Đurđica Cvitanović was born in 1924 in Gospić, where her father, although from Istria, was a teacher in the neighbourhood of Gospić. She spent her childhood in Zagreb, and attended high school in Zagreb, Krk and Bjelovar. She enrolled in the Medical Faculty, but after two years abandoned this course and after WWII enrolled in the art history course in the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. She took a master’s in 1956 and a doctorate in 1972.
She never had a full time job, but constantly worked part time for the Institute for the History of Art in Zagreb and occasionally for the Strossmayer Gallery of the Croatian Academy, as well as for several restoration workshops. She created numbers of study and specialised and scholarly exhibitions, scholarly papers and books. The immediate field of her work is the architecture of Karlovac, Klanjec and Buzet, religious architecture, the Baroque and the 19th century. She won numerous prizes and awards for her work, including the Bartol Kašić prize for scholarly work, the city of Zagreb Prize for the exhibition Holy Trace, put on in 1994, to mark the 9th centenary of the foundation of the see of Zagreb.
As member of the Hague Convention Commission of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, at the time of the Homeland War she organised the evacuation of artworks from the endangered areas of Dubrovnik, Osijek, the Kupa and Sava river valley areas. She was a member of the Committee and the chairperson for the CE Initiative of the project on the Baroque in Central Europe (1991-1993), headquartered in Bratislava.
Her documentation about religious and secular architecture has often been used by the Croatian Restoration and Croatian Conservation Institutes. She has organised many conferences and symposia, and has frequently contributed to specialised periodicals.
NB. Data taken from the questionnaire, material taken from the Personnel Archives of the MDC, and from an interview recorded on March 3, 2003.
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