Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Moldovei – IX / 2009


This paper continues to provide new testimonies, papers and documents on the first years of existence of the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia (referring especially to the years that followed the opening of the museum, in 1943 until 1964); the paper marks the anniversary moment, that took place in 2008, more precisely the celebration of 50 years since the opening on 16 February 1958, within the Palace of Culture, of the permanent exhibition of the Ethnographic Museum. There are presented various moments of these troubled years of searches and convulsions, when the profile of the museum was for a long period uncertain, years when the political element, like nowadays unfortunately, was way too present in the life of cultural institutions. Most of the papers and documents published in this second part were transmitted to us by the ethnographer Gheorghe Bodor.

Like in the first part of our approach, we opted for a division of the documentary materials available according to several major topics; thus, a first theme describes two Surveys, one of 1950, the other of 1956; the second theme includes mostly a part of the Correspondence of 1957-1958 between the famous folklorist Ion Diaconu and the by then recently appointed director of the Ethnographic Museum Gheorghe Bodor; there follows a set of information grouped as Miscellanea (an “Inventory of the contents of boxes of the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia. The University of Iaşi” dated to 1949, The Museum Thematic Structure elaborated by Ion Chelcea with the occasion of the opening of the first permanent exhibition in the Palace of Culture, in 1955, a text entitled the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia, elaborated by Gheorghe Bodor in 1954, another one, entitled An Open-Air Museum in Moldavia, written by Ion Chelcea in 1955 or 1956, two other texts of director Ion Chelcea, one, left untitled by the author, and named by us Thoughts and Convulsions, and the other entitled The Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia, both dating from 1956, as well as a scanned copy of a “Collective Presence Sheet” of March 1958); a more discrete theme, yet very suggestive for the way in which Romanian and foreign specialists understood the organization of the  permanent exhibition of the museum in Iaşi, is the one containing short Excerpts from the museum’s Book of Honor (1958-1964); it contains remarks by important  personalities of the Romanian culture (Petru Caraman, Ion Diaconu, Scarlat Porcescu, Ştefan Pascu, Petru Comarnescu, Cornel Irimie, Paul Petrescu, Mihai Pop, Constantin C. Giurescu, Ion Frunzetti etc.), and also by several guests from abroad; the penultimate theme provides a short Bibliography concerning the history of the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia, an important work instrument for those interested in finding out more about our institution, while the last theme groups another set of documentary Images from the museum’s photo collection; these images display moments of the preparation and inauguration of the permanent exhibition in February 1958 or aspects of the museum halls.

Mention should also be made of the fact that our approach, apart from the strictly scientific side, is also a modest homage to the distinguished ethnographers who made possible the creation and development of an exemplary museum in the capital city of Moldavia.