ARCHIVES 2011


EUROPE DREAMS OF BULGARIA - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Cartoons
/June 28, 2011, GABROVO Mall, Gabrovo/

Long before Bulgaria walked the tortuous path to its full membership in the EU, in the distant 1998 GABROVO Municipality won a project under the heading European Day meant to raise in the public eye issues related to the EU and Bulgaria's future membership. The preparations to celebrate 'Euroday '98' were underway when the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE came up with an idea to hold a national cartoon competition on the topic "Europe Dreams of Bulgaria'. The subject matter was an outright challenge to Bulgarian and foreign Euro-sceptics alike, but it played its prophetic role brilliantly, for the idea managed to go years ahead of the historical event.

The exhibition "Europe Dreams of Bulgaria" synthesizes the stance Bulgarian cartoonists took on subject matter like uneasy truths, political situations and possible outcomes of the occurences at that moment in history when Bulgaria was literally overtaken by events.

According to the words said by Mr. Jacques Wunenburger, the then Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Bulgaria, which funded the publication of an exhibition catalogue, ' These caricatures show that behind the bureaucratic procedures, behind the transition towards a democratic state and a market economy, behind the laws and the political declarations there are people (communities, families, individuals) who aspire at a better future. They associate this better future with Europe.'


A COLLECTION OF WORKS from the HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION IS TOURING POLAND
Cartoons
/2011 - 2012, Wachock, Poland/

It was Polish artist Kazimierz Babkiewicz's idea to promote and popularize the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE and its big art event - the International Biennial of Humour and Satire in the Arts - more broadly in Poland. In 2005 Babkiewicz was awarded the Special prize for graphic work and drawing of the Ministry of Culture of R. Bulgaria at the 17th International Biennial; in 2006 he staged a solo show at the House of Humour and Satire.

The cartoons were selected by Mr. Babkiewicz himself; in February 2010 the exhibition was put on show in the town of Slawno; in April 2010 it was displayed in Lukow. Now it is about to open in the town library of Wachock known as the humour capital of Poland.


EUROSAPIENS - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Cartoons
/June 18, 2011, BOZSO Museum, Kecskemet, Hungary/

The travel history of the cartoon collection Eurosapiens added yet another stop - the BOZSO Museum in the Hungarian town of Kecskemet. The event was made possible with the kind support of the Armenian Minority Self-government in Kecskemet, where, though not many in number, Bulgarians still continue living. On the opening day - June 18th - the exhibition was visited by 10 304 fans of the cartoon art.

Eurosapiens cartoon exhibition was the output of a national cartoon competition of the same name held by the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE in 2009 under a curatorial project implemented with the financial support of Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, current Minister of Foreign Affairs of the R. Bulgaria and former MEP.

The collection comprises works by 17 contemporary Bulgarian cartoonists, each featured with three cartoons, who offer their own interpretation of hot topics of the day like corruption, violation of consumers' interests, a bind a deaf judicial system, an inefficient administration, the absence of tolerance in public relations and other 'twisted' European practices.

The exhibition made a successful debut on April 1st, 2009 in the European Parliament in Brussels.


ADAM AND EVE - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Cartoons, drawings
/June 8 - August 8, 2011, Regional Ethnographic Museum, Plovdiv/

The Regional Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv is the next stop on the itinerary of the ever travelling Adam and Eve. Following the successful visiting shows in Romania, Russia and a lot of Bulgarian places, the collection comprising 50 cartoons and drawings by 40 graphic artists from 18 countries will summer for two months in the hospitable city of Plovdiv.

The exhibition synthesizes a variety of humorous interpretations made by world renowned cartoonists among whom are Jean Effel (France), Miroslav Bartak (Czech Republic), Katsuhiro Yamamoto (Japan), Galina and Valentin Karavaev (Russia), Manuel Hernandez and Rene de la Nuez (Cuba), and many others, of the undying topic of the first people created by God who gave birth to humankind. Of course, side by side with them are their indipensable companions - the Biblical snake and the apple. The collection Adam and Eve shows no work that doesn't provoke wholehearted laughter and 'Old Testament' high spirits.


WILL THE MOUSE EAT UP THE BOOK? - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Cartoons
/19 May, 2011, St. St .Cyril and Methodius 1928 People's Community Centre, Bichkinya district, Gabrovo/

A tiny collection of 19 cartoons by 18 artists from 12 countries is searching for original answers to questions a lot of people are asking themselves in these computer-dominated times, e.g.: Is spending hours in a library reasonable and justifiable when a click on the Internet can provide us in a jiffy with the required information though of dubious quality at times? Can the computerreplace Mum and Grandma's stories and fairy-tales? How much do modern high technologies deprive us of the intimacy with the book? And, will the computer mouse 'eat up' the paper book indeed?

