open-air museum

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA (RO)

Member of EXARC
No

The ASTRA Open-Air Museum situated in the natural reservation of Dumbrava Sibiului, 4 kilometers away from the Sibiu city centre, spreads across 96 ha, of which more than 40 ha are covered by the permanent exhibition. It was opened in 1963 when the assumed mission was to present the traditional technical patrimony in rural Romania, mills for grinding, oil, grapes and fruit presses, sawmills and watermills, and some peasant industries.

After the 90's, the museum goes through an obvious transformation, the aspect of traditional culture being more present through the houses rebuilt in the museum, but also with emphasis on the immaterial patrimony. ASTRA Open-Air Museum currently holds over 400 monuments of folk architecture and technique, as well as an impressive collection of ethnographic heritage objects. Conceived as a living museum, it hosts many traditional events such as: traditional fairs, workshops, folk festivals and performances.

The Story of your Site: Archaeological Site Museums and Archaeological Open-Air Museums

Roeland Paardekooper (NL)
Archaeological site museums may not be that well defined worldwide, yet, they are found almost everywhere. Archaeological sites with reconstructed buildings based on archaeology however seem to be a younger phenomenon and are mainly concentrated in Europe, Japan and North America. Both types of museums however have old roots. Important is not so much the site per se, but the message...

Experience instead of Event: Changes in Open-Air Museums Post-Coronavirus

Roeland Paardekooper and
Annemarie Pothaar (NL)
The year 2020 started out for museums as usual, with plans for new exhibitions, new buildings even, and above all many events and visitors. Soon we saw how wrong we were. Open-air museums who had prepared to open up for the season found out that COVID-19 meant they were sitting ducks: no visitors, no income, no life in the museum area. The situation will not return to 'normal'...

Book Review: Interpreting the Environment at Museums and Historic Sites by Reid and Vali

V. M. Roberts (CA)

Interpreting the Environment at Museums and Historic Sites is a textbook and a call to action. In the midst of the Anthropocene, Debra A. Reid and David D. Vail argue, museums and conservation areas should attend to their environmental assets, tell environmental stories, and take an activist role in encouraging better stewardship.

Conference Review: Biannual Conference of the Association of European Open Air Museums (AEOM), Poland, August 2019

Peter A. Inker (US)
This year’s Association of European Open Air Museums (AEOM) Biannual Conference 2019 took place at multiple sites in Poland, over four days in late August. Its two key themes were ‘How Open Air Museums represent different cultural identities’, and ‘Representing the past - technical solutions for reconstruction and archaeological interpretation’. I was invited to participate in order to...

Book Review: The Living History Anthology, Perspectives from ALHFAM by Martha B. Katz-Hymann et al. (eds)

Roeland Paardekooper (NL)
Many open-air museums in the United States are members of the Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM). Only a small portion of the ALHFAM members are agricultural museums, however living history in a museum context is what unites the members...

Colonial Williamsburg: Archaeology, Interpretation & Phenomenology

Peter Inker (US)
2018 EXARC in Kernave
***When I began investigating this conference I was unclear as to how well EXARC’s focus on experimental archaeology would blend with International Museum Theatre Alliance (Imtal)’s approach of museum theatre and interpretation. They seem after all, two very different disciplines...

Conference Review: Open-Air Museums in Denmark – a Fieldtrip

Roeland Paardekooper (NL)
Every two years, Danish archaeological open-air museums meet up at a significant conference. They prefer the designation ‘historical workshops’, a concept which originated in the 1960s (see Bay 2004). The Danish Association of Historical Workshops (De Historiske Værksteder i Danmark, 2019) totals to over one hundred members. With their conferences, they ensure continuity...

Event Review: NEMO Training Course ‘Regional Development through Heritage in Sweden’ in Östersund, Sweden

Annemarie Pothaar (NL)
Annemarie Pothaar was selected to attend the one day NEMO training course on 29th June 2018 in Östersund Sweden. This was facilitated by the Jamtli Foundation and the Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning and Creativity (NCK). The meeting was attended by six colleagues coming from different countries, including the Netherlands and Azerbaijan...