Ethnographic Museum Belgrade

Ethnographic Museum Belgrade

Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade (founded in 1901) belongs to the most prominent institutions of cultural and national history of Serbia and it is the oldest institution of the kind in the South-East Europe. At the beginning of the 20th century, the already existing ethnographic collections were removed from the National Museum of Serbia, which had been inaugurated as early as in 1844. The first permanent exhibition of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade was opened on September 20th, 1904, on the centenary of the the First Serbian Uprising.

At the time the Ethnographic Museum Belgrade collection already contained 8000 exhibits, and a programme of research, study and collaboration with scholars here and abroad was under way. Since its foundation, new acquisitions have constantly enlarged the Ethnographic Museum collections, which now contain about 60.000 of ethnographic artifacts and about 100.000 of paintings, drawings, photographs, documents, archive, rich library (60.000 books, journals and magazines), film collection and other museum materials presenting the phenomena of folk culture. Gradually other Ethnographic museum activities begun and have been developed: conservation, documentation, publishing (68 volumes of Glasnik – prestigious Bulletin of Ethnographic Museum Belgrade launched first in 1926, many catalogs, books and other publications), educational work. Ethnographic Museum Belgrade collects, preserves, stores, researches and presents the wide range of objects of traditional folk culture of Serbia, as well as from other parts of the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans, Europe and Non-European countries, covering the period of the 19th and the 20th century. The permanent exhibition Folk Culture of the Serbs in the 19th and 20th Centuries was opened in 2001 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade. In the ground floor, festive traditional folk dress is exhibited. The presented garments date from the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century, i.e. from the period prior to industrialization. The Ethnographic Museum parts comprise various items: folk costumes and traits, jewelry, agriculture and cattle-breeding, hunting and fishery, crafts (pottery, textile etc.), household, folk architecture, religious and customs-related objects, objects of folk arts.

Over the past hundred years the curators have prepared, and the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade has shown about 400 exhibitions in this country and throughout the world. After the Second World War, Ethnographic Museum Belgrade undertook an even wider range of activities: it increased its staff, expanded its research (e.g. mono-graphic, i.e. regional field research projects), publishing and exhibiting activities and finally embarked upon a more broadly-based educational programme and other diverse public events. Various media presentations are nowadays being held (among which the international festival of ethnological film is particularly important), as well as lectures, concerts, workshops etc. The Ethnographic Museum Belgrade is situated in downtown area of Belgrade. Manak’s Mansion also belongs to the Ethnographic Museum Belgrade. This house is a precious example of the original folk architecture of the Old Balkans with the ethnographic memorial collection of the painter Hristifor Crnilović placed under its roof. The permanent exhibition of the Ethnographic Museum Belgrade displays exquisite items, as for instance colorful folk costumes and jewelry of Central Balkans region.

 

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