The exhibition of cartoons from the Humour of the Peoples art collection is staged in honour of the patron holiday of St. St. Cyril and Methodius 1928 People's Community Centre in in the Gabrovo district of Bichkinya.


MY FOREST, MY BEAUTY! - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Cartoons
/21 April, 2011, visitors' centres on the territory of CENTRAL BALKAN National Park/

A new joint initiative of the Directorate of CENTRAL BALKAN National Park and the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE marks the International Earth Day - April 22nd, the International Year of Forests 2011 and the 20th anniversary of CENTRAL BALKAN National Park. The exhibition My Forest, My Beauty! is part of a joint project under the heading Art as a Park's Envoy.

The thematic collection comprises 62 original cartoons by 52 artists from 12 countries in the world. As the title itself suggests, the cartoons containting more irony than humour focus on the attitude of present-day people to Nature. Hence, the overall message of the show is that in order to protect their natural ambience people ought to reconsider their own acts and activities.

Following the opening of the exhibition on April 21st, 2011 at the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE, copies of the cartoons will be on display in the visitors' centres within the territory of CENTRAL BALKAN National Park.


EUROSAPIENS ON DISPLAY IN THE TOWN OF PRAVETS
Cartoons
/14 April, 2011, History Museum of Pravets/

The thematic exhibition Eurosapiens featuring works from the art collection of the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE has been on show in the History Museum in Pravets since April 14th, 2011. It is part of a programme celebrating 30 years since the opening of the Pravets museum.

Eurosapiens was assmebled after a national cartoon competition of the same name held in 2009. Seventeen prominent Bulgarian cartoonists were extended personal invitations to enter for the contest. The latter was funded by Nickolay Mladenov, a MEP at the time and current Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.

The collection of 51 cartoons aims at corruption, the violation of consumers' interests, a blind and deaf judicial system, an efficient administration, absence of tolerance in the public relations, and a number of other misunderstood European practices.

Following a successful double debut on April 1st, 2009 - both in the European Parliament in Brussels and in the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE - the collection Eurosapiens is a welcome guest exhibition in a number of Bulgarian cities and galleries.


THE TOUR OF THE EXHIBITION CARICATOURISTS GOES ON
Cartoons
/1 April, 2011, St.St. Cyril and Methodius 1928 People's Community Centre, Bichkinya district, Gabrovo/

For two years now the exhibition Caricatourists has been touring the embassies of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad with the kind assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The tour of Bulgaria was made possible thanks to the cooperation of CENTRAL BALKAN National Park. On April 1st, 2011 - the 39th birthday of the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE, the exhibition was welcomed by its latest host - St.St. Cyril and Methodius 1928 People's Community Centre in the Gabrovo residential quarter of Bichkinya.

Caricatourists looks upon one of the most pressing and acute problems of modern society - that of the protection of environment. The 22 works on show (only part of the original collection comprising 79 cartoons by 65 artists from 21 countries) urgently appeals to the people all over the world to take better care of the natural riches, but they also warn that any thoughtless attitude to the environment inevitably leads to dramatic consequences.


IT'S CHRISTMAS-TIDE! - CHILDREN'S ART EXHIBITION
Drawings
/December 15 - 31, 2011, Room 7/

On the threshold of the holiest and most looked forward to by both children and adults feast day of the year - CHRISTMAS or NATIVITY - the exhibition rooms of the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE are widely open to accommodate the work of young Gabrovo artists. Two fine-art schools in Gabrovo - the Encaustic Children's School under the guidance of artist Rumen Trifonov and the Art Association to Aprilov-Palauzov 1861 Community Centre, where artist Ema Verterova teaches, present the best of their annual output.

The artists in the Encaustic Children's School, aged 6 to 18, have a long experience in participating in diverse competitions and exhibitions. Now they are displaying 40 works - figural and abstract compositions, landscapes, portraits, still-lifes, icons and Christmas themes executed in the ancient technique of encaustic painting.

Museum visitors will delight in the 35 selected colour drawings on a variety of subject matter done by Gabrovo artist Ema Verterova's 20 students.

A small collection of early 20th century Christmas greeting cards, black-and-white and coloured photographs, keeps pleasant company to the children's drawings. They bring back the romantic traditions of a time long passed. The collection was donated to the House of Humour and Satire by German photographer Ernst Volland, an entrant in the International Biennial of Humour and Satire in the Arts.

Merry Christmas! Lots of laughter, health and high spirits!


