The Miha Maleš Gallery was founded as a dislocated unit of the Intermunicipal Museum of Kamnik in the year 1979, when Miha Maleš donated his 2634 works of art to Kamnik town as a present upon the 750th anniversary of the first time when Kamnik was mentioned as a town in written sources. For the purpose of presenting this donation, an old bourgeois house from the end of the 18th century was renovated at Glavni trg in Kamnik. Of course the renovation required utmost efforts, money and time, so the Gallery opening was late for almost a year. In 1980 the first exhibition about life and work of Miha Maleš was introduced in the renewed Gallery premises.
During the quarter of a century of the Gallery operation, many exhibitions, equipped with catalogues, showed various thematic, chronological and other presentations of Maleš’s artistic opus, and his work as a journalist and collector. His contemporaries and fellow artists Stane Cuderman, Jakob Savinšek, Maksim Gaspari, Maks Koželj, the artists of Fourth generation, Mira Pregelj and other Slovene sculptors and painters from the first half of the 20th century, were also presented. Maleš’s large creative opus has been presented by temporary exhibitions and expert publications in the Kamnik Gallery as well as in other galleries and exhibition halls in Slovenia and abroad, thus bringing us to wide-spread cooperation and relation with other institutions in Slovenia and abroad.
Since the foundation of the Gallery, parallel to the exhibition activity, an idea for documentary-educational centre of art and culture of the first half of 20th century had developed and Miha Maleš was its main representative. A real treasury has been created throughout the years of planned acquiring of Maleš’s personal documentation, correspondence, archive documentation, photos, educational material and technical library. In fact, there is no institution in Slovenia, which, in case of presentation of significant artists of the 20th century, hasn’t searched for help or borrowed material and documentation right from the Miha Maleš Gallery.
The Gallery programme is comprised of permanent and periodical exhibitions that are specifically dictated by the art of the 20th century. They complete awareness and introduce life and work of Miha Maleš and his contemporaries, fellow passengers and friends. The programme includes also exhibitions, which systematically proceed with monographically planned researches of Kamnik and to Kamnik related artists that haven’t had their independent introduction yet, thus establishing representative permanent collection, reflecting the Kamnik history of art.
The Miha Maleš Gallery is a house of art, exhibiting the professional art of the 20th century, while at the same time it is an educational building with a rich technical library and documentation, and premises for artistic workshops. With pedagogical and andragogical programmes and lectures, as well as public guidances, we tend to bring the art closer to the visitors of all generations.