Krikor H. Zambaccian

Krikor H. ZAMBACCIAN (1889-1962) was born in an Armenian family that had long before settled in Constanta on the Romanian Black Sea coast. From 1907 he attended commerce colleges in Antwerp and Paris, where he became acquainted with western art and met Matisse, Dufy, Derrain, Bonnard. These contacts undoubtedly helped him understand and appreciate contemporary art, just as frequenting intellectual and artistic circles in Bucharest between 1920 and 1950 contributed to his profound knowledge of Romanian art. Zambaccian dedicated even his final years to the enrichment of his collection, making use of his faultless intuition, catching enthusiasm, and unparalleled mercantile talent. In 1946, Zambaccian donated part of his collection to the state, thus putting it at the disposal of the public. An integral part of the donation, the building that houses it, erected by the architect C. D. Galin, was later remodeled and completed (1957) so as to correspond to the collector's taste and principles. In 1978, the museum shared the fate of many similar institutions, being taken over by the Museum of Art Collections that had been set up as a division of the National Museum of Art. The collections thus grouped, although reflecting accurately the Romanian collectional scene, were most often devoid of the original context.

by Plural magazine