Museum of the Romanian Peasant
The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (Romanian: Muzeul Național al Ţăranului Român) is a museum in Bucharest, Romania, with a collection of textiles (especially costumes), icons, ceramics, and other artifacts of Romanian peasant life. One of Europe's leading museums of popular arts and traditions, it was designated "European Museum of the Year" for 1996.
First founded in 1906 by and originally managed by Alexandru Tzigara-Samurcaş, the museum was reopened February 5, 1990, a mere six weeks after the downfall and execution of Nicolae Ceauşescu. During the Communist era, the building housed a museum representing the country's Communist party; the museum's basement still contains a room devoted to an ironic display of some artifacts from that earlier museum. The building, which uses traditional Romanian architectural features, was built on the former site of the State Mint (Monetăria Statului).
One of the museum's most famous exhibits—originally the work of Tzigara-Samurcaș—is "the house in the house". The house, which originally belonged to peasant Antonie Mogos of Ceauru village in Gorj County. From the first, the house was displayed in a non-naturalistic way: objects that would normally be in the interior were displayed in various manners outside; outbuildings were suggested by fragments. The Communist regime displayed the house much more conventionally, outdoors at the Village Museum; it returned to the Peasant Museum in 2002. The current display at the Peasant Museum revives the original non-naturalistic approach. For example, from a platform, museum visitors may peer into the attic, part of whose wall is stripped away; various objects are arranged inside.
In 2002, the museum's exhibit space was greatly expanded as the museum store and offices moved into a new building behind the old one, freeing up a considerable amount of floor space in the museum proper.
- All awards 1977-2003, European Museum Forum. Accessed online 4 April 2007.
- "The house in the house", wall text, Museum of the Romanian Peasant.
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