The beginnings of the Gallery as a legally independent institution date back to the period following the Second World War. On September 19, 1945 the Liberec museum board of trustees was established to solve the future of the North Bohemia Museum art collections. The board decided that the gallery would remain an organizational part of the Liberec Museum but at the same time, the art collections would be moved to a separate building. Soon after the war ended, the Liberec graphic artist and patriot, Jaro Beran, became interested in the fate of the art collections hidden during the war, and the board of trustees charged him with tasks related to the future of the collection and delegated him to find premises suitable for further storage and presentation of the collection. A year later, at the beginning of 1946, the gallery was given a building which has been the institution’s seat ever until today.
Since 1949 the North Bohemia Museum, including the Gallery, has had the status of a regional institution. In 1953 the Gallery was made legally independent within a network of state-administered galleries. Naturally, Jaro Beran became the first director. In 1958, he was replaced by a young art historian Hana Seifertová. She played an important role not only in the vast remodeling of the building, establishing a valuable collection of 16th – 18th century Dutch paintings, but above all in the fact that the gallery is now viewed highly positively by experts, artists, as well as the public. Hana Seifertová enriched the broad exhibition program with major sculpture presentations (e.g. the legendary Statue and City, 1969) and exhibitions dedicated to young artists who had been refused in Prague art galleries for their political opinions. As a result the Liberec Gallery came to be a highly respected institution. In the end, these creditable activities turned against Seifertová and in 1970, she was made to leave the managerial position due to her citizen involvement.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Vladimír Volšička and subsequently Věra Pavlišová were the directors. The activities of the Gallery and of other cultural facilities were under a strict political supervision. Exhibitions did not go beyond the common production of that historical period; they had to be "politically correct”. Now and then an exception occurred and the gallery managed to organize an interesting exhibition of an artist with an original perspective of the world. At that time Naďa Řeháková was the curator of the Gallery program.
The post-1989 period witnessed major changes. The following year Věra Laštovková was appointed director and commenced work on a new image of the Liberec Gallery. Together with the curator Eva Výtisková they focused on maintaining the high level of care taken about the collections and the high-quality exhibition program. In 1991, just like more than twenty other Czech and Moravian collecting institutions, the Liberec Regional Gallery became a subsidized organization of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. A year later a professional union called Association of Galleries of Czech Republic was founded in order to promote more vigorous professional cooperation. The Liberec Gallery is one of the members of its Board. Another influential person in the Gallery history was PhDr. Věra Laštovková, who contributed to its development and participated in the activities of the Association of Galleries of Czech Republic as a long-term chairwoman of the Chamber of Directors. In the 1990’s the Liberec collections were incorporated in the Central Registry of Museum-Type Collections (CES), which is administered by the Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic. This database is a public-accessible list of the majority of the tangible cultural heritage of the Czech Republic.
In 2001, another important legislation modification took place. The majority of the cultural institutions were transferred from the Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic to the newly established regions, and starting from October 1, 2001 the Liberec Regional Gallery became the only collecting gallery – art museum of the Liberec Region.BACK ABOUT THE GALLERY