Croatia’s greatest sculptor has a museum in his name in Split. Ivan Meštrović, who originally decided to live in Croatia, eventually emigrated to the United States after World War II. He lived in his summer home in Split (Galerija Meštrović in Croatian) from 1931 to 1941, and the current museum named after him.
The building was originally built as a summer family residence, studio and exhibition space, and is a work of art in itself. It reflects the requirements of its owner. The grounds and a significant number of works were given to the country in 1952. Since then, visitors and art lovers can discover the works of the most talented of Rodin’s students.
A large number of the master’s works can be found in this museum dedicated mainly to sculpture. Almost 200 sculptures in marble, bronze and wood, 590 drawings, 290 architectural plans and also some paintings are on display. There is a small chapel next to the museum that houses wooden wall sculptures made by Meštrović himself.
The pieces are arranged on two floors and some of them are displayed in the park. They are organized thematically rather than chronologically in order to make it easier for visitors to see the artist’s work as a whole.
The museum is located 15 minutes away from the center of Split by foot. There is a very pleasant and relaxing atmosphere in the park and the museum house, which contrasts with the city center of Split. You can see the sea from the porch and the steps leading up to the house, which is a nice discovery for those who turn around before entering the museum.
This place is definitely worth a visit. Meštrović’s sculptures are powerful and even visitors who don’t care about art will appreciate the work and the emotions the exhibited works convey.
Guided tours in Croatian and audio guides are available.
More information: official website (Croatian only)
Address: Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića 46, 21 000 Split
Opening: Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 7pm (during the summer season).
Price: 5 euros for full price.