Visit this museum if in Bucharest

I am talking about Muzeul Taranului Roman(The museum of the Romanian peasant). It is a one of a kind museum, recognised and prized internationally because of its unique objects and setting . I’m not going into detail about what you can find there (from textiles, icons, ceramics to huge machines for washing wool and many more), but I’d like to quote some things  the artist Horia Bernea (appointed director of MTR in 1990 until 2000, and responsible for the actual exibition setting) has said about  this museum, from a paper written by Anca Oroveanu, a brilliant History of Art teacher  and researcher.

Maybe after reading this you might see the Museum in a different way, as I have seen it myself.

“Getting closer to the proposed aim through cautious exploration, through hesitations and uncertainties, grave doubts in the choice of the objects…the silent uncertainty hovering over the objects, even after a space has been defined… photographs stuck on the wall… walls with a manifest materiality, becoming what we call an ‘active space’…furniture conceived as a support existentially and substantially related to the objects exposed for direct contemplation… the use of materials that contrast with the beauty of others… accepting and highlighting a condition of ‘paucity’ and turning it into a virtue… the imperfect finish and the incorporation of accident… the architectural elements of the building, entirely alien to traditional civilization… the inclusion of accidents and deficiencies through a gesture that should to be one of gentle and humble acceptance, though it may seem one of sovereign arrogance… these are some of the elements that configure our museography, that could be seen as an act of recovery of life, in all its appeal and warmth.”

“It is only now that I reached a conclusion that should have been incorporated in the working hypothesis of the Museum of the Romanian Peasant: it concerns the question of rhythm. Being an essential component of any human act, of any life act, rhythm is essential in museology as well. Up to now we produced it without being aware of it. Now I am conscious of it as a necessity, and provoke it. There is, in going towards the Icons hall, a gradual attenuation of materiality; matter becomes progressively more fragile, it loses density. There is, again, a rhythm in the enunciation of the themes: from five to one, and thence, subtly, towards four. These passages from 1 to 3, from 3 to 5 are not easily noticeable, but they act most certainly on the visitor. Certain situations, certain presences of objects announcing the theme to come emerged as if of their own accord. In the same way in which in Mozart a motif appears in nuce, to be taken up and developed later.

There are many wonderful stories that will catch your eye in the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, dont miss the window with the inscription “How could I give you the window? All my life I have been looking through it at the world…” – the words of the lady that didnt want to sell the window to the museum when asked to do so , or the beautiful display of costumes, or the grandma’s room…. do make time to visit!

Please find here the visiting ours and the address