| July 16,
|Nov 12, 1989 (age 90)
| Novo Mesto,
Does Bozidar Jakac Dead or Alive?
As per our current Database, Bozidar Jakac died on Nov 12, 1989 (age 90).
He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague where he studied graphic design.
Jakac was born in Novo Mesto, which was then part of Austria-Hungary. He started painting in 1910 or 1911, when he was attending the Novo Mesto grammar school, and more seriously, when he was attending the technical high school in Idrija, which he finished in 1917. As he lacked money to continue the studies, he had to set off to the Isonzo Front to fight for the monarchy. In 1918, after World War I ended, Ivan Vavpotič, his former professor, introduced him to the prominent Slovene Impressionist painter Rihard Jakopič, who exhibited Jakac’s paintings and became his first true tutor.
From November 1919, Jakac studied painting and printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (under professors Jakub Obrovský and Franz Thiele). There, he came into contact with rich artistic tradition and versatile modern art movements that expanded his artistic horizons tremendously. During that period he also visited Paris and Bremen. He finished the postgraduate studies of printmaking under professor August Brömse.
In 1920, Jakac returned to Novo Mesto and became the bearer of The Spring of Novo Mesto, an avant-garde movement in literature and fine arts, which included also the poets Miran Jarc and Anton Podbevšek, the painter Ivan Čargo and the composer Marij Kogoj. In 1924, he settled in Ljubljana. At first, he earned his money as a woodcut illustrator at the liberal newspaper Jutro and a professor of drawing at the Second State Gymnasium in Ljubljana. Three years later he gave up his work and became an independent artist. At that time he also travelled extensively, for example to Paris, Tunisia, the Americas and Norway, and married Tatjana Gudrunova, who profoundly influenced his work. In 1932, he published his memoirs and letters from America in the book Odmevi rdeče zemlje (“The Echoes of the Red Earth”), in cooperation with his friend Jarc.
Jakac was an excellent portraitist who depicted a number of prominent Slovenes and Yugoslavs, friends and very often also himself. In 1940 he painted a portrait of the Slovenian poet France Prešeren, which became one of the emblematic rafigurations of the national poet. In the 1970s, his portraits were used in a series of Yugoslav postage stamps.
In September 1943, Jakac joined the partisan resistance in the Province of Ljubljana, where he promoted culture and education and noted the events in numerous graphics. In October 1943, he participated as a deputy at the Assembly of the Delegates of the Slovene Nation in Kočevje, which was a general constitutional convention organised by the Liberation Front of the Slovene Nation to establish the legal basis for the future political sovereignty of the Slovenes. In that year, he was also among the Slovene deputies at the second AVNOJ Conference in Jajce. At that time he contributed significantly to the establishment of Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts, which was realised in 1945, and then served as its dean for three terms (1945–1947, 1947–1949, and later in 1959–1961) and taught printmaking till his retirement in 1961.
In 1949, Jakac became a full member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In addition, in 1963 he became a correspondent member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb and a correspondent member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade. He was the president of the Association of Fine Artists of Yugoslavia, a republican and federal deputy, and in 1955, the initiator of the international Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana.
Jakac was named the honorary academician of Accademia dell’Arte del Disegno in Florence (1965) and a full member of European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities in Paris (1982). In 1959, he was the first person bestowed the title of the honorary freeman of Novo Mesto.
Jakac received numerous local and foreign awards for his work. The most prestigious of them was the AVNOJ Award, which he won in 1967. He was also awarded the Prešeren Award four times: for his drawings collection Po sledovih 4. in 5. ofenzive (“Following the Traces of the 4th and 5th Offensive”) in 1947, for his sepia drawing Portret Otona Župančiča (“A Portrait of Oton Župančič”) in 1948, for his illustrative cycle XIV. divizija na Štajerskem (“The XIVth Division in Lower Styria”) in 1949, and for his rich exhibition activity in the past years and a vivid fine art presence in the Slovene and Yugoslav cultural space in 1980.
Jakac died in Ljubljana in 1989 and is buried in Novo Mesto.
Since June 2012, a bronze bust of Božidar Jakac, work of the academic sculptor Drago Tršar, stands in front of the University of Ljubljana.
Currently, Bozidar Jakac is 123 years, 10 months and 25 days old. Bozidar Jakac will celebrate 124th birthday on a Sunday 16th of July 2023.
Find out about Bozidar Jakac birthday activities in timeline view here.