Museum of the Slovak National CouncilsMuseum of the Slovak National Councils
M. R. Štefánik’s Museum
The exhibition was prepared as a memorial event for the 125th anniversary of M. R. Štefánik’s birthday. This outstanding figure in Slovak national history is symbolically presented to visitors via his material as well as spiritual legacy: as if his legacy was trying to return to the environment in which it previously lived, into the society where his legacy influenced so many historical events and on which it left such a deep trace. In his birth home at the Evangelic presbytery in Košariská, personal and sometimes rather minute memorabilia of Štefánik remind one about the atmosphere of the “large world” in which he lived throughout his entire life, the large world which became his second home.
With its almost 200 objects, starting with individual pieces of furniture through elements of daily consumption and pieces of arts all the way to torsos of clothes, the exhibit reminds visitors about his destiny from birth till his tragic death. For contemporaries, these elements are witnesses to the life and death of a man whose most outstanding deed was his participation in the birth of a new state built on the ruins of the Habsburg monarchy. Their variety and richness show his manifold interests and longings. They present him as a person with both sunny and shady sides, as a man who suffered and loved, as an admirer of nature and the sky, as someone who treasured life with its joys and sorrows, as someone who loved beautiful things collected during his travels (to Tahiti, Japan, Africa and New Zealand), as a connoisseur of arts and literature, but also as a scholar – an astronomer buried deep in a pile of specialised literature preserved in his library.
Naturally, our new exhibition cannot convey every single stage in his life, as the available space and possibility of funds prevented the museum from covering everything. However, at the end of the exhibit, visitors have an opportunity to acquire additional introductory information in digitalised form in a new study room containing documents and photographs from individual periods in Štefánik’s life, as well as written documents and photographs. Gradually, other accessible information will be processed and made available in this form.
The preparation and staging of this new exhibition to M. R. Štefánik has not only brought modified displays and a different concept philosophy but also alteration of the original interior of the Košariska presbytery, welcoming visitors in a new form. The team of authors, D. Kováč, E. Králiková and R. Púdelka, have managed, hopefully, to bring forth a new memorial to M. R. Štefánik addressing visitors with the might of its message. And thanks to the wide collection of displayed artefacts, the museum has managed to bring the material and spiritual legacy of M. R. Štefánik back home to his birthplace, under Bradlo, after nearly one hundred years.