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The Collection of Paintings, Prints and Sculptures of the Croatian History Museum holds over two hundred works of art connected to the First World War. Most of those were collected during 1919 after a plea made by the director of the Department of Archaeology and History of the Croatian National Museum, Dr Viktor Hoffiler, to military commanders after the new state was constituted, asking that military companies give various objects connected to the old regime to the National Museum.
In this way, the Museum acquired various objects, paintings, prints and sculptures from the 5th Uhlan Regiment from Varaždin, the 16th Infantry Regiment from Bjelovar, the 27th Infantry Regiment from Sisak, the 31st Jäger Battalion, the 42nd Landwehr Infantry Division and the 53rd Infantry Regiment from Zagreb, the 96th Infantry Regiment from Karlovac and the Cadet School at Kamenica.
Some of these donations were shown at the Museum exhibition I Gave Gold for Iron, held in 2006 (catalogue published in 2011). Commemorating the hundred years from the beginning of the First World War, a number of works from that rich collection was chosen, and most of them are now exhibited for the first time. These exhibits present war as seen through the eyes of painters, sculptors and graphic artists.
The exhibition is grouped into segments that focus on monarchs, allies and enemies, commanders and ranking officers, members of various military units, depictions of battles on various fronts, as well as a segment on war artists and a multimedia display of works dealing with civilian life created during the war. Ranging in quality from first-rate to almost amateurish, they represent a valuable source for studying various aspects of that first great conflict in recent history.