POLITICS IN CARTOONS AND CARICATURES - ONE-ARTIST SHOW OF BULGARIAN CARTOONIST HRISTO KOMARNITSKI
Cartoons, caricatures
/October 20 - December 5, 2011, Room 7/

The exhibition has no bearing on the pre-election fever that has broken all over Bulgaria. It is part of the special prize awarded by the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE at the annual National Cartoon Exhibition in Sofia. The ninth prize holder is Gabrovo-born cartoonist Hristo Komarnitski who is showing a second solo show of political cartoons in the House's exhibition rooms.

The current exhibition features Hristo Komarnitski's selection of about a hundred out of the thousands of cartoons he draws for each issue of SEGA newspaper where he has been working since 1997. The targets of his sparkling humour and stinging satire alike are the "heroes of the day" - Bulgarian politicians, cabinet ministers, present-day and former political dignitaries whose actions, statements and boloney make rich fare for a daring cartoon interpretation which is the essence of Hristo Komarnitski's work.

Komarnitski has entered both for the International Biennial of Humour and Satire in the Arts and for some other international and national competitions and exhibitions held by the museum like Fun-loving Balkans (1996), Europe Dreams of Bulgaria (1998), Eurosapiens (2009) where he has been awarded special prizes.


GAUDEAMUS IGITUR... - GROUP STUDENT ART EXHIBITION
Graphics, paintings, sculpture, frescos, posters
/December 1 - 31, 2011, Room 3/

Every year the month of December opens with a celebration that honours youth and the undying aspiration for broader knowledge. It is the eighth of December - Students' Day in Bulgaria - that neither current nor former university alumni would omit to celebrate. The Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE has been persistently and actively engaged in looking for and tracing down young talented artists; in promoting them and sincerely appreciating their national and international acievements. The museum exhibition rooms are widely open for yet another master of the brush or the pen to be born.

Hence, at the turn of this year the House of Humour and Satire is playing host to a representative student art show made possible under a bilateral agreement signed by the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE and the Fine Arts Faculty at St. St. Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo. The exhibition encompasses 75 works by 23 painters, graphic artists, sculptors, designers and mural artists who are doing their studies at Veliko Tarnovo University at present. A successor to centuries-old cultural traditions, the Fine Arts Faculty at St. St. Cyril and Methodius University maintains one of the highest standards of fine arts education in Bulgaria.

A counterpoint to the Gaudeamus Igitur... fresh enthusiasm is a small part of the thematic collection The Festivals of the Bulgarian People arranged by the hosts in the same exhibition room. It features selected works from the Humour of the Peoples art collection which reflect the maturity and the wisdom of established Bulgarian painters like Radi Nedelchev, Nikola G. Nikolov, Ivan Dimov, Lyudmil Mladenov, Emil Stoychev, Sava Savov, Georgi Trifonov, Samuil Seferov, Vasil Hristov, Dzhamal Emurlov and Keazim Isinov.

Thus a sole event can unite the pursuit of fine arts, the burgeoning talent, the vitality of Bulgarian folk festivals and the everlasting drive with people to have fun and to celebrate.


THE CARNIVAL IN STRUMICA - VISITING EXHIBITION FROM THE TOWN OF STRUMICA, MACEDONIA
Photographs
/November 11 - December 15, 2011, Room 7/

The exhibition is a highlight in the already traditional event celebrating the opening of the carnival season in Gabrovo which brings together Gabrovians of all ages on November 11th, at exactly 11h 11' in the exhibition room Long Live the Carnival! This year's reinforcement to the Gabrovo carnival is coming from the Macedonian town of Strumica (a mere half an hour from the Bulgarian border, with a population of around 50 000) in the form of a collection of 50 selected photographs featuring the last two editions of the carnival in Strumica. The collection is assembled by the Macedonian association Euro-vision which is the chief organizer of a photography competition aimed to promote local culture and carnival traditions. Members of this association are humorists, satirists and representatives of local intellectuals.

The carnival in Strumica is held on the eve of Long Lent. Its permanent topic is "the erotic" - a theme uniting a number of fans from all over the world. The carnival programme encompasses a competition for and nomination of Prince and Princess Carnival, a children's carnival, and a cartoon and funny aphorisms competition. Macedonian satirist and aphorism writer Risto Filcevski will have the honour to introduce and open this 'colourful fiesta' from Strumica.

The atmosphere of fun, merry-making and laughter on the Balkans will be enhanced by a small collection of photographs recognized as the best achievements at the open-air photography event under the heading Laughter through the Lens or Gabrovo Photo-Jokes in Action held May 21-24, 2011 in the village of Bozhentsi and in Gabrovo.


THE FESTIVALS OF THE BULGARIAN PEOPLE - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Paintings
/November 2 - 30, 2011, DZHAMIYATA Exhibition Hall, Dupnitsa/

Bulgarian people need no special occasion to celebrate. Neither do they care much about the scene of merry-making. The party may take place in a cafe just round the corner or at home or somewhere out in the open. As long as it is a proper celebration!

