date: 26. 05. 2020

In 2020 Novo mesto is celebrating 100 years since the beginning of the cultural manifestation called the Novo mesto Spring, in honour of a group of young local artists of different genres who marked the beginning of avant-garde art in Slovenia.

The Municipality of Novo mesto is commemorating the anniversary of the Novo mesto Spring throughout the year with a series of events organized by different institutes and institutions. The Novo mesto library will host evening talks every Thursday on the topic of the Novo mesto Spring, titled Novo mesto poDmlad, where they will present both the already established artists and young, talented and daring local artists from various fields of creation. The thematic year will also be commemorated by a cultural badge of Novo mesto, which will symbolically connect and reward visits to different cultural institutions in the town. The library façade will be illuminated in colour, and the empty shop windows in the town centre will be used for exhibitions. One of the issues of the Rast local magazine will be dedicated to the Novo mesto Spring, and an exhibition will be hosted in front of the library on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the birth of Miran Jarc, a prominent poet and one of the central figures of the Novo mesto Spring.

The main ceremony will be held in September by the Anton Podbevšek Theatre, and the Museum of Dolenjska will on this occasion prepare a retrospective of the ground-breaking art even, the 1st Regional Art Exhibition in Novo mesto, entitled The First Regional Art Exhibition 100 Years Later and an exhibition presenting the protagonists of the Novo mesto Spring.


The Novo mesto Spring

On 26th September 1920, a group of young artists and enthusiasts from Novo mesto carried out a one-day artistic performance in Novo mesto, the event which blew through the then regional art and reached beyond its borders, today being recorded in Slovenian cultural history as the Novo mesto Spring. This group appearance of painters, the musician Marij Kogoj and the Novo mesto poets was a novelty that combined the idea of new art and the contemplation on man after the First World War into an art movement. At the time when newspapers were not yet able to report on all events on a daily basis, it resonated strongly both in public and in political spheres. In addition to the revival of Slovenian art, the organizers aimed at bringing art closer to common people and at the same time emphasizing the Novo mesto art revival as a reflection of the contemporary stir in the society. This cultural and artistic event shook the Slovenian area and laid the foundations for Slovenian avant-garde art. Later on, it was followed by even more events and performances featuring artists from other parts of Slovenia. Thus, the Novo mesto Spring was known as a sort of an awakener of national consciousness and left a strong influence on the work of artists in the 1920s.

The echo of the Novo mesto Spring was so powerful that it still extends to the present day leaving us the prominent names of authors and moral authorities that emerged at the time, such as Anton Podbevšek, Miran Jarc, Marij Kogoj, Josip Vidmar, Rihard Jakopič, Leon Štukelj, Marjan Mušič and Božidar Jakac.