The Memorial Museum of Nadežda and Rastko Petrović is dedicated to the leading figures of Serbian culture of the 20th century – Nadežda Petrović, famous female painter, founder of Art Association “Lada” and the first Yugoslav Art Colony in Sićevo, and her brother Rastko Petrović, poet, travel writer and art critic.
The Museum became a part of the National Museum in 1975 thanks to a precious gift – the legacy of Ljubica Luković, sister of Nadežda and Rastko Petrović. The most valuable unit of the legacy is the collection of 30 artworks of Nadežda Petrović, among them: A Bavarian, Beethoven’s Mask, A Monk, Plum Orchard in Resnik, Mod Allan. Apart from works of painter Nadežda Petrović, Ljubica Luković has donated to the Museum an important collection of paintings from the collection of Rastko Petrović – works of domestic and foreign authors, various artifacts of artistic and utilitarian value and artifacts from cults of non-European, mainly African and Mexican, cultures. Works of leaders of historic Avant-garde are also emphasized: engraving of Pablo Picasso A Woman with a Book, drawing of Amadeo Modigliani A Female Nude, drawing of Jean Cocteau A Sketch, painting of Moise Kisling A Half-nude Girl, graphics of Georges Rouault Old Man Ibi, aquarelle of Auguste Rodin Female Nude, drawing of Max Ernst First Memorable Conversation with Chimera, etc. The legacy includes seven aquarelles of Rastko Petrović: An Escape to Egypt, A Landscape from the Jungle, An Oriental Dancer. The entire art material of total 64 artworks is safeguarded in the existing collections of the National Museum.
Valuable segments of the legacy are the epistolary documents and manuscripts, library, records and travel films of Rastko Petrović. The legacy also holds personal items, family photographs and memorabilia from the lives of these two important intellectuals. Today, this segment of the legacy is particularly valuable since it contributes to the understanding and interpretation of different aspects of their personalities and artistic creation. Photo documents and study materials, manuscripts and book collections from the legacy of Rastko Petrović are currently safeguarded at the Department of Documentation at the National Museum in Belgrade.
As a part of the legacy, Mrs Luković has bequeathed to the National Museum the family house in which the Memorial Museum of Nadežda and Rastko Petrović has been opened. Unfortunately, due to very bad conditions of the building, the Memorial Museum was open for the public only until 1986. A thorough reconstruction of this edifice in the part of the city called “Professor’s Colony” is being prepared.
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