For Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture, we designed the 51000 Balthazar Town exhibition display that is being held in Rijeka’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. It is the largest exhibition dedicated to the famous Professor Balthazar to date, who was created at a fortunate crossroads of new ideas, liberties and art at the Zagreb School of Animated Film in the 1960s. Balthazar is especially linked to Rijeka, whose appearance served as a template for Balthazar Town, a town where the good professor lives and comes up with his inventions.
For the purposes of this exhibition, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is divided into four thematic units – the Universe, the Sea, the River, and the Town, and represents a miniature display of the world from the animated series. The arrival to the town from the sea and across the Rječina river emphasizes the similarity between Balthazar Town and Rijeka, and invites the visitors to become Balthazar’s fellow townspeople, at least for an afternoon.
The exhibition display tells in a fun, interactive, and multisensory way the story of Balthazar Town, where the visitors can discover the history of this educational animated film, see the original drawings and sketches, and the photographs of the author and people who contributed to the creation of Balthazar. The aim of the display is to evoke the atmosphere, the imagination and the playfulness of a town in which visitors, big and small, can discover new areas of their own imagination and come up with unexpected inventions, just like the good Professor Balthazar.