The Festivals of the Bulgarian people features a collection of 30 paintings by 24 Bulgarian artists who worked either in the early 20th c. or in the first decade of the 21st c. All the canvases are housed in the extensive collection of paintings owned by the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE.

Crowded festive scenes and compositions - weddings, Christmases, Trifon Zarezan wine festivals or everyday pastime and dances, a relaxing chat or a mysterious coffee-cup reading - draw the viewer's eye with their liveliness, colour and elated spirit. Fire-dancers, mummers, horse-races, games and carnival pageants add to the mosaic of this truly festive show.


PAINTING SATIRE - GROUP EXHIBITION OF WORKS CREATED AT A PLEIN AIR IN THE TOWN OF GORNA ORYAHOVITSA
Paintings
/October 13 - November 30, 2011, Room 3/


For twelve years now Gorna Oryahovitsa Municipality and section Cartoon to the Union of Bulgarian Artists have been joining efforts and holding a plein air painting event on 'painting satire'. The unusual topic is meant to focus on the possible unity of cartoon, satire and painting, and as such it has drawn and is still drawing hundreds of Bulgarian and foreign participants. However, it was a group of enthusiastic local artists who launched the first edition of Painting Satire in Gorna Oryahovitsa. The challenge turned out 'contagious' and soon brought in representatives of the entire artistic guild in the country.

The current show is a selection of 118 works from the 12 editions of the plein air event in Gorna Oryahovitsa. Among them stand out the fanciful styles of artists familiar to the House of Humour and Satire like Alla and Chavdar Georgiev, Georgi Chalakov, Slavi Petrinski, Ivan Kutuzov, Anatoliy Stankulov, Lyubomir Mihaylov, Rumen Dragostinov, Iliyan Savkov, Valentin Georgiev, Kamen Kisimov, Krasinmir Kotsev, artists from GoArt Association, and others. The Gabrovo masters of cartoon, satire and painting are represented by Yordanka Shiyakova, Georgi Karaliev and Rumen Trifonov.

No verbal description matches the exhibition Painting Satire. It has to be seen and felt!


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND - WORKS from the HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Cartoons
/September 29 - November 8, 2011, Room 7/

The thematic collection is addressed not only to the UFO explorers and the lovers of stories about encounters with extraterrestrial beings and flying saucers. With much imagination and an unrivalled sense of humour, 24 cartoonists from 15 countries paint their own picture of encounters of the third kind - a topic that has considerably gained in popularity with the advance of the year 2012 and the macabre predictions about the end of the world. However, the cartoonists see nothing but amusement and fun in their encounters with intelligence of the third kind. And who would say 'no' to catching the bacillus of joy and merriment!

Without being directly related to extraterrestrial beings, cats fill human life with an equal dose of mystery and amazement. A variety of faces and characters of these animals make the focus of a small collection comprising 25 works by cartoonists from 11 countries. The collection complements the exhibition Close Encounters of the Third Kind. May visitors to the show keep in mind that the Gabrovo cat is one of the most enigmatic feline creatures that has won worldwide fame.


HUMOUR IN OUR DREAMS - MUNICIPAL COMPETITION AND EXHIBITION
Children's drawings
/October 6 - 31, 2011, Room 6/

The exhibition opens as a result of a competition jointly held by GABROVO Municipality and the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE at the turn of 2010. The competition aimed to encourage and promote children's art on the grounds of the partnership between the towns of Gabrovo and Nichelino (Italy). Thus same-named competitions were held in both places; in the spring of 2011 the drawings made by the Gabrovo children toured a couple of schools in the town of Nichelino.

The children's art collection on display features 131 selected drawings by young artists from Gabrovo schools and children attending fine arts schools in Gabrovo and Sevlievo. The unusual subject matter of the competition drew a total of 255 entrants. The best artists will receive their awards at a formal opening ceremony at the House of Humour and Satire.

The versicoloured 'dreams' of the competitors include fairy tale characters, characters from Bulgarian and Italian folklore, Gabrovo jokes and anecdotes, scenes of the Gabrovo carnival, as well as a willingness to develop a friendship between the Bulgarian and Italian people. All is bright, mirthful and amusing!


BRAZIL SMILES - WORKS from the HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Cartoons
/October 4 - 18, 2011, Room 7/

Bulgarian artist Ivailo Tsvetkov's cartoon that won a special prize at the 20th International Biennial of Humour and Satire in the Arts - Gabrovo 2011 turned out prophetic. It depicts Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff on her way from Brazil to Gabrovo to pay a visit to her father's birthplace. Ms. Rousseff's formal visit to Bulgaria is expected to begin tonight, and the citizens of Gabrovo are already looking forward to welcoming a world-famed president with roots in Gabrovo.

