The Building

The building of The Romanian Peasant Museum is located in Piata Victoriei in Bucharest, right next to “Grigore Antipa” Museum of Natural Sciences and the Museum of Geology.

 

In 1912, within the precincts of the former Mint Building and the Mavrogheni Palace, the foundation of the “Museum on the Road” was laid, meant to “honor our ancestors’ art in a home that is worthy of its significance”, as it had been written in the document signed by King Carol I and buried under the foundations.

 

Nicolae Ghika-Budești, a brilliant representative of the national school of architecture, was invested with the responsibility of the project and supervision of the work. In keeping with the option expressed by ethnographer Alexandru Tzigara-Samurcaș, who was the museum’s director, the architect had the task of raising “a palace of the vernacular art”, similar in shape and arrangement to the monastic buildings.

 

The building was finished after 29 years, with numerous interruptions of the works. In 1941, the present monument of architecture, home to The Museum of the Romanian Peasant, was inaugurated. It is an illustration of the neo-Romanian style inspired from traditional architecture, mainly Brancovan, and it is remarkable by the power of expression of the ensemble, completed with a well-balanced use of decorative elements, both floral and zoomorphic. The apparent red brick walls, the large windows joining one another under arches, the columns of
the loggia, as well as the handrail, the carved-in elements and the elegant silhouette of the central tower with its top balcony recalling the bell-towers of old monasteries, bestow upon this building the well-pondered sumptuousness of a real palace of the arts.

 

In the 60s, a new wing of offices and auxiliary rooms is added, in total discordance with the style conceived by Ghika-Budești. A huge mosaic, characteristic for the quasi-proletkult period of Romanian Communism, individualizes the new wing.