The Ilok Town Museum was established in 1952 as the Town Museum and it was situated in the Baroque Brnjaković Mansion in the Ilok Fort (Tvrđava). The initiative for the Museum being established first came as early as 1950 from Professor Antun Bauer, PhD, an honourable musicologist, museum expert, and founder of numerous museums starting with Vukovar, a donor of works of art and a member of the Museum and Conservation Workers Association in Zagreb.
The first Head and Curator of the Ilok Town Museum, Professor Josip Meštrović, in co-operation with the museum expert from Vukovar and many years the Head of the Vukovar Town Museum, Mr. Antun E. Brlić, shows a small display of the inventory of the newly-founded collections. In 1969 the museum moved to the – at that time restored, but not yet investigated – Odescalchi Palace. A permanent display was opened containing a periodization with the following collections: Archaeology; The Middle Ages and the Turkish Period until the Liberation from the Turks in 1688; World War II with special account of the Srijem front; Art Gallery. The main study for the new Museum’s display was made by Dr. Antun Bauer, and on the occasion of the Museum’s 25th anniversary, in 1977 the Ethnological Collection was set up.
Not only the museal exhibits from the new permanent display at the Ilok Town Museum, but also the Museum’s very building as a monument of culture, as well as its immediate surroundings, are the subject of the museal show. This suggests a complex situation, in which the specific museal exhibitionary content needed to be shown in a certain presentational sequence, while at the same time showing the exhibition venue itself, i.e. its monument characteristics. The Odescalchi Palace – both its exterior and interior – were presented as architectural cultural heritage, in line with the results of archaeological and conservational research.
A logical follow-up was the arrangement of the Palace’s immediate surroundings, with adjustments necessary to meet the requirements of the in situ presentation of archaeological finds, connected with the Palace’s diverse construction layers, as well as restoration interventions in the façades, since traces of the layers needed to be shown. Therefore, the museological concept encompassed the problem of harmonizing the spatial organization and shaping the new permanent museal exhibition in the Palace with the complex requirements of showing the restoration finds. This concept was successfully implemented with meticulous details, while at the same time there is marked stylistic uniformity of individual rooms or parts of the Palace’s body.
Interchanging the room cells containing diverse museological themes (demarcated by dramatic interruptions of the development continuity)has made it possible for an interweaving of intense separation versus emphasis on perpetuation of periods. For those reasons, occasionally a lack of practicable space organization is visible, but the presentation quality regarding the overall experience of the content units and their context are much more important. A meticulously completed restructuring of museological themes in exhibitions blocks and smaller exhibition content units contributed to solving such problems of the display’s spatial organisation. Within exhibition blocks, a simple and absolutely clear presentation line – i.e. the line along which the visitors move ahead, a circular route – has been incorporated.
The design concept of the Museum’s new permanent display is based on a combination of classical and multimedia presentation techniques. Thus, along with the classical display of an original museum artefact, modern methods of its activation were used – either in the form of pictorial or other information equipment (billboards, reconstructions, computer animations, models, stagings, background sounds or piped-in music etc.). As for the colouring, the method of applying separation of certain exhibited groups of artefacts by combining the colour of the exhibited artefacts for the display and coloured built-in lighting (colour-filters) was used. The colour choice is linked with associations which a certain museology theme or exhibitory unit evokes.
Although Ilok has gone through a dramatically interrupted cultural-historical and spiritual development, it nevertheless managed to preserve the sequence of the European stylistic development. This is also confirmed by the chosen museal artefacts within the articulation of exhibition blocks, exhibition units and the sequence of museological topics.
Ilok Town Museum
The Odescalchi Palace – both its exterior and interior – were presented as architectural cultural heritage, in line with the results of archaeological and conservational research.
A logical follow-up was the arrangement of the Palace’s immediate surroundings, with adjustments necessary to meet the requirements of the in situ presentation of archaeological finds, connected with the Palace’s diverse construction layers, as well as restoration interventions in the façades, since traces of the layers needed to be shown.
20/ 10 kn
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