To mark this both formal and intimate acquaintance of Ms. Dilma Rousseff with Bulgaria and her father's home town - Gabrovo - the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE is putting on display an exhibition of 31 cartoons by 11 Brazilian and 2 Bulgarian artists. Three marvellous caricatures of the Brazilian President drawn by Bulgarian cartoonists Ivailo Tsvetkov and Valeri Aleksandrov and their Brazilian colleague Nelson Castro Sampaio stand out in the collection.

As to the contacts of the House of Humour and Satire with that far-flung country, they encompass 170 humour artists and 116 cultural institutions. Thanks to these connections, today the museum art collection houses 96 humorous works by 44 artists from Brazil or a tiny piece of that cheeful country has been offered a permanent shelter in the place where the father of Ms.Dilma Rousseff, current President of Brazil, was born.



20th INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE IN THE ARTS - 2011
Paintings
/21 May - 30 September, 2011, Room 3/


The exhibition features 158 paintings by 102 artists from 12 countries from the world over.

20th INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE IN THE ARTS - 2011
Sculpture
/21 May - 30 September, 2011, Rooms 3, 5, 6 and 7/


The exhibition comprises 87 pieces of sculpture by 69 sculptors from 7 countries in the world.

20th INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE IN THE ARTS - 2011
ONE-ARTIST SHOW of AGIM SULAJ (Italy) - WINNER of the GOLDEN AESOP GRAND PRIX for 2009
Reproductions of drawings and paintings
/21 May - 30 September, 2011, Room 3/


Every winner of the Golden Aesop Grand Prix - the highest and most prestigious prize awarded at the International Biennial in Gabrovo - is entitled to a solo show at the next Biennial edition. Hence, Albania-born, but living and working in Italy artist AGIM SULAJ is showing 12 reproductions of his drawings and paintings.

Sulaj's collection reveals his keen interest in the social and political issues of united Europe. Most prominent is the subject matter of immigration impelled by the physical survival of the people. Agim Sulaj paints a psychological portrait of poverty; he renders the emigrant's fate and homesickness for the motherland with the anguish and empathy of a personal experience. The artist depicts a gallery of typical images from various layers of society, offering a masterful illustration of their relations by the means of caricature and intense sarcasm.

Agim Sulaj is a world-famed artist; still, drawing and painting for him keep being fun and joy that make time pass by imperceptibly.

20th INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE IN THE ARTS - 2011
CREATED BY THE JURY MEMBERS
Sculpture, posters, computer prints, drawings, paintings, cartoons
/21 May - 30 September, 2011, Room 3/


Small-scale though multi-genre and content-rich, the exhibition of works created by the International jury members of the 20th International Biennial - Gabrovo 2011 juxtaposes a total of 859 selected artists from 59 countries with art samples by Prof. Georgi Chapkanov, Prof. Bernhard Hollemann, Prof. Bozhidar Yonov, Lyubomir Mihaylov, Plamena Dimitrova, Lora Atanasova and Yordanka Shiyakova. Thus evaluation committee members and participants alike come to prove the high criteria that govern this international forum of humour art in Gabrovo.

20th INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE IN THE ARTS - 2011
Photographs
/21 May - 30 September, 2011, Room 6/


The exhibition features 160 works by 102 photographers from 20 countries from all over the world.

20th INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE IN THE ARTS - 2011
Poster
/21 May - 30 September, 2011, Room 7/


The exhibition displays 73 posters by 58 graphic artists from 9 countries in the world.

20 th INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE IN THE ARTS - 2011
Cartoons
/21 May - 30 September, 2011, Room 5/


The exhibition comprises 321 cartoons by 222 artists from 45 countries in the world.

20 th INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE IN THE ARTS - 2011
Graphics & drawings
/21 May - 30 September, 2011, Room 5/


The exhibition features 161 graphic works and drawings by 105 artists from 19 countries in the world.

110 YEARS SINCE THE BIRTH OF ILIYA BESHKOV (1901-1958) - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Drawings
/July 24 - August 31, 2011, Second floor lobby/

If the great Bulgarian artist, cartoonist and illustrator Iliya Beshkov had been alive, he would have turned 110 years on July 24th, 2011. In his honour, the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE that treasurs 124 drawings, cartoons and illustrations by the inimitable master artist in the Humour of the Peoples art collection is showing a small collection of drawings in one of the museum lobbies. This is yet another exhibition of original works by Beshkov staged at the House after the exhibitions in 1981, 1988, 1996, 2000 and 2001.

