2012 – 2016
One of the most important projects by the SAB foundation was the publication of the deluxe, richly illustrated three-volume edition in Bulgarian and English: 120 Years Bulgarian Art: Unions, Societies, Groups, 1892 – 2012; 120 Years Bulgarian Art: Applied, Decorative, Monumental; 120 Years Bulgarian Art: Design.
The 120 Years Bulgarian Art volumes follow the history of visual arts in Bulgaria, from the late 19th to the beginning of the 21st century. This was a history replete with the talented presence of numerous brilliant names, artistic revelations and achievements, some of these being of significance reaching far beyond the national borders. This was also a history of unexpected twists and turns, of dramatic historic and political events, conflicts of ideologies and styles, but also of the peaceful coexistence of different art movements.
The three volumes of the series show an impressive panoramic view to the fine, monumental, decorative/applied arts and design, supplied with rich illustrations of works by the most prominent Bulgarian artists. Three anniversaries provided the specific cause for the publication of the series: 120 years from the first art exhibition ever held in Bulgaria (1892), the founding of the first association of artists, the Association for the Support of Art in Bulgaria (1893), and 80 years from the founding of the Union of the Artistsʼ Associations in Bulgaria (1931). The systematization and presentation of the most important features, characteristics and tendencies in the development of the different types and genres of Bulgarian art given the huge number of authors and works over such a long period of time, would be a real challenge for any team of compilers. Different approaches were applied in the structuring of the volumes: chronological reviews of the activities of the artistsʼ societies and organizations, differentiation per genre (painting, graphic art, sculpture, ceramics, textile, wood etc.) or based on functional characteristics within genres (easel, monumental, decorative, applied arts).
The 120 Years Bulgarian Art project was launched in 2012 by the SAB foundation and the Union of Bulgarian Artists and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Globul, the Culture program of the Sofia Municipality, Alianz Bulgaria, government and municipal educational and research institutions, galleries, museums and public libraries from all over the country.