Zdenko Vojnović was born in 1912, where he attended elementary and the First Classics High School. After graduation from high school he enrolled in the Faculty of Philosophy of Zagreb University, studying what was called the 28th group, reading psychology, logic and cognitive theory, and the history of philosophy, as well as ethics and aesthetics. During the course he also attended lectures on art history. He completed the philosophy and aesthetics course in 1935. With a group of art historians he started up a journal of the arts called Ars. He spent two terms in a course in France as a French government scholar.
He started his work in the Museum of Arts and Crafts in 1950 as library volunteer, and in 1941 received a permanent appointment. At the end of 1943 he took the professional librarian exam and became the first professionally qualified librarian in the history of the Museum of Arts and Crafts. As a student he had been an open leftist and took part underground as a member of an anti-fascist group; at the beginning of 1944, with co-worker and wife Zdenka Munk joined the Partisans. In April 1944 he was arrested by the SS and moved to Vienna on forced labour, and at the beginning of 1945 got into a Gestapo prison, where he saw the end of the war, in a very poor condition. In 1945, June, he went back to the Museum of Arts and Crafts, and prepared the exhibition History of Museums for Arts and Crafts and the permanent display of the Ceramics, Glass and Metals Collection. In 1947 he attained the grade of curator. He was much interested in making real the idea of the living museum, and held a number of lectures about museum education, organised various special groups and literary evenings. The biggest of his achievements was the founding of the Chair of Museology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb University (1950) and he had an important role in the founding of an association of professional museum officers. He took over the position of Museum of Arts and Crafts director on June 12, 1952.
He had to go into hospital for treatment in autumn 1954, and after a deterioration in his condition died in Rijeka at the end of 42. He published his papers in Književnik, Hrvatska revija, Hrvatsko kolo, Ars, Republika, Kulturni radnik, Arhitektura, Historijski zbornik and Muzeologija.
NB: Information courtesy of Stanko Staničić (Museum of Arts and Crafts).
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