The selected 15 drawings are unique in their masterly execution, in the feeling that they were made at one go, sometimes just with a few brush strokes. Each contact with Beshkov's works is a spring of spiritual enrgy and an awareness of eternity. Iliya Beshkov made drawings of people who differed in age, social status, occupation and profession, but each artist's drawing is an impeccable rendition of character, typical movement, emotion and time belonging. Each drawing rewards the viewer with a human experience in depth.


MY FOREST, MY BEAUTY! - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Cartoons
/21 April - 20 May, 2011, 2nd floor lobby/

A collection of 62 cartoons housed in the art collection of the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE present the discerning view of 52 artists from Brazil, Bulgaria, Germany, Iran, Italy, China, Lithuania, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Serbia on the attitude of present-day humans towards the surrounding nature. More ironic than funny, the cartoons condemn unequivocally people's acts and activities and their impact on the plant species in nature. The protection of environment should not be a chimera, but a conscious civil duty to be performed by all human beings on the planet Earth.

The exhibition celebrates April 22nd - the International Earth Day, the International Year of Forests 2011 and the 20th anniversary of CENTRAL BALKAN National Park. The event is part of a joint project under the heading Art as a Park's Envoy implemented by the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE and the Directorate of CENTRAL BALKAN National Park. Copies of the cartoons will be on display in the visitors' centres of the National Park.


THE CRUSADE - IN-BETWEEN REALITIES - JOINT PROJECT OF IVILINA KUNEVA and TEODORA NITSOLOVA, BULGARIA
Video installation, prints, photographs, drawings
/March 10 - April 13, 2011, Room 7/

The "crusade" of the creative tandem Ivilina Kuneva (mother) and Teodora Nitsolova (daughter) is a project gradually developed and complemeted over the span of two-three years. Inspired by the possibilities of pushing and blurring the boundaries between the original and the replica, the artists saw examplified in the exhibition Dreamland at the Centre Pompidou (2010), Kuneva and Nitsolova are building up a labyrinth-like space of interlaced realities of past and future journeys. Employing a variety of media - drawing, collage, print, video installation, painting and photography - mother and daughter do not fear to make references to different cultures and historical realities interpreted through an intimate and emotional view of the world. Both artists undoubtedly suggest that "art is a replica of life; life is a replica of art; in-between them is the peeping eye of eternity.".

Ivilina Kuneva graguated in painting from St.St. Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo. She works with acrylic and oil in the field of collage and drawing. Kuneva has staged 10 one-woman shows, and has displayed her work in a number of international exhibitions. Her works can be found in private collections in Bulgaria, the USA and the Netherlands.

Teodora Nitsolova is doing plastic arts at New Bulgarian University, specializing in stage design. In 2008 she collaborated with a UK photographer on her first exhibition. Nitsolova has entered two editions of the International Biennial of Humour and Satire in the Arts.

The Crusade - In-between Realities is an illustration of the mother/daughter's awareness that the places they have stopped over would never be the same, however, they would keep on living as illusionary worlds in the artists' inner eye.

SEARCHING FOR THE HUMAN - INTERNATIONAL GROUP EXHIBITION
Graphics, drawings
/March 18 - April 18, 2011, Room 6/

The graphic show comprises 50 selected graphic works from the Humour of the Peoples art collection of the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE. On display are 23 incontestable masters of graphic art from 12 European countries, i.e. BERNHARD HOLLEMANN, GERTRUDE DEGENHARDT, KARINA KHARANEKA, FULVIO TOMASI, GALINA PAVLOVA, VALENTINAS AJAUSKAS, NIKIFOR RUSKOV, MIKHAIL SAZHAYEV, PLAMEN PENOV, VILIAM ZIVICKY, RUMEN SKORCHEV, CAN GOKNIL, TATYANA PESHEVA, SERGEY HRAPOV, BERNHARD SCHWAR, ERNO TOTH, ZOLTAN VEN, JUHA TAMMENPAA, KRISTIINA LEHTONEN, ADOLF BORN, RAIMO HUITTINEN, JIRI SLIVA and SIMO HANNULA.

The collection was first shown at the Fair of Museum Exhibitions organized by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria in the autumn of 2010 in the city of Ruse. The focal issue of the discussions during the meeting was mobility and promotion of intriguing shows and art collections to the end of generating stronger interst in the cultural riches treasured in Bulgarian museums.

The central object of the exhibition is the Human - such as the European graphic artists see him living in the surrounding world, communicating with the others or just being on his own; the human with his power, failings, achievements, victories and defeats; the human who is both a circus actor and a character in a literary work or part of a legend; the human who is euphoric or wrapped up in mystery, enjoying life or embittered by the results of his self-judgement; the human who manages to preserve his sense of self-irony.

