Art Gallery Bourgas
The Art Gallery of Bourgas ranks among one of the oldest in Bulgaria. It is located in the former Jewish synagogue, a remarkable architectural monument built in the period from 1905 to 1910 by Ricardo Toscani, an Italian architect. It was originally founded in 1945 with the joint participation of prominent public figures, artists and artistic circles. "The Picture Gallery and Museum" was ceremoniously opened in the Stock Exchange Hall of the Chamber of Commerce on April 7th,1947. At that time the inventory of the Gallery comprised 58 paintings and 6 sculptures. In the years that followed, the number of art objects increased considerably from numerous individual and joint exhibitions. From September 1966 on, the Art Gallery was permenantly set up in the building of the Jewish synagogue which had been revamped for that purpose accordingly.
Nowadays, the exhibition is set up on three floors and displays the best of its treasure stock comprising more than 2500 works of art - paintings , sculptures and line art. The central place is allotted to the pictures of Bencho Obreshkov, Tzeno Todorov, Nikola Marinov, Zlatyu Boyadjiev, Stoyan Velev, Mara Tzoncheva, Assen Vassilev, Dechko Uzunov, Vassil Stoilov, Svetlin Roussev, Georgi Bozhilov, Dimitar Kirov, Atanas Yaranov, Encho Pironkov, Yoan Leviev, etc.The exhibition hall on the second floor displays the achievements of Bourgas artists throughout this century. Here one can find the works of Gencho Mitev, Pavel Valkov, Petar Zadgorski, Georgi Baev, Kiril Simeonov and many others. The seascape of Bourgas reflected in their pictures creates a unique atmosphere and style of expression.
The Art Gallery boasts a most valuable icon collection from the Strandja Mountain, dating from the 15th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The icon collection displays the idiosyncratic nature of the spiritual life and culture in that region, which has preserved its national originality under severe historical conditions. The icons of St. Ilija (17th c.), John the Baptist (17th c.), St. George (18th c.), Bogoroditza Odigidria (17th c.) stand out among many others. The names of several iconographers have been deciphered - Zakhary Zograph, Dimitar Zograph, Socrat Georgiev, Nikola Zograph from the town of Odrin, Todor Zograph from Hios ...
Today the Art Gallery of Bourgas is an important cultural centre of the city. It is a popular venue for delivering lectures, holding meetings with famous artists, recitals, chamber concerts, etc. It boasts a good number of visitors, both from the country and abroad.