Ilijanum - Ilija's museum in Šid,
founded in 1971.

I3. XI 1970. Ilija sets the initiative for the foundation of the Museum of naive art by the following letter:


Rich in years and poor in health, in good intention and a wish to contribute with a modest donation to the culture of my hometown, I decided to give a part of my painting work - 300 paintings - to my township, hoping that they have a certain value for Šid, for its culture now, as well as for the to come generations. Beside my paintings, I donate also several paintings done by other respectable so - called naive painters with whom I exchanged paintings, and partially they were collected by my sons who joined my wish and intention that by donating those works I should propose to the township Assembly to establish a museum of naive art in Šid. It should be further supported by me and my family by donating my works. I reckon that it shouldn't remain within the range of Šid, but it should be nicely developed in an international scope. That was why I added several works of international artists to this collection to trace its direction of development.
I believe that this modest contribution of mine will help the youngs, and perhaps the future ones to have a bit more of what I personaly missed so much, and that is culture. I hope that in that way our Šid will be given a possibility to participate in the cultural life of the society, and its citizens will feel better among my paintings, as I felt among the paintings of my schoolmate Sava Šumanovic¹, whose example, although with a great delay, had an influence upor me.

Šid, 3rd of November 1970.

Ilija Bašičević Bosilj

1. Well-known painter from Šid

14. I 1971. Ilija and Branko Cvetinović the president of the township Assembly signed the document for the foundation of the Museum.

23.11971. Ilija recorded his donation which consisted of 300 paintings of his, and twenty-five paintings and sculptures of the artists of Yugoslavia and abroad. In the name of the receiver of the gift, this record was signed by Živan Lazić, vice-president of the township Assembly of Šid.

31. V 1971. on the basis of Ilija's initiative and the document signed by the president of the township Assembly and Ilija, the township Assembly brought the^ decision of the foundation of the "Museum of naive art Ilijanum" in Šid, as an autonomous and self- managing institution in the capacity of juristic person: "Aiming at promotion and development of painting culture, systematic gathering, preserving and arranging the artistic works of Ilija Bašičević Bosilj, as well as the works of other naive painters and their presentation by the way of constant and part-time exibitions, the Museum of naive art Ilijanum is founded."

Ilijanum was solemnly opened within the celebration of the liberation of Šid on 6th of December 1970. The citizens of Šid acclaimed the foundation of Ilijanum. Unfortunately, the initial success and elation were left out of support of the township and the Province, and the Republic showed no interest in the Museum, either. Ilija and his family still continued to present the Museum Ilija's paintings and the paintings of other painters.

At the Museum there are 317 Ilija's paintings, 21 paintings of 13 ex-Yugoslav authors, and 12 paintings of 8 authors from the USA, the France, Netherlands, Germany and Poland.

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