Typhlological Museum


in short

The Typhlological Museum is one of the rare special museums in Europe dealing with the problems of disabled persons, especially of the visually impaired. Museum mission is to be to the benefit of the disabled people and to introduce the social community to the world of those who have special needs.
Stalni postav: Likovni radovi slijepih autora / Permanent exhibition: Art work by blind persons
© Tiflološki muzej, Zagreb / Typhlological Museum, Zagreb

Typhlological Museum

in detail

The Typhlological Museum is a specialized museum, and its name comes from the Greek words "typhlos" (blind) and "logos" (narration, speech, thought, reason). The Museum is a public governmental institution that collects, stores, researches, documents and communicates tangible and non-tangible materials related to people with special needs, with an emphasis on people with visual impairment.
With its activities, the Museum endeavours to introduce the social community to the world of those who are visually impaired and in this way foster harmonious and tolerant relations between people, at the same time respecting the individuality of every person. The Museum is a place in which people with disabilities can participate actively in its activities, and a place which simultaneously enables the social community to become familiar with the lives of disabled persons. It will act as a possible corrective mechanism in society in that with its activities it will stimulate the community to correct and change possible negative perceptions about people with disabilities.
The Museum will realize its goals by communicating with visitors and cooperating with museum institutions, related institutes, organizations, educational facilities – with all those places dealing with disabilities both here and abroad.

The idea to found the Museum was inspired by the teacher Vinko Bek, a typhlo-pedagogue and a great fighter for the rights of blind people. He was also the founder of the National Institute for the Education of Blind Children and the editor of first typhlological journals. In 1888 he started collecting items for his private collection which he named "Croatian Blind Museum".

Although, on several occasions, he managed to display to the general public the items he collected, he never succeeded in establishing the museum he had laid the bases for. The items were first exposed in 1891 as a part of "Blind Department" at Memorial Exhibition of Croatian-Slavonian Economic Organization in Zagreb and again in 1896 at Millennial Exhibition in Budapest. The catalogue of the first exhibition contains very useful information regarding all the items exposed, a part of which is still in the property of the Museum.

The items were first stored and conserved in Bukjevo near Velika Gorica, in a public school where Bek worked as a teacher. After the opening of the Institute for the Blind in 1895 – where Bek worked as a director for several years, the items were all transported there. After he left, some items remained in the Institute while others were stored on Bek’s private properties. While the Institute was moving to a new location, most of the items were lost, while all the remaining items were donated to the future Museum. A great number of items from Bek’s heritage were donated to the Museum by his daughter Marta Bek and his granddaughter Bosiljka Durst Živković with whom the Museum has had a successful cooperation until this day.

The Typhlological Museum was opened in 1953 in Zagreb, in 36, Bosanska Street and gave its first exhibition in 1956 on this address. Great part of merit for its opening goes to Franjo Tonković, P.h.D professor and his wife Danica Tonković.

The second permanent exhibition was opened in 1959, after moving to the new building, at the time owned by the Association of the Blind of Yugoslavia, located in Draškovićeva Street where the Museum has been situated to this day.
The third permanent exhibition was opened to the public in 1976, and the fourth is under preparation. It is expected to be opened for the public by the end of 2007.

Since its foundation in 1953, through its programmes, the museum has helped persons with disabilities to take a full part in all forms of life of the social community and accordingly in enjoying the experience of visiting a museum. Other interested visitors can find out how disabled persons perceive the environment surrounding them and how they can overcome the everyday difficulties confronting them. In 2008 the permanent display of the museum was opened. It consists of the following units: Dark Room; the beginnings of institutional care for the blind; everyday life in the national institute; the development of script for the blind; keeping in step with the time; artworks of blind artists. In the Dark Room, via a simulation, for a moment you can learn what it means not to be able to see. Without the help of another person, and without additional instructions (or if you want with a guide and instructions) you can move around in total darkness, doing your best to perform simple tasks.
Tiflološki muzej
Standard: 20,00 HRK / 2,64 EUR Reduced: 10,00 HRK / 1,32 EUR
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Visitor entrance

Typhlological Museum
Draškovićeva 80/II
10000 Zagreb
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Opening Times

10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 17:00
10:00 - 20:00
10:00 - 17:00
Closed on Saturday and Sunday

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