Next to the National Village Museum, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant stands out as one of the most reputed museums in Bucharest. Foreign tourists who want to purchase a traditional craftwork often turn to the Museum of the Romanian Peasant in order to buy a symbolic souvenir. However, it’s not the souvenir shop alone which makes the museum worth visiting. On the contrary, there’s much more to the Museum of the Romanian Peasant one can discover if decided to make a complete sightseeing tour of the capital of Romania.
The museum is home to an impressive 90,000-item collection which aims to unveil the lifestyle of the Romanian peasant. The collection consists of a miscellaneous range of exhibits, ranging from pottery and tapestries to traditional costumes and religious items (chiefly, wood and glass icons), everyday life tools included. Foreigners should definitely be able to piece out a coherent picture of the lifestyle of the Romanian peasant after seeing the extensive collections sheltered by the museum.
The on-site patrimony of the museum is complemented by the architectural complexes of Arad and Hunedoara, which consist of wooden churches, and of the Stone House of Hereşti.
The museological value of the venue has been ascertained, amongst others, by the several awards the Museum of the Romanian Peasant received in time, of which the most reputed refers to the EMYA (European Museum of the Year Award), received in 1996. But this is, in fact, not so surprising, taking into account that the present Museum of the Romanian Peasant, located in close proximity of yet another major museum of Bucharest (the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History), dates back, as an institution, from the early 20th century (1906), when it was set up as a museum of peasant art.
A special section of the museum deals with the topic of the impact the Communist regime had on Romanian traditional rural environment. Some tend to believe this section is not as finely structured as the rest of the museum, but, all in all, it is well worth a visit. The exhibits are gathered under the name of the Communist Iconography Museum.
3, Şoseaua Kiseleff, Bucharest, Romania