The exhibition unquestionably debunks the myth that graphic art is boring. Admirers and connoisseurs of the genre alike will positively delight in the variety of classical graphic media, multifigural compositions, an extarordinary exquisiteness of execution and a strong feeling of human presence. Searching for the Human is a cameo collection of brilliant examples of European graphic art.

SIZE MATTERS - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Graphic works, drawings, sculpture
/15 september - 15 april, 2011, Room 3/

The exhibition features 65 large-size graphic works and drawings complemented with large-format sculpture compositions by artists from 19 countries from all over the world.

No stranger to experiments in the field of arts, the general public today is expected to perceive the title in the sense that size is a relative quality and that everything depends on juxtaposition. Hence, the exhibition is an excellent example of juxtaposing subject matter, plots, artistic suggestions and working techniques employed by graphic artists and sculptors from the 80s of the 20th century to the present day.

Along with the traditional graphic art techniques, the computer print is making its own way, especially in the works of the Japanese artists shown in the exhibition. No less striking are the experiments with unusual or recycled materials used in the sculpture compositions. Size Matters features works rendered expressively and on a large-scale, but at the same time, exquisitely, precisely and in detail.



CLOSE TO NATURE - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Paintings, sculpture
/January 6 - April 25, 2011, Room 3/

Celebrating 2011 as the International Year of Forests, announced by the UN, the exhibition features 45 paintings and pieces of sculpture by artists from Bulgaria, Germany, Zimbabwe, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia, Hungary, Finland and Japan.

The major exhibition topic is the place of the human being in Nature and the role one plays in preserving it. The displayed works from the Humour of the Peoples art collection take the exhibition visitors back to the aesthetic taste of artists who achived the apex of their artistic career in the 20th century. The thematic collection abounds in pastoral scenes and celebrating people who seek a fresh breath in Nature after the monotony of everyday life. The canvases and sculptures made of bronze, wood and stone are imbued with cheerfulness, brightness of colours and a wholesome dose of humour. Are modern humans consciously isolating themselves from their natural environment? Do they still believe, being the most intelligent but also the cruelest of all species, in their superiority over Nature? And is the return to Nature a kind of a nostalgic longing for the simple but undying things in life? These questions definitely stir relections, but they also convey messages to the visitors determined to merge in the the exhibition Close to Nature.

IN DREAM AND INDEED - WORKS FROM THE HUMOUR OF THE PEOPLES ART COLLECTION
Photographs, posters
/December 2, 2010 - March 18, 2011, Room 5/

The collection on show comprises 30 photographs and 30 posters from the art collection of the House of Humour and Satire that integrate the unconventional, startling look of the lens with the synthesized expression of the poster. The works were created both in the last decades of the 20th century and the early years of the current one. Though disparate as means of expression, they focus on the universal longing for love and peace; the grim threats of war and the war absurdities; the essence of human existence; the natural sense of touch with the surrounding landscape and wildlife, as well as the subtle smile brought forth by human reactions.

The posters, laconic but imprinting indelible associative images on the viewer's mind, attract one with the brightness of colours and exquisite graphic technique. Considerable place in the exhibition is given to some magnificent examples of Japanese poster art.

The photographs on display have captured a variety of daily situations and emotions: laughter and pain; joy and distress in the human face; the disparity between youth and old age; between the beuatiful and the ugly; between reality and dream. It is with a sense of delight and optimism that photographers and graphic artists from the U.S.A., Argentina, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Germany, Lithuania, Iran, Romania, Russia and Japan lead the the viewer through a labyrinth of daydreams and real pictures.
ALCOHOL WITH THE PEOPLES IN THE WORLD - WORKS FROM THE FIFTH INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL MASTERS OF CARTOONING
Cartoons
/February 3 - March 18, 2011, Room 5/

On the eve of the countrywide cherished Bulgarian feast of Trifon Zarezan, venerating the cult of the heavenly drink called "wine", the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE is playing host to a cartoon exhibition under the heading Alcohol with the Peoples in the World. Such is the subject matter of the Fifth International Biennial Masters of Cartooning held jointly by the Regional Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv, the Higher School Agricultural College in Plovdiv and the Plovdiv Cartoonists' Association. The Fifth Biennial was entered by 128 artists from 36 countries.

Every people has got a special national alcoholoc drink that stands for it before the rest of the world. But whatever its name, the drink plays an identical role everywhere in the world: it is meant to intoxicate the biological species of Homo sapiens lending a magic glamour to its feasts, customs and rites. For it is alcohol that sparks off real mass festivity and celebration.

CHEERS!

