Ida Horvat was born in 1939 in the village of Šecerana in Beli Manister, Baranja. She graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy of Zagreb University, Italian with art history major. Since her father was of Hungarian descent, Ida Horvat, as well as Italian, was naturally fluent in Hungarian.
She spent all her working life in the Museum of Slavonia, Osijek, where she managed the Fine Craft Collection, consisting of collections of furnishing, ceramics, glass, metal, burgher clothing and fashion accessories.
During the Homeland War she packed and evacuated the material, saving them from the dangers of the war. From 1991 to 1997, during the time of the Serbian occupation of Eastern Slavonia, she was trapped in the occupied territory in Beli Manastir, and was unable to go to work, which meant she had a break in her seniority history; however, her job was saved for her until the time of peaceful reintegration. In 1997 she went back to work.
At requests from members of the public, as curator, she would often go into the field for purchasing, evaluation and attribution. She worked on almost all the museum exhibitions that the museum put on at that time. But these exhibitions had no catalogues, and there are few traces of them left, except for titles, invitations and photographs.
As long ago as 1972 she herself put on the exhibition Osijek Secession, and later all this material was taken to the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb for the big Secession in Croatia exhibition. She published specialised works most often in the Osječki zbornik, Zbornik slavonskih muzeja and in the dailies. As for her exhibitions, the best known are: 90 Years of the Museum of Slavonia, Osijek, 1968; Antique Clocks of the 18th and 19th centuries, 1971; Faience Collection of the Museum of Slavonia, Osijek, 1977; Burgher Clothing in Osijek in the 19th and 20th centuries, 1981; Measuring Time over the Centuries, 1983; European Porcelain of the Museum of Slavonia, Osijek, 1988; Glass Collection of the Museum of Slavonia, Osijek, 1991; Secession of the Free and Royal City of Osijek, 2001; and many others;
For her work she was decorated with the Order of the Croatian Daystar with the figure of Marko Marulić, and on December 21, 2006, with "Pavao Ritter Vitezović" Prize of the Croatian Museum Association for lifetime achievement.
NB. Data taken from the questionnaire, material taken from the Personnel Archives of the MDC, and from an interview recorded on October 20, 2004.
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