To the Township Assembly of Šid
Rich in years and poor in health, in good intention and a wish to contribute with a modest donation to the culture of my hometown, I decided to give a part of my painting work – 300 paintings – to my township, hoping that they have a certain value for Šid, for its culture now, as well as for the to come generations. Beside my paintings, I donate also several paintings done by other respectable so-called naïve painters with whom I exchanged paintings, and partially they were collected by my sons who joined my wish and intention that by donating those works I should propose to the township Assembly to establish a museum of naïve art in Šid. It should be further supported by me and my family by donating my works. I reckon that it shouldn’t remain within the range of Šid, but it should be nicely developed in an international scope. That was why I added several works of international artists to this collection to trace its direction of development.
I believe that this modest contribution of mine will help the youngs, and perhaps the future ones to have a bit more of what I personally missed so much, and that is culture. I hope that in that way our Šid will be given a possibility to participate in the cultural life of the society, and its citizens will feel better among my paintings, as I felt among the paintings of my schoolmate Sava Šumanović, whose example, although with a great delay, had an influence upon me.
Šid, November 3, 1970 Ilija Bašičević Bosilj
14.01.1971. Ilija and Branko Cvetinovic, the president of the township Assembly, signed the document for the foundation of the Museum.
At the Museum there are 317 Ilija’s paintings, 21 paintings of 13 ex-Yugoslav authors, and 12 paintings of 8 authors from the USA, France, Netherlands, Germany and Poland.