|About the museum:
Varaždin Municipal Museum – the Burg. The culture history department of the Burg is the most important item of the cultural heritage in Varaždin. This Gothic and Renaissance fort, built and rebuilt from the 14th to the 19th centuries, has since 1925 housed the culture history department of the Varaždin Municipal Museum. Like the fort itself, the display has undergone numerous revisions over the course of time, one of the most extensive of which lasted from 1983 to 1989. However, the concept of the Burg has not changed from the very beginnings, retaining in part the form of an ambiental museum in which part of the display is shown within the collections, part of it in the rooms with their antique furnishings. As well as seal rings, judicial maces and historical documents, the museum has valuable collections of the guilds, artillery, stone monuments and weapons, both cold steel and firearms. In 2007 the display was supplemented with a new museological unit, items from the collections of glass, ceramics and timepieces. A special feature of the display consists of ten rooms that, as separate units, present in order periods of style: the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Empire, Biedermeier, Revival and Art Nouveau. Walking through the rooms, the visitors can experience the spirit of bygone times and the manner of living of the time. One room in the museum is dedicated to two celebrated Varaždiners: historian and Illyrian movement member Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski and world-renowned linguistician Vatroslav Jagić. Also part of the burg is the chapel of St Lawrence with sacristy. The Bishop of Varaždin reconsecrated the chapel in 2000, and then the museum reinstituted the tradition of celebrating the mass on the Feast of St Lawrence, August 10. It is interesting to mention that the museum objects were never the property of the aristocratic families that once owned the Burg and lived in it (it belonged the longest to the Erdödy family), but are mostly donations from Varaždin families or museum purchases. Herzer Palace – Entomology Department. In the Classicist Herzer Palace, the Entomology Department has been housed since 1954. It keeps a valuable and unique collection of the most important natural historian of Varaždin, high school teacher and founder and first curator of the department, Franjo Košćec. The Košćec Collection is presented in the permanent display of the section entitled “World of Insects”, restored at the end of the 1990s, and considered by experts one of the finest of its kind in Europe. The topics “In the forest”, “By the forest and on the meadow”, “In the water and on the shores”, “At night and in the ground” cover about 4,500 exhibits, the display giving a vivid insight into the biology of insects. There are entomological preparations, taxidermic specimens of vertebrates, herbarium specimens of plants, enlarged models of insects, and photographs. It is also possible to view various objects from the Košćec Bequest, including the aids that the legator devised and made himself for the study of his collection. In part of the permanent display, the other Varaždin natural historians from the end of the 19th and early 20th century are shown, while one room is staged as the study of Franjo Košćec. In early 2008 the display was enlarged with a section called “By touch to knowledge”, the inclusion of new contents meant for the blind and partially sighted (replicas, reliefs, secondary natural history material, tactile tapes for movement, appropriate lighting, legends in Braille, an audio guide and info points). In 2004 the museum issued a CR ROM entitled Insects, including an English version of the text, containing attractive sound and video recordings, animations and graphic presentations, meant not only for the school population but for the general public as well. At the International Festival for Audio-Visual and Multimedia Presentation of Museums and the Heritage (F@imp), organised and presented by AVICOM in 2004, this CD ROM won a special commendation for the richness of the documentation material and the originality of the educational approach. Sermage Palace – Gallery of Old and New Masters. The Gallery of Old and New Masters, part of the Varaždin Municipal Museum, has been in operation since 1939. During the decades of its on-going work, a considerable holding has been assembled; art works by domestic and foreign authors, in which there are today more than 5,300 pieces, classified into ten collections. Several permanent displays have been arranged over this period, including a permanent display of old masters, opened in 1994, and another entitled Croatian Masters of the 20th Century, opened in 2006. The permanent display of old masters, for which an upcoming review is planned, and the printing of a new guide, covers pictures produced by domestic and European artists from the 15th to the end of the 19th century. The backbone of it consists of pictures from the Baroque, particularly from Holland and Italy, from Biedermeier and the second half of the 19th century. The oldest among the works is the Madonna of Wheat or Virgin with Ears of Wheat, painted in tempera on panel, the work of an unknown master of the 15th century. It is one of the 80 or so pictures in Europe with a depiction of the Virgin in a dress of wheat, a rarity and a jewel in the gallery holdings of the Varaždin museum. The new permanent display of Croatian Masters of the 20th century shows a hundred artworks (paintings, sculptures and drawings) by 81 artists, including the most important Croatian artists of the period. This display too has its guide, printed in a bilingual edition (Croatian and English). Among other things, the guide discusses several artists and their works not at present exhibited. In line with contemporary museological practice, the Museum has shaped a gallery unit consisting of two permanent displays (Old Masters and Croatian Masters of the 20th Century) which will be shown alternately on the upstairs of the Baroque Sermage Palace, thus prompting a more dynamic conduct of the museum-gallery activity, and a part of the holdings will be accessible to the public, instead of being in the storerooms. Note: Because of the lack of an appropriate exhibition space, the permanent display will on occasions be closed in order for other art and thematic exhibitions to be held.