Dr. Gheorghe Vintilă's Collection

Director of the Art Museum in Constanta

IntroductionThe private collection can represent the distinctive mark of a class, a real nobility title, the possession desire, a hobby gradually turned into love – sometimes tyrannical – or a specific kind of knowledge; a true "anteroom of museums," the collection brings together, accomplice, over the years, everyone who was touched by the "vice of contemplating." The collectors are usually founders and creators, hence constructors of artificial universes, for whom the act of selection works unfailingly, although sometimes in egotistic seclusion. Considering such acts of judgement, passionately, with the selfishness of the one who stores, but also with the selflessness of the one who offers, there comes into being a human typology that can be noticed in the structure of museums all over the world. Rid of the tyranny of the creation act itself, which is untouchably situated under the mark of uniqueness, the collector offers to himself, at first, the joy of discovering and purchasing, even if the latter implies a confrontation. His adventure unfolds both on the knowledge coordinate and on the intuition one. Great collectors were art lovers, who offered the contemporaries and posterity the same erudite and discreet joys, the passionate ones who collected culture objects only for their lonely aesthetic experiences, but eventually realised that the crowning of a work of art is the museum collection, the professional merchants who contaminate themselves empathically, using their marketing experience for purchasing other works that they circulate, but also masterpieces, which they finally donate, the disinterested and admiring friends of creators, whose position they would never wish to experience, but also the unfulfilled and lucid artists, whose admiration exercise, free of envy, is represented by the work of art they never otherwise fathomed. The great collectors ended up by becoming great donators, because only in a museum, therefore only in a "temple where time seems suspended," according to Germain Bazin, can the works face up to centuries and external aggressive factors. The memory of human creativity stored in perennial objects makes the museum to be perceived like a "perfect expression of a country's culture," in Ioan Opris's view. The psychology of the collector from Romania and everywhere, from now and then, stays the same in its amazing and splendid making. The story of collections is enthralling, sometimes even dramatic, the works and the collections having, just as the book, their own time and destiny. Their history is also the history of the country's museums. Among our donators, an imposing figure is Doctor Gheorghe Vintila (1898-1978), born in Topalu, the son of the schoolteachers from the Dobrogea village, who created his collection in time, in Bucharest (where he worked for a long period), benefiting from the expert advice and the acid remarks of the sculptor Oscar Han. If the 228 works donated in 1961 to his native village for establishing the Dinu and Sevasta Vintila Art Museum (the institution bears the name of the donator's parents, according to his manifest wish) make up, through a coherent collection, one of author, a complete panorama of Romanian interwar art, other 57 offered in 1962 to the Art Museum in Constanta, complete its structure in a masterly manner, by works of reference. The present texts are original, written and transcribed in time by the author for publication. Printing them represents a new opportunity of showing our gratitude and of bringing well-deserved praise.

by Doina Păuleanu