Nada Premerl was born in Otočac in 1939. She went to the Applied Arts School, textile department, in Zagreb, and took a BA (art history) and Germany from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb.
She has spent her entire career in Zagreb City Museum, as curator, up to 1978, then senior curator, and has had the rank of museum advertiser since 1987. From 1991 to 1992 she was acting director of Zagreb City Museum. At the beginning she did exhibitions primarily related to her discipline, and after a few years work with Dr F. Buntak, her interest in history rose.
She was manager of the Culture History Collection, later of the Collection of Textiles, Guild Items and Plans. In 1991 she elaborated the museological programme and conception for the new display of Zagreb City Museum, in which the city was portrayed in all its aspects and the public was introduced to the building of the museum, deriving from 1650, itself a cultural monument, once holding the convent of the Poor Clares. In 1996 the new permanent display was open to the public. In it, in collaboration with Željko Kovačić, Premerl highlighted the problem of visual communications with the visitors.
Her first major exhibition was the Croatian National revival, 1986, in the Museum of Arts and Crafts; then came Old Croatian Crafts with the Croatian History Museum, 1991, when the display was taken down because of the danger from the war.
She also mounted the exhibition Milka Trnina and London, which was an exhibition of sketches and theatre costumes made by a London theatrical fashion creator. The exhibition made a guest appearance in London.
Among her major exhibitions are the Jews in Yugoslavia, and the Collection of Old Packaging, featuring the valuable collection of Dr A. Rodin.
She has published more than 70 scholarly and specialised articles, and contributed over a hundred entries for the Zagreb Lexicon of the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute.
Still, in the opinion of the reviewers, her best exhibition was A Brook in the Heart of Zagreb, 2006, (Medvešćak from Source to Confluence) that, along with the permanent display of the Museum, represents a major part of her life’s work.
For her work, she was decorated with the Order of the Croatian Daystar with Figure of Marko Marulić, in 1996; with the City of Zagreb Prize, 2004; and the Pavao Ritter Vitezović Prize of the Croatian Museum Association for lifetime achievement in 2006.
NB. Data taken from the questionnaire, material taken from the Personnel Archives of the MDC, and from an interview recorded on July 17, 2002.
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