Research and education
Research and education. Many of the cultural projects carried out by the museum include a research component, the results of which are then made available to the specialist public, but also to the general public, through various museum education activities: conferences, lectures, exhibitions, book launches and creative activities for children and young people.
Starting from the top, we mention one of the most important directions of our museum, namely, the highlighting of research for a special public, children. This links the research itself with the museum’s educational projects hosted by the Museum Education section. These programmes bring together all the museum’s specialists, and host research projects aimed at identifying aspects of traditional cultures, the use of which in the museum’s pedagogical programmes (Creativity Workshops) can help raise awareness among new generations of the public about the peasant cultures that have been the basis of contemporary Romanian society. Such research projects are: Musical Instruments for Children and Ethnology for Children, projects dedicated to volunteers (Play with Clay; Play with Time; The Story of the Neighbours), or online projects started in 2020, such as From the tilincă to the opincă, Dictionary by leaps and bounds and continued in 2021, through the project From the tilincă to the opincă. DictionARY by leaps and bounds (carried out with AFCN funding).
The results of the museum’s research and that of other researchers in the field of socio-human sciences are presented to the general public through a series of thematic conferences (The Conferences at the Road. The Mircea Vulcănescu Conferences), occasional conferences or book launches.
The Conferences at the Road, initiated in 2009 by Vintilă Mihăilescu, propose a public debate, from the perspective of the socio-human sciences, in particular ethnology and anthropology, on the vast issue of traditions in current Romanian culture. What do “traditions” actually mean and how do they differ from “customs”? What do traditions still mean today and what are our relations with the “traditional” past? How are “traditions” made, imagined, sold and bought today in the Romanian public space? From the philosophy of tradition to the practice and marketing of traditions, over the years the theme of these conferences has tackled this vast issue by presenting and debating – live and virtual – “case studies”: “tradition” and “modernity”, the heritage of the Horse, the current handicraft market, how immaterial is “immaterial heritage”, branding and traditions: “traditional” products and fairs, etc. The conferences are aimed at the general public, especially young specialists in the humanities. (Archive of conferences 2009-2011)
The Mircea Vulcănescu Conferences, initiated in 2011 by Mihai Gheorghiu, are intended to constitute the museum as a space for intellectual dialogue focused on themes of the socio-human sciences, especially oriented towards the relationship between tradition and modernity in the history and development of Romanian culture and civilization in the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. The dialogue between culture and religion will also be privileged as a theme for reflection and debate.
Researchers and museographers have always been concerned with understanding the role that a museum plays for society, all the more so as in 2006, the Museum of the Road celebrated its 100th anniversary. Reflections on the role of the MNȚR as a place of memory in the community in which it is active and in the community of national museums is analysed in the magazine MARTOR (no. 11/2006), with museum researchers also concerned with analysing how change is perceived by museums (see also MARTOR no. 23/2018).
A special place in the valorisation of the museum’s research is occupied by specialist publications such as MARTOR magazine. The anthropology journal of the Romanian Peasant Museum, at the intersection and dialogue of the disciplines of anthropology, ethnology and museum studies. The journal, published annually since 1996, has an international circulation and meets the requirements of academic journals (quality articles, selection by peer review, inclusion in international databases).