The Building

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

 

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

 

Architect Nicolae Ghika-Budești, a brilliant representative of the national architecture school, was invested with the high responsibility of the project and supervision of the work. In keeping with the option expressed by ethnographer Alexandru Tzigara-Samurcaș, who was also the museum director, the architect had the task of erecting “a palace of the earthly art”, similar in shape and disposal of the volumes to the monastic buildings. However, the building was to be finished only after 29 years and numerous interruptions of the works.

Thus, in 1941, the present monument of architecture sheltering The Museum of the Romanian Peasant was inaugurated.

 

An illustration of the neo-Romanian style inspired from the traditional architecture fund, mainly Brancovan, the work is remarkable by the power of expression of the composition ensemble, completed with a well-balanced use of decorative elements, both floral and zoomorphous. 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 in Romanian Communism, individualizes the new wing.