MUSSEL & FISH - GROUP EXHIBITION
Cartoons
/February 3 - March 18, 2011, Room 5/

Cartoonists from Argentina, Brasil, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Israel, Iran, Spain, Canada, China, Luxemburg, Romania, Russia, Syria, Turkey, Uzbekistan, France, Croatia, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Hungary have blended imagination, graphic talent and individual treatment of the subject matter Mussel & Fish in 60 cartoons from the international cartoon competition of the same name. The chief organizer of the competition is Bulgarian cartoonist Valeri Aleksandrov - WALEX. The quality of the submitted cartoons were judged by representatives of the Bulgarian branch of the international cartoonists' organization FECO.

The multinational "bouquet" of Mussel & Fish is complemented by a one-artist collection of 20 cartoons drawn by Valeri Aleksandrov. The artist reflects on the things in life in times of a world economic crisis. Aleksandrov has shown more than 250 solo exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad; he has taken part in and has been distinguished in over 200 international cartoon competitions; he has authored 20 cartoon films. Ironically and smilingly alike, Valeri Aleksandrov responds to the question Is There a Crisis?.

HOW GABROVO TURNED INTO A HUMOUR CAPITAL - SELECTED PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE

Documentary photographs
(May 15, 2010 - April 15, 2011, Room 6)


This extensive exhibition of over 200 blown-up B&W and color photographs from the archives of the Museum House of Humour and Satire is an attempt to follow the building-up, the development and the recognition of the image of the town of Gabrovo as the humour capital of Bulgaria from the 30s of the 20th century down to the present day. With a few exceptions, the selected photographs focus on personalities that have been related, to a greater or smaller extent, to the cause of humour andthe House's motto The World Lasts Because It laughs, for hadn't there existed the human potential, Gabrovo would have been primeaval hornbeam woods and mountain streams and rapids.

Tentatively divided into the sub-headings THE TRADITION (the 30s of the 20th c. ), NO EVENTS ARE ACCIDENTAL (the Gabrovo carnival from the 1960s to the present day ), GABROVO BROUGHT THE HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE INTO THE WORLD (the 1970s), THE HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE GAVE BIRTH TO (the establishing of the House as a national culture institute), THEY BESTOWED THEIR BLESSING ON THE HOUSE, GABROVO HAS TWINNED WITH and THE SMILING YOUTH OF GABROVO. DO YOU RECOGNIZE YOURSELVES?, the exhibition features a kaleidoscopic picture of the merry dance parties and masquerades in the 1930s; the first humour carnivals and the national festivals of humour and satire in Gabrovo; the conversion of an old leather factory into a humour art museum; the ambitious programme of the House of Humour and Satire to promote and further humour through a variety of international and national events in the field of the fine arts and the verbal folklore, literature competitions, an international comedy film festival, humorous and satirical publications, a Park of Laughter, an Experimental Satirical Variety Theatre, and more, and more! However, the colours on this palette of events are mixed by no one but the main characters of the exhibition, i.e.: heads of government and politicians from the past and the present; figures of culture; Bulgarian and foreign artists, writers, journalists, actors; representatives of the partner towns of Gabrovo, as well as all who feel themselves Gabrovians and without whom the humour and satire festivals in Gabrovo would never have come true.

The documentary photographs are "garnished with" old posters, advertisements and publicity material, documentary films, editions of the Gabrovo Anecdotes, as well as other humour publications of the House of Humour and Satire which complement the jig-saw puzze How Gabrovo Turned into a Humour Capital on the back-drop of music composed to honour Gabrovo.

The House of Humour and Satire dedicates the exhibition to the 150 years since Gabrovo was proclaimed a town, but first and foremost, to the citizens of Gabrovo in the hope that taken back in time, Gabrovians will also regain precious moments of their youth.

CZECH CHRISTMAS - TRAVELLING EXHIBITION
Christmas and New Year cards, Christmas ritual objects
/13 december, 2010 - 31 january, 2011, Room 5/

A collection of 42 large panels features Christmas customs and traditional rituals during the preparations for the holy Christmas feast in the Czech Republic; Czech Christmas ritual objects; paper and straw decorations for the house and the Christmas tree. 300 Christmas greeting cards, the oldest of which date back to the 50s of the last century, follow the history of the Christmas and New Year greetings in the Czech Republic.


After Plovdiv, Sofia, Varna, Kazanlak and Stara Zagora, the town of Gabrovo and the Museum HOUSE OF HUMOUR AND SATIRE in particular, is the fifth host to the travelling exhibition Czech Christmas that creates a genuine festive atmosphere and warmth. The exhibition is made possible in cooperation with the Plovdiv branch of TOMAS G. MASARYK Czechoslovakian Club in Bulgaria and the Friends of the Czech Republic Society in Gabrovo.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!