ZAGREB, 21 February (Hina) – The exhibition “Fashion and Comics” (Mode et bande dessinée) of the Comics Museum in Angoulême, France, focusing on the little-known relationship between comics and fashion, opened on Sunday at Zagreb’s Arts and Crafts Museum on the occasion of the centenary of the French Institute in Croatia.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said fashion and comics were two artistic disciplines one automatically associated with France.
“Comic strips are usually considered a part of popular culture, intended primarily for children and being outside what we call high art. What is often disregarded is their connection to visual arts, film, animation, literature, music, design and fashion as well as their important role in education,” the minister said.
The exhibition will therefore show the connections between the two disciplines and explore their similarities, she said.
Despite the fact that 2020 was a difficult year, marked by a pandemic and earthquakes, it was decided that cultural institutions should stay open even with fewer visitors to send a message of the importance of culture, notably in the current times, the minister recalled.
French Ambassador Gaël Veyssière thanked the Museum of Arts and Crafts for hosting the exhibition, noting that it was yet another way for the museum and the French Institute in Croatia to continue their cooperation and recalling that both the museum and the French Embassy in Zagreb had suffered extensive damage in the March 2020 earthquake.
The diplomat also spoke about the history of the French Institute in Croatia, beginning with its foundation on 21 February 1921, when a group of Croatian intellectuals at the University of Zagreb established a new association with the mission to promote the French language, literature and culture.
Minister Obuljen Koržinek and Ambassador Veyssière signed at the event an agreement on cultural cooperation in the field of comics which is expected to provide a framework for further exchanges, education and projects to be implemented this year.
The exhibition “Fashion and Comics” features more than one hundred items from the collection of the Angoulême Museum of Comics, original comic boards, items of clothing and accessories, perfumes, and printed archives.
The items put on display are part of the Museum of Comics rich holdings, which comprise more than 14,000 original comic boards and drawings as well as many other printed and audiovisual items.
The exhibition features some of the first designer drawings by Yves Saint-Laurent, Christian Dior and Thierry Mugler, which bears witness to the important tradition of drawing in French high fashion.
The show also features, among others, works by US cartoonist and animation pioneer Winsor McCay, a comic authored by Yves Saint-Laurent, a graphic novel by famous cartoonist Annie Goetzinger, comic book T-shirts and trainers, works by illustrator Edgar P. Jacobs, one of the founding fathers of the European comics movement, as well as of Italian comic book artist and illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti.
The exhibition lasts until March 28.