May 18, 2020
Messages on International Museum Day
Taking into account all the recommendations for public safety and in accordance with the specifications of the Commission for Authorization of Vocational Training Providers of Bucharest, the National Institute for Research and Cultural Training gave participants the opportunity to continue the training program for the occupation of Museographer online, the course starting and suspending in March 2020.
At the same time, today, May 18th, we celebrate International Museum Day, in a completely different global context from previous years, generating major changes in the field of culture, which are adapting and reinventing themselves in order to continue activities, even during the Covid-19 crisis.
Realizing that the main host of this year’s International Museum Day will be online, during the course, the participants shared some information about the museums in which they operate, and in the end, each of them left a message for all colleagues in this field. Here’s what came of it:
- Iulia-Maria Muntean – Brukenthal National Museum – Department of Natural History, Sibiu
”The main mission of the Museum of Natural History Sibiu is to educate the young generation, in the spirit of knowledge and conservation of nature.
Elements of presentation include three-dimensional exposure through dioramas and the combination of sound and light effects designed to suggest the night-day cycle in each of the illustrated environments, all giving the exhibition a dynamic atmosphere, inducing the visitor to identify with the experiences of an explorer.
The sectors within the exhibition are: The evolution of the living world, Aspects of bird life, Ecosystems, Paleontology, Mineralogy, Dinosaurs in the garden.”
Through the museum, an overall spatial-temporal image of the past of humanity and the evolution of the human-nature relationship is built. Visiting a museum continues, especially after departure, by remembering the exhibition viewed, by the information acquired, by the desire to know: “When in a museum, walk slowly but keep walking.” (Gertrude Stein)
- Niculina Diana Crimu – National Museum of Romanian History, Bucharest
”The National Museum of Romanian History is the most important museum of the Romanian state. It has objects with historical value discovered on the current territory of Romania from prehistoric times to the contemporary period.
The museum was founded in 1970, in order to illustrate the cultural evolutions recorded throughout all historical epochs in the geographical space of today’s Romania. Its headquarters are in the building of the former Post Office Palace on Calea Victoriei.
Currently, you can visit the National Treasury, the Lapidarium and the temporary exhibitions. The museum’s collections include 690,099 objects (archaeology, history, numismatics, old books, philately). The museum’s collections are constantly enriched by donations, acquisitions and new archaeological discoveries. The important collections are those of archaeology, history, old books, numismatics, philately. Representative in this respect are: the 11th century gold ornaments discovered at Dinogetia-Garvăn (Tulcea County); the diadems from Cotnari (Iaşi county) and Goranu (Vâlcea county), 13th – 14th centuries; the Transylvanian princely garrisons from the 17th – 18th centuries; the objects of Brancoveanu art, especially the cult pieces of gold and precious stones, dating from the first half of the 18th century.
The exhibited pieces are marked, first of all, by their historical value, by their direct connection with prominent events and personalities of the Romanian political, state life. They are presented as follows: personal objects and insignia of authority of Alexandru Ioan Cuza and King Carol I; the crowns of Queens Elizabeth and Mary; the sceptre carried by King Ferdinand, in October 1922, at the coronation ceremony as sovereign of reunited Romania; the mace of King Charles II; gold and platinum jewellery, with precious and semi-precious stones, from the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.
In a newly constructed building, there is the Lapidarium section which includes Greek, Roman and medieval monuments. The first level is reserved exclusively for the copy of Trajan’s Column, made on a 1:1 scale after the original in Rome.”
- Sebastian Sascău – „Iulian Antonescu” Museum Complex – Ethnography Section, Bacău
”The Museum of Ethnography from Bacău is part of the Iulian Antonescu Museum Complex and includes a permanent exhibition at the headquarters, the Ethnography Collection Priest Vasile Heisu from Răcăciuni and a collection of ethnographic pieces within the Museum of Ethnography and Contemporary Art Dimitrie N. Ghika Comăne.
We have a dowry of approximately 5000 pieces from donations and acquisitions, grouped in several basic collections: Occupations-Habits, Ceramics, Textiles and Folk Wear, Răcăciuni Collection and Comănești Collection.
The pieces from the heritage of the Ethnography Museum from Bacău have a special local importance, being testimonies on the life of our ancestors who lived in the three ethnographic areas of our county: Trotuș area, Siret-Bacău area and Tutovei Hills area.
The objects that can be admired in our museum are presented in several segments that include the main and secondary occupations, the peasant household industry, the old school, local crafts, elements of magic and folk remedies, a household with its authentic elements, a segment related to spiritual life and one related to customs and traditions.
