History of Atelje 61

Taking over the attention of the art appreciating public of Novi Sad and the forgotten underground spaces of the Petrovaradin Fortress that began in the late fifties and early sixties of the 20th century, resulted in great enthusiasm of a few young artists of that time, who are today’s leaders of fine art in Novi Sad, such as Jovan Soldatović, Boško Petrović, Aleksandar Lakić, Stean Maksimović, etc. The need for a new expression together with the research in the contemporary field occupied the vision and thoughts of Boško Petrović and Etelka Tobolka. Both of whom have realised that Yugoslavian art of that time needed something new and different, and with that in mind founded Atelier 61.

By the decree of the People’s Committee of Novi Sad Municipality, under the number 04-7035/61 of February 28, 1961, the first crafts shop for the making of tapestries officially began and so the visions of Petrovic and Tobolka became true, in the very rooms of Boško Petrović atelier.

Created in the convergence of French and Flemish tradition and the local heritage of rug weaving technique on a loom, the tapestry as an autonomous, visual medium in our country has come a long way from the naive, pioneering experiments all the way to authentic and original works, that follow global contemporary art trends. The collection of Atelier 61 with over 260 works has works of numerous famous artists whose action and work best represents the notion of the existence of contemporary art in Serbia.

In 1980 again by the decision of city's authorities Atelier 61 becomes an institution of special social significance, and organises exhibits throughout the entire territory of Yugoslavia, and the surrounding countries, as well as North and South America, Europe and Asia. In 1997 the School of Weaving began work as a part of Atelier 61, in 1998 the Tapestry colony started, and in 1999 in Leopold's Bastion, one of the oldest structures of Petrovaradin Fortress, a unique gallery was founded, bearing the name of Boško Petrović , the founder of tapestry in our country.

Today, as a one of a kind centre of tapestry art in Serbia but also in the region of West Balkans, and one of the few in the world that systematically conducts, nurtures and keeps tapestries, Atelier 61 has become one of the relevant references in history when it comes to ideas, tendencies and results of art of tapestry since the second half of the 20th century until today.