Best Slavic Museums

Živa Award 2019

State Museum of Political History of Russia, St. Petersburg/Russian Federation

Jury justification
“Throughout hundred years since the Museum’s inception and since the creation of its first historical collections, the Museum has faced many challenges. Nevertheless, its transformative power, clear institutional purpose, the professional and scholar discourse from the perspective of different disciplines on the protection of diverse collections and their acquisition, have shaped this institution into an important contemporary Museum that educates and informs the public on the history and political heritage of the country and its nations. Today, the Museum, which acts as a link between the past and the present, is becoming increasingly significant territorially, nationally and internationally in the context of the dialogue on the meaning of history and memory for generations to come.”

Živa Award 2018

Emigration Museum in Gdynia, Gdynia/Poland

Jury justification
“Housed in the renovated historical building of the Marine Station by the sea at the heart of the port, where some of the largest ocean liners are moored today, the new museum projects a vivid image of the time when passenger ships carried over the ocean hundreds of thousands of people leaving their homeland in search of a better life. This creates a powerful first impression of the museum and introduces its multifaceted account of countless human fates, stories and unprecedented experiences. The museum delivers a narration in a comprehensive manner about the country’s emigrants, dispersed all over the world, shaping the public’s understanding of its national past and defining the nation’s cultural identity and consciousness. The museum seeks to present the nation’s history of migration of two hundred years through diverse exhibitions, research projects, multiple activities and the use of modern communication media. It sees its social and educational role in strengthening collective cultural identity and a sense of belonging to a nation. The museum is creating special social value within the framework of a scientific research project about the country’s emigrants in diaspora through acquisition of oral stories and a collection of memories implying strong emotional bonds among community members, between the new and old generations. At the same time, it follows closely the present situation in Europe characterised by today’ s mass migration flows that are transforming its cultural landscape by promoting the idea of respect, dialogue, and inclusiveness.”

Živa Award 2017

Slovenian Alpine Museum

Jury justification
“A captivating museum scenario, the closeness of the unspoilt beauty of natural Alpine wonders, and the museum organization is impressive. So is the well-conceived permanent exhibition that develops in eleven thematic units different exciting stories by combining authentic objects with highly interactive and playful content. Every part of the exhibition is designed in a contemporary museological way to involve, engage, and influence various target groups through awakening the virtual experience of a climb up the mountains, an interest in mountains, mountaineering joys and dangers, tradition and much more. The exciting permanent exhibition carrying the message “each path is a story of its own” is enhanced by an innovative architectural design suggesting mountain slopes and the shelters of Alpinists. Successful collaboration with tourist organizations and various domestic and foreign associations of mountaineers has brought trans-frontier popularity to the museum that houses an information centre and is a starting point for climbers and hikers, as well as other sports and cultural activities. The museum encapsulates and explores in a vivid and original way almost all facets of the Alpine spirit and life – a subject with a universal dimension – while being inextricably linked to the affirmation and promotion of Alpine identity. The museum is dedicated to and cultivates sustainable respect for the cultural and natural uniqueness of the Alpine world and life. The Jury unanimously agreed that the museum meets all the standards for the Živa Award, protecting and valorizing tangible and intangible, natural and cultural heritage as a whole. ”

Živa Award 2016

Cricoteka – Centre for Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor, Kraków/Poland

Jury justification
“The jury unanimously recognized the special spirit and excellence of an interdisciplinary institution, of a new contemporary art and documentation centre with intriguing architecture where an archive, objects, theatre, art and contemporary culture are blended in an effective way. The main purpose of the institution is to preserve and share ideas “not in a Library system, but in the minds and imaginations of generations to come.” The institution is a socially engaged and responsible museum for today and tomorrow that contributes to the protection of cultural heritage at the international level. The museum is a symbol of the artistic search for an individual path to creativity, crossing the dividing Line between the actor and the audience, between the creator and the recipient; it engages everyone in an activity game – a collective play. The museum space constitutes both the stage and the audience; it is a venue for constant performances. Its value Lies in erasing the borders between inside and outside. The creator, the artist, residents and visitors all take an active part in the process of creating space, which can be shaped and expressed in a museological way through selected objects, structures, means and methods. ”

Živa Award 2015

The State Memorial and Natural Preserve “Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy Yasnaya Polyana”, Yasnaya Polyana/Russian Federation

Jury justification
“The museum contributes to the sustainable environmental development, tradition and the name of the extraordinary man by spinning together movable, unmovable, tangible and intangible heritage; nature, man and culture into a huge cultural landscape and a complex visitor experience. The institution is a socially engaged and responsible museum that contributes to protection of cultural and natural heritage in the regional, national and international level.”

Živa Award 2014

The Gallery of Matica Srpska, Novi Sad/Serbia

Jury justification 
“The general atmosphere is excellent. They rely on team work and their mutual creative energy. Multimedia is on a high level. Publications and promotion materials meet high standards. The museum contributes to the development of museological ideas in a best possible way by respecting professional standards a being a source of fresh ideas and innovative concepts. The director has a strategy to assemble the team and to open the doors to the audiences, especially to the young generation. This has been an act of courage, that pays off nowadays. Services offered to the public are on an international level. This is still again very unique in Serbia. The Matica Srpska is the example which proves that the director and the team can be recognized at the entrance of the museum.”
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