BOOK. KNOWLEDGE. REASON.
Our annual exhibition Book. Knowledge. Reason. presents the processes and events that encouraged and fostered the cultural and spiritual development in Ljubljana from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century – from humanism and Protestantism to the Enlightenment.
We focused on the inhabitants of Ljubljana, their activities, and way of life. However, the history of the city was also influenced by newcomers from other Slovenian and foreign lands, as during these three centuries, migrations were notable in all the areas: trade, crafts, sciences, spirituality, creativity…
Primož Trubar designated Ljubljana as the centre of Carniola and his “dear Slovenians”, as the Slovenian Protestant Church had its seat there. The Early Modern Period already outlined the features of the city as it is today by giving it its distinctive baroque architecture. Ljubljana was neither a small nor always an obscure provincial town: in 1673, Edward Brown from Norwich in England described it as a city with beautiful churches, a castle, and the river Ljubljanica.
The exhibition focuses predominantly on the knowledge and activities of a handful of inhabitants – the social elite. The nobility became the most prominent promoter of culture and arts. Military careers were still interesting, though the nobility consolidated its position by ascribing a greater value to education, arts, and new administrative jobs at the provincial and imperial level. In the 18th century, the nobility and the intelligentsia adopted the ideas of the Enlightenment, whose guideline was to look ahead rather than to the past. Most importantly, they wished to help the “ignorant” population. The members of Žiga Zois’s club of enlightened intellectuals initiated the Slovenian national rebirth.
Fifty-three printed Slovenian books, the knowledge developed at the Jesuit College, and the adoption of the ideas characteristic of the Enlightenment place Ljubljana with its actions, events, and renowned individuals on the map of Europe. By highlighting some of the central personalities of that period (Adam Bohorič, Dr Marko Gerbec, Mother Eleonora, Father Marko Pohlin, Baron Žiga Zois, and Valentin Vodnik), we wish to underline the contemporaneous creative thinking and scientific aspirations.
BOOK. KNOWLEDGE. REASON. From Protestantism to Enlightenment (1500–1800)
14 November – 30 August 2020
City Museum of Ljubljana, Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana
Represented by: Blaž Peršin, director
Project leader: Irena Žmuc
Project coordinator: Tamara Bregar
Author of the exhibition: Irena Žmuc
Expert contributors: Mojca Ferle, Vesna Ivkić, Ana Pokrajac Iