Brief History

1893 | ASSOCIATION OF THE ARTISTS IN BULGARIA

The first association of Bulgarian Artists was called ASSOCIATION OF THE ARTISTS IN BULGARIA. It was founded on 24.06.1893 in Sofia as a Society for supporting the art in Bulgaria at the initiative of PhD Ivan Shishmanov, Ivan Markvichka, Boris Mihailov, Georgi Kanela, Arch. Yordan Milanov and others. The first president was PhD Ivan Shishmanov and the vice president - Ivan Markvichka. The first exhibition was organized in April 1894 in the hall of the gymnastics association "Turnferayn" in Sofia. Under the initiative of The Association of the Artists in Bulgaria in July 1895 the publishing of the first Bulgarian magazine for Fine Arts - "Art" began, edited by Anton Mitov and Ivan Markvichka. In 1895 Konstantin Velichkov – the Minister of Education, instructed the Association to prepare a draft law for a National Art School. In 1896 the National Assembly approved it and the school was opened. Its first director was Ivan Markvichka. In 1902 the association name was changed into “Association of the Artists in Bulgaria“.

1932 | ASSOCIATION “CONTEMPORARY ART”

In the following years several similar organizations appeared, some of which in 1932 merged into the Union of the Associations of the Artists in Bulgaria. The first was the ASSOCIATION “CONTEMPORARY ART”, established first as a group in Sofia on 29.09.1903 and transformed into an association later - on 19.10.1904. Founding members were Arch. P. Koychev, Haralampi Tatchev, Arch. G. Fingov, Arch. K. Marichkov, A. Protich, Stefan Ivanov, Nikola Mihaylov, P. Kanchev, D. Daskalov. The first president was Haralampi Tachev. In it there were not only groups of artists, but some architects, art historians, public figures and writers who were opposed to outdated aesthetic ideas of the academicism. In 1903 the first exhibition was organized. The Association participated as a separate group in exhibitions organized by other societies. In 1932, they entered as a full member into the Union of the Associations of the Artists in Bulgaria. In 1944, they started to form part of the Union of the Artists in Bulgaria (renamed in 1959 into UBA).

1912 | SOCIETY OF THE SOUTH BULGARIAN ARTISTS

SOCIETY OF THE SOUTH BULGARIAN ARTISTS was founded on 30.05.1912 by Gocho Savov, At. Baklarov, V. Marinov, Hristo Stanchev, G. Atanasov, M. Marinov, G. Hadjidimitrov G. Botusharov, M. Krastev, Al. Gaitandjiev, Iv. Gurinov, V. Margin, M. Baltov, Pavel Toshev, At. Ovcharov, V. Kostakiev. Later Nikola Kozhuharov, Dimitar Gyudzhenov, S. Velkov, Patriki Sandev, Iv. Radinov joined the society. The first art exhibition was opened on 01.01.1914. On the initiative of the members of the company a “House of Art and Printing” was founded in Plovdiv in 1924, in addition to which an exhibition hall was built in 1935. In 1944 the Society of South Bulgarian Artists entered into the composition of UBA.

1919 | THE ASSOCIATION “NATIVE ART”

was founded on 13.10.1919 in Sofia in order to promote the ideas of national character of Bulgarian art, to use the principles of traditional folk art and cultural heritage, and implement them into the artistic practice. Founders and supporters of the first principles were the artists Alexander Bojinov, Ivan Lazarov, Boris Denev, Vassil Zahariev, Sirak Skitnik, Nikola Tanev, Elisaveta Konsulova – Vazova, Elena Karamihailova, Assen Belkovsky, Nikola Marinov, Ivan Milev, Stefan Ivanov, Alexander Mutafov, Atanas Mihov, Nikolai Rainov, Constantin Shtarkelov, Dechko Uzunov, Nencho Balkanski, Ivan Penkov and others. The Association provided a number of exhibitions in Trapkovi Gallery in Sofia, and some of its members participated in exhibitions abroad. It was one of the most active societies in the artistic life in the country. It participated in organizing the Festival of Arts in Sofia (in April) and collected funds, all of which were invested in a bank account for collecting money for the future building of the House of Arts. In 1932 the Association entered into the Union of the Associations of Artists in Bulgaria and in 1944 – into UBA.

1919 | ASSOCIATION OF THE INDEPENDENT ARTISTS

was found in late 1919, similar to the National Organization of Independent Artists in Paris, at the initiative of Peter Morozov and Pando Kiselinchev. Other members included Yanko Atanasov, Miladin Lazarov, Nikola Avramov, Ruska Marinova, Nikola Valtchev and others. The first exhibition of this association took place in 1920. About twenty artists were members of the society. They entered into the composition of the grounds of the Union of the Associations of the Artists in Bulgaria in 1932, and later, in 1944, in the Union of the Artists in Bulgaria, renamed in 1959 into UBA.

1919 | SOCIETY OF THE NORTH BULGARIAN ARTISTS

was based on the example of the Association of South Bulgarian artists, but with a delay in its creation of about 10 years. On 11.02.1919, artists from Rousse, many of them teachers, decided to organize an exhibition of artists from all Northern Bulgaria during the spring school vacation of 1920, which marked the beginning of the society. On 01.01.1921, the board was elected to administer 36 regular members from Rousse, Shumen, Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo - Atanas Mihov, Alexander Lazarov, Dimitar Radoikov, Stefan Petrov, Ekaterina Stoycheva, Nikolina Dragieva, Kiril Rusev, Yordanka Slavcheva, Kosta Angelov Avksenti Valov, Dimitar Arnaudov, Vasil Stefanov, Georgi Vassilev, Georgi Kashev, Stefan Kovachev, Dimitar Gemedzhiev, Nikola Jovtchev, Naum Popatanasov, Hristo Kazandjiev, Ivan Valchanov and others. It existed until 1944 when it entered into the Union of the Artists in Bulgaria, renamed in 1959 in UBA.

1925 | ASSOCIATION OF ICON PAINTERS AND WOOD CARVERS 

was founded at the initiative of Prof. Stefan Ivanov and Gospodin Zhelyazkov in 1925. With the assistance of the Holy Synod a committee was established which examined the artists willing to work religious objects. In this committee participated: Prof. Stefan Ivanov (chairman), representatives of the Academy of Art, as painter - Prof. Nicholas Ganushev, as an applied artist - Prof. T. Hristov and the representative of the Holy Synod - Archimandrite Maxim (Patriarch Maxim). In 1938 Methodi Balalchev was elected a chairman and G. Bogdanov - a secretary. The Association operated until 09.09.1944. After that date it became part of UBA.

1930 | APPLIED ARTISTS ASSOCIATION 

was found at the initiative of the artist Metodi Balalchev in 1930 with the idea to bring together artists working in the field of the applied arts. They established a statute and Metodi Balalchev was elected a president, with active participation of Stoyan Rainov, St. Peytchev, D. Drumev, Avram Shoshev, J. Barov, Kitsa Markova and others. In 1934 the number of members was 30 people and the president was Prof. Nikolai Rainov. After 09.09.1944, the company entered into UBA.

1931 | SOCIETY OF THE NEW ARTISTS

was established in April 1931. The earliest members were: Boris Ivanov, Vaska Emanouilova, Vera Lukova, Dragan Lozenski, Ivan Funev, Mara Georgieva, Nikolay Shmirgela, Petar Mladenov, Stoyan Venev, Stoyan Sotirov. Some other members that joined later were Alexander Zhendov, Alexander Stamenov, Assen Vassilev, Bencho Obreshkov, Boris Angelushev, Boris Eliseev, Boyan Petrov, Bronka Gyurova, Valentin Velyaots, Vasil Videnov, Vasil Gachev, Vera Nedkova, Veselin Staykov, David Peretz, Dimitar Draganov, Docho Bayramov, Eliezer Alsheh, Ivan Antonov, Ivan Nenov, Ivan Penkov, Ivan Petrov, Kiril Petrov, Kiril Tsonev, Lubomir Dalchev, Mara Tsoncheva, Marko Markov, Nenko Balkanski, Pencho Georgiev, Peter Buchavinov, Preslav Karshovski, Rafael Mihaylov, Todor Mangov and others. The idea was to create an alliance in order to unite all artists and all existing societies. This initial design was not implemented and instead of it the Society of New Artists appeared. In 1936 its members were 55. In 1944 it participated in creating of the Union of Artists in Bulgaria, renamed in 1959 into UBA.

1970 | ASSOCIATION OF THE AESTHETS, ART HISTORIANS AND LITERARY SCHOLARS

was established on 22.06.1970, as a collective member of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria, with chairman - Corresponding Member Prof. Atanas Stoykov.

1904 | THE UNION OF THE SOUTH SLAVIC ARTISTS "LADA"

(it took the name of the Slavic goddess of spring) was founded in 1904 and existed until 1912 as a federation of four South Slavic branches - Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia. Mostly professors from the State Art Schools participated. The Union had the intention to organize large international exhibitions in the South Slavic countries. They managed to make 4 large exhibitions - in 1904 and 1912 in Belgrade, 1906 in Sofia and 1908 in Zagreb. The first president of the Union, unanimously elected, was Jaroslav Veshin.

1932 | UNION OF THE ASSOCIATIONS OF THE ARTISTS IN BULGARIA

It was established on 17.9.1932 in the hall of the junior high school "Graf Ignatiev" in Sofia. The created fund, through which the art gallery on "G.S. Rakovski "№ 125 was built, remained until 1939. There the first Group Artistic Exhibition was opened in 1940, which in fact was the 13th for the Union. The Union of the Associations of the Artists in Bulgaria was registered by the Sofia District Court - Company Division, entered into the register under the law of legal entities in Volume IV on page 5, under a resolution by the court of 28.04.1942 laying down in a civil case № 6/1942, since that moment the Union started leading a regular life. In 1950 in the Board were Prof. Ilia Petrov Nikolov (chairman) and Bogomil Rainov Nikolov (secretary). Until 09.09.1944 fourteen Congresses were held by delegates of the founder companies. Boards were elected, and the Board elected the Chairman.

1944 | UNION OF THE ARTISTS IN BULGARIA

during the Constituent Assembly of artists from across the country, held on 10.11.1944. It has been validated on 14.12.1949 on an order of № 3 – Directorate of the Ministry of Interior, Sofia - Administrative Department (without legal registration), and was renamed in 1959 (without registration in the court) into UNION OF BULGARIAN ARTISTS - UBA. Officially registered with the decision of the Court, Company Division on 29.04.1991 on company case № 7594/1990, with headquarters in Sofia, "Sredets", "Shipka" № 6, OBJECTIVES: to defend the honor and dignity of its members, to ensure their creative freedom, rights and interests, to contribute to the development of  Bulgarian art, to maintain contacts and exchange experiences with other national cultures, creative organizations and artists and to provide professional information, to organize the protection of copyright, rights of artists and art historians, with the statute, an integral part of this decision.

Over the years the leadership of the Union of artists involved famous names such as: Stoyan Sotirov, Prof. Mara Tsoncheva, Prof. Atanas Bozhkov, Mara Georgieva, Dimitar Mehandzhiyski, Prof. Bogdanov, Assen Vassilev, Petko Abadjiev, Prof. Vasil Yonchev, Prof. Dimitar Daskalov, Yordan Petrov, Prof. Boycho Grigorov, Alexander Apostolov, Prof. Toma Varbanov, Assen Stareyshinski, Prof. Dimitar Avramov, Bisera Prahova, Kalina Taseva, Prof. Stoyan Stoyanov - Techi, Assen Grozev, Evgeni Klintcharov, Prof. Boris Gondov, Zafir Yonchev, Prof. Valentin Starchev, Simeon Venov, Prof. Georgi Ivanov, Nadejda Kouteva, Prof. Dimitar Boykov, Dimitar Ostojic, Maximilian Kirov, Dimitar Kirov, Hristo Stefanov, Rumen Gasharov, Prof. Andrei Daniel, Mihail Petkov, Peter Dochev, Prof. Stanislav Pamukchiev, Bogomil Zhivkov, Prof. Vihroniy Popnedelev, Vesela Radoeva, Angelo Krasini, Prof. Bozidar Ionov, Prof. Grigory Grigorov Alexander Radoslavov, Georgi Lipovanski, Bouyan Filchev, Prof. Bozidar Boyadzhiev, Prof. Oleg Gotchev, Dimitar Grozdanov, Ivaylo Djenev, Boyko Mitkov and many others.