At Răcăciuni you can admire a valuable collection of objects, especially from the folk costume dating with the beginning of the last century, from Valea Siretului, and in Comănești there are pieces specific to the Trotușului Valley area.
To look with optimism towards the future of the museum and aim to consider this as a change of vision and paradigm.
- Cristina Dema – “Sever Bocu” Press Museum, Jimbolia, Timiș County
”The story of this museum begins with the passion that Petre Stoica had for everything that means this sphere of the press, of journalism, of the prints, of the collection. Jimbolia was lucky that after Petre Stoica lived for a long time in Bucharest, he wanted to return to Banat (he was born in Peciu Nou), where he put into practice his dream of setting up the only museum of the press. from the territory of Romania. The city of Banat was inspired to receive him and to offer him a space where he could put together, as he said, the mountain of values he owned. The time when the writer, translator, publicist and bibliophile Petre Stoica lived on the lands of Jimbolia was one of cultural flourishing, the Press Museum being, since 2007, part of the bouquet of values.
Museums should be celebrated every time they fulfil their purpose, their functions (especially the most easily observable – those involving the public). The journey of a visitor who crosses the threshold of the Sever Bocu Press Museum does not stop there. It continues in space and time, on more distant or current lands. Immersion among the letters of the Romanian Bee (1837), the Romanian Telegraph, Sheets for Mind, Heart and Literature, War, Literary Dacia, Literary and Artistic Truth, as well as other publications from the second half of the 19th century, newspapers and magazines from 20th and 21st centuries in languages such as Romanian, German, Hungarian, Serbian, English, French, Italian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Hebrew, etc. it contributes to the multicultural journey that the visitor has after allowing himself the necessary time to take another step.”
Museum Day is every time we (re) remember why we chose this profession!
- Despina Hașegan – National Museum of Maps and Old Books, Bucharest
”The National Museum of Maps and Old Books in Bucharest is among the few cultural institutions with this specific in the world. It has a collection of over 1000 works made during the 16th – 20th centuries, old maps and engravings that represent, mainly, the Romanian provinces, European states and regions, as well as astronomical maps and city plans. Housed in a villa that retains the charm and atmosphere of the early twentieth century, the museum is located in a central, chic and quiet area of the city, reminiscent of the scent of old Bucharest. Through the exhibitions, cultural events and various activities it organizes, the National Museum of Maps and Old Books aims to become more than a museum, to be a place of intersection of arts, a centre for studying and reconsidering the history and geography of the world, sought after and appreciated by specialists and by different categories of public.”
It is an anniversary that we will not forget, just as we must not forget that culture always makes us feel good! Happy Anniversary!
- Sorin Duta – ”Brătianu” Technological High School, Drăgășani
”The Drăgășani Vine and Wine Museum, an eminently ethnographic museum, cultural landmark in the area and reason for local pride, has a section dedicated to ancient objects and artifacts, being discovered in the nearby Rusidava site, a section of medieval objects (documents of rulers, records, coins, objects of medieval vine processing), a collection of folk costumes and old household objects (until the 19th century), the section dedicated to the technique of vine processing, photography, the section of diplomas and medals by which recognized the quality of wines until 1889, the queen of this collection being the record that includes the medals collected by Iordache Ionescu, from 1879 to 1889. The museum was created in 1974, after long attempts whose effort was supported by the medievalist Dumitru Bălașa, and the current building, in neo-Romanian style, is an architectural ornament. The museum enjoys the support of the City Hall and the Local Council, being brought back to life in 2016, through renovations and new acquisitions.”
I wish them to continue their beautiful work, reminding them that they are part of History and the custodians of a cultural heritage, time here gaining a creative dimension. Although it is a limiting factor, it also becomes the premise for performing the work of a museographer. Happy Anniversary!
- Alexandru Neicu – Lipova Church Museum, Arad County
”The church museum next to the Romanian Orthodox Church in Lipova was established many years ago, to offer palpable testimonies about the very rich spiritual life in one of the oldest cities in the west of the country.
This museum attests to the orthodoxy of the Romanian element in this area and highlights the legacy of the two saints canonized by BOR: Visarion Sarai and Sava Brancovici.
Our museum is special in that the entire church complex is valuable, including the church, which is a historic monument, class A. In addition to a collection of holidays painted by the iconic Stefan Tenețchi, there are also very valuable objects of worship and old books.
Optimism, growth and adaptation! We have an important purpose!
- Violeta Cosor – “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History, Bucharest
”If you want to embark on an impressive journey to different parts of the world, from the birth of the Universe to today, come to the largest and most famous museum in our country, occupying the fifth place in the top of the most beautiful natural history museums in world, Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History. We expect you to admire the only complete skeleton, unique in the world, of one of the largest mammals that ever existed, Deinotherium gigantissimum (n.r. – terrible animal), discovered in Mânzați, Vaslui County, by Gr. Ştefănescu (1890). You can see the historical dioramas made in 1907, the first modern zoogeographic dioramas in the world, a concept taken over and later expanded in the great museums of the world. Under the roof of the museum are housed over two million specimens of invertebrates and vertebrates, current and fossil, from both Romania and various geographical areas of the world. You can enjoy a series of absolutely impressive collections, some of them values of the world treasure. You can discover, know, learn and experience many interesting things by participating in various educational programs supported by researchers and museum specialists, but also in various other unique, interactive events, addressed to all age groups.
We are waiting for you for an unforgettable experience in one of the most fascinating and important institutions of science, education, culture, but also of entertainment in the country, the National Museum of Natural History Grigore Antipa!”
Happy Anniversary and a lot of health!!!
- Cornea Roxana – Casa Mureșenilor Museum, “Ștefan Baciu” House Literature Section, Brașov
”Casa Mureșenilor and Casa Baciu interpret and celebrate the past in a context of the present and the future. Our museums exist to show a possible human model to follow. The people of Brasov today must know what the people of Brasov used to be like, and that is why this museum constantly reminds them that the future has an ancient heart. The people of Mureş and their contemporaries (Gheorghe Dima, Paul Richter, Ioan Baciu, Ştefan Baciu, Mira Simian) represented a model of multicultural urban civilization, and these museums will try to instil this spirit in the young generation as well. Known by the people of Brașov as Casa Galbenă, Ştefan Baciu House is the only museum dedicated to a Romanian in the diaspora, Ştefan Baciu (b. Braşov, 1918 – d. 1993, Honolulu), poet, essayist, memorialist, journalist, art critic, translator, diplomat, university professor). Built in the interwar modernist style, the house was built according to the plans of the famous architect, Coloman Halász, the brother of the famous graphic designer and photographer Brassai, based in France, Picasso’s friend and photographer.
The museum’s collections include approximately 10,000 units: decorative and plastic works of art (Biedermeier style furniture, porcelain, ivory, paintings), photographs, a library with 3,700 volumes and over 1,800 manuscripts and documents, which belonged not only to the poet but to the whole Baciu families: Ioan Baciu (the poet’s father), Else (mother – n. Sager), Ioana (sister, theatrologist – married Mărgineanu), Mira (n. Simian – poet’s wife, translator, poet, journalist, university professor of Contemporary French Literature , gallery owner and painter). In the centre of attention is the library, in which are exposed approx. 1,900 books and magazines.”
No culture, no future!
- Török Enikő-Mária – Public Collection of Private Law, of Regional Interest – Hunting Exhibition from Sfântu-Gheorghe, Covasna County
”The Hunting Exhibition is hosted by Casa Bene, one of the most beautiful buildings considered a historical monument of Sfântu Gheorghe, built in 1914 and renovated in 2013.
The inauguration took place in May 2013, and in September, the Hunting Exhibition was declared a protected institution by the International Council of Hunting and Game Conservation, thus ensuring the international recognition of our hunting culture that highlights and promotes hunting habits and traditions of the area.
Most of the trophies and hunting items on display were donated by Mr. Sárkány Árpád, inherited from his own collection. In addition, hunters from the area and from other parts of the country donated or exhibited trophies and objects.
The presentation of the collection is organized thematically. Thus, visitors can admire the diorama of the Curvature Carpathians, the Africa room, the selection trophy room, the hunter’s room, the life-size bear lair and other interesting exhibits. The exhibition includes over 500 trophies, many of which have participated in world exhibitions and which occupy prominent places in the world rankings.
Additional information about the wild species presented in the exhibition can be obtained with the help of the Touch-screen device, and through virtual hunting both adults and children have an interesting possibility of fun.”
I am convinced that each of us would have really wanted, on the occasion of the International Museum Day, the silence to disappear from the museums and a large audience to be overwhelmed this time by our cultural heritage… as then… on the opening day…
I believe that we will be able to enjoy again a precious time dedicated to culture and education and we will find again the joys we felt at the celebration of this day…. Optimism, dear fellow museographers! Happy Anniversary!
Thank you all for your contributions and don’t forget to access the new page of the section Culture in Quarantine – Monitoring the cultural field during the Covid-19 crisis, on the Culturadata Interactiv platform, to find out the latest news regarding the resumption of the museum visit program.
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Romanian Journal of Museums Volume 1/2022 (call for papers)