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Discovering Art

How Koki the little Raven
became the Keeper of the Museum Collection

Koki bere knjigo

Once upon a time, an artist lived in a town. He was a kind man, who worked tirelessly every day in his studio, for this was what he liked best.

Whenever he was tired, he took long walks out in the nature.

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One day, when he left home towards evening, he found a small, lost, wounded raven, who had fallen out of the nest, by the side of the road.
The artist asked the bird: “Little raven, where is your mummy? Tell me, so I can take you home to her.”
The little raven croaked fearfully:
“I am all alone in the world, the nest is empty, my mummy and my brothers have flown away, I do not know where to go. My wound hurts, and I fear a terrible beast might find me!”
“Then come with me. I will take you home and attend to your wounds.”
 

The artist took the bird in his arms, wrapped him in his large handkerchief and took him home. He took a small box and made a little nest, put the raven into the nest and put some ointment onto his injured wing. The little raven, now in good hands, healed and recovered quickly.


Days went by and soon the day came when the little raven should fly away out into the big wide world. He was flapping his wings cheerfully and flying around the studio. He loved staying with the artist and was not at all tempted to venture out into the dangerous, unknown world out there. He wanted to stay.

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So he plucked up his courage and suggested:
“You are my rescuer. I have no one else left in the world. I would like to stay with you and watch you work on your artwork.”
The little creature had already got under the artist’s skin, so he was very happy to hear this: “Marvellous! I am very glad that you will be keeping me company!”

The grateful little raven stayed with the kind artist in his studio. The artist called him Koki.
They became inseparable friends, and the little raven enjoyed sitting on the artist’s shoulder, watching the artist work for hours with different art tools and materials.

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Day after day, new artworks emerged in front of the raven’s eyes and impressed themselves on his memory. Koki’s favourite motif, however, was the master’s self-portrait.

The artist was a great friend of the art museum, which he loved to visit and see artworks by other artists in exhibitions.

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He decided to donate some of his own artworks to the museum, for they would not be seen by so many people if they remained in his studio.

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His artworks became part of the museum collection.

One day, the artist decided to take the little raven with him to the museum. He loved the large rooms and the halls full of artworks so much that he wanted to stay.
He cried out:
“It is so beautiful here! I just want to stay here!”
The artist saw the little raven’s eyes beaming with joy and he replied:
“You are a big bird now, it is only right that you leave home and venture into the wide world. You will see many interesting things here and meet many people. You can help watch over my paintings together with works by other artists.”
 

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Thus, they agreed that, thereafter, Koki the little raven would live at the museum and help the curators look after the paintings, sculptures, drawings, videos and all the other valuables kept there.

At the time, the little raven did not know that life behind the big walls of an art museum is full of adventures. He is still very young, curious and playful. Therefore he sometimes turns a chief curator’s hair grey. His ideas for solving problems as a museum keeper are sometimes quite unusual. There are a lot of original events during the day, and strange secrets in a night at the museum, so he’s always involved with some exciting adventure.

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Koki the little raven spends a lot of time hidden from people and people’s eyes, in the museum storage room, where all those artworks from the museum collection that are not exhibited at the moment are stored. He looks after them, making sure nothing bad happens to them.
Whenever he notices that, despite all the care they get, an artwork has been damaged, he fetches the restorer, who knows how to attend to the artwork’s wounds.
 

Download the Story

But the little raven’s joy is greatest when children visit the museum. He watches them secretly from behind the artworks. More than anything he’s interested in knowing whether the children like what the artists have created, and he watches with great curiosity, what children seem to think and what they do at the museum.

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“Discovering Art” is an educational portal where you can discover interesting facts about art and museums of art.

The online portal Discovering Art is the collaborative effort of four institutions:

Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Fundació Antoni Tàpies from Barcelona, Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška from Slovenj Gradec.

The portal is part of the European project Performing the Museum.