial 1962, 1997, 2007; Sao Paolo Biennial 1967, 2004, etc. From 1990 onwards, MMSU has been responsible for the presentation of Croatian artists at Biennial of Young Mediterranean Artists. MMSU is also a permanent partner site for the residential exchange programmes such as EERE, NIFCA and PS1, exercising a key position in dissemination of information of contemporary Croatian art on international level. MMSU is a partner in the projects in the Culture Programme (2007-2013) of the European Union,  X-OP exchange of art operators and producers, Soft Control, Password Printmaking and the coordinator of the Smuggling Anthology project. MMSU was a partner of the project Digitising Contemporary Art (DCA) under the CIP-ICT Programme of the European Union.
MMSU collection encompasses over 8,000 artworks, covering periods from the end of the 19th century to present day. The collection will finally be housed in the new Museum, planned to be open in near future. An inspired interpretation of the tradition in modernity, fused with vibrant reality of the contemporary art production, will create a dynamic display for the collection that is bound to drive the public to understand and love the art of today.


1947  the Fine Arts Gallery is founded in Rijeka

1948  preparations for opening of the Fine Arts Gallery in Rijeka; run by director Vilim Svečnjak, a painter

2 May 1949  – opening of the Fine Arts Gallery at the second floor of Governor’s Palace (then City Culture Club; today the Historical and Naval Museum of Croatian Littoral); exhibition of the first Museum’s collection nucleus

1951 art historian Boris Vižintin is appointed director and discharged the function until his death in 1988

1954 Salon 54, Exhibition of Contemporary Yugoslav Painting and Sculpting; Rijekan Salons held in 1956, 1959, 1961 and 1963

1956 relocation  into Dolac 1 street, at the second floor of renovated ex-school building, together with University Library and Culture Workers’ Club

1960  the first Youth Biennial; 16 Youth Biennial exhibitions were held until 1991; 3 International Biennials of the Young Mediterranean Artists were organised from 1993-1997

1962 institution changes name into the Modern Gallery

1968 the first International Exhibition of the  Original Drawing; 16 more were organised until 2001

1989 art historian Daina Glavočić is appointed director and discharges the function until 1991

1990 Modern Gallery starts with regular presentation of the Croatian Young Artists at International Biennials of Young Artists of Mediterranean and Europe;  Marseille 1990, Valencia 1992, Lisbon 1994, Turin 1997, Rome 1999, Sarajevo 2001 and Athens 2003

1991 art historian Berislav Valušek is appointed director and discharges the function until 1998

1998 art historian Ljubica Dujmović Kosovac is appointed director and discharges the function until 2004

1999 institution changes name into the Modern Gallery Rijeka – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

2001 City of Rijeka invites tenders for an architectural project of reallocating T-building within the ex-factory (Rikard Benčić) complex into the  Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art; the first award goes to a blueprint by Rijekan architects Saša Rendić and Idis Turato

2003 institution changes name into the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art; elaboration of project documentation for the new Museum seat at the ex-factory T-object

2004 art historian Branko Franceschi is appointed director

2009 historian and art historian Jerica Ziherl is appointed director

2012 artist Slaven Tolj is appointed director