Children’s Drawings from 1980-1990 in the Quadro Archive

Our exhibition of children’s drawings was created thanks to the contribution of artist and teacher Katalin A. Gally, who has donated to the Quadro Archive seventy-three drawings done by children in the 1960s, 1980s and 1990s. These works are a testimony to state education in the visual arts, in conformity with the curriculum of that period, and consist of a selection from material accumulated in the course of an art teaching career spanning over thirty years.
The great majority of the drawings are interpretations of (compulsory) themes and subjects set by the teacher – only a few can be regarded as having freely chosen subjects – and provide an honest picture of everyday life in those times, of the child’s world, and of school, while at the same time giving an authentic impression of the ideology of the political system. Alongside activities related to school and to the Pioneer movement, everyday life (play, shopping), work, seasons, farming, sport, space exploration and the imagined future all play an essential role. In addition to their merits as art, these drawings also have a unique documentary value, since some of them were made in 1990, immediately after the fall of the Ceaușescu regime, and capture not only the communist period but also the Revolution of December 1989.
Through this donation, the Quadro Archive, which has set itself the task of saving and processing documents related to the visual culture of Romania in the 20th century, has been enriched with new and valuable material. Through the honest and timeless language of these children’s drawings, we wish to mark the 30th anniversary of the Revolution by evoking the eternal world of the child.

Ágota Portik Blénessy