City Gallery (GMB) was established in 1961 as an independent cultural organisation of the capital of the Slovak Republic.
City Gallery is building a systemic collection as part of the cultural heritage of the city of Bratislava. Today, it manages more than 35,000 collection items documenting the development of fine arts in Slovakia since Gothic times. Items of old central-European arts also figure in the GMB collection.
A specialised team from the Gallery is seeking out new ways to connect its work with other areas and present the importance of art to a wider audience.
City Gallery is opening its spaces to more and more people, looking to create an accessible, friendly and inspirational environment for the public, as well as for local artists, local communities, and residents with special needs.
City Gallery also provides programmes for public spaces and has introduced activities designed to save, administer and install fine art exhibitions in the exterior of the Bratislava City Districts. It also offers various activities in gallery pedagogy and issues many publications.
Barrier-free arts in public space and protection of the Pálffy’s Palace. Some projects are being prepared offering participation opportunities for private sponsors and socially responsible companies.
Donors can participate:
City Gallery and Kunsthalle Bratislava have collaborated in organising an annual festival of visual arts for the public space since 2022. Apart from a wide spectrum of visual interventions located in the city, there will be several arts residence projects, accompanying and educational programmes and online contents published on the new web platform as part of the festival.
The contribution of the project is the organisation of an event opening the important issue of the administration, protection and creation of arts for the public spaces. The festival connects and supports the local and international fine arts community and attracts an expert and general audience. It brings current global arts and city-forming projects to the public in a topical and dynamic form. It also reaches out to the investors of new residential projects, encouraging them to implement arts as an integral part of the area where they are building.
City Gallery seeks to make its cultural contents available to all residents of Bratislava. Its middle-term plan is to remodel its buildings (Mirbach’s and Pálffy’s Palace) to become more accessible for visitors with special needs. Apart from removing barriers at the exhibitions (special formats for the blind and deaf), the AGCB is also removing barriers within the interior. In 2021, the gallery successfully installed a passenger elevator in Mirbach’s Palace. The gallery also plans to install an elevator in its exhibition area in Pálffy’s Palace.
Pálffy’s Palace is particularly special and invaluable, as it presents many major historic and architectonic periods of the development of Bratislava in a single work of architecture. In the basement, there are traces of a Celtic settlement (oppidum) dating from the 1st century AD. The Roman period is documented in the use of construction material in the building’s walls – it is especially evident in the early-Medieval walls of the Romanesque palace dating from the 13th century.
During the rescue research of 1981 – 1987, the core of the city Gothic palace was discovered, with a chapel in the basement and on the first floor (lierne arch dating from the 15th century). You can also see part of the original masonry on the third floor (the exhibition hall).
Other construction elements are from the 17th and 19th centuries (late-Classicist style). In the 18th century, the palace was owned by the Pálffy family who used it for representative purposes up to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. After its last owner – Count János Pálffy, a philanthropist, patron and collector of European arts – died, the palace became the seat of City Gallery (1987).
Currently, this national cultural monument is in a bad condition – one could say that some parts of it are in a state of serious disrepair. In 2021, the gallery renovated the ceilings above the main stairwell and in the smaller exhibition hall on the 2nd floor.
The main stairwell, as well as the plastering in the adjacent areas, is in grave need of expert cleaning and new paint. The renovation would increase the visual appeal of the interior, as well as the overall impression for visitors to the GMB.
Department of Program Planning and Cooperation
Contact person for sponsors and CSR partnership: Andrej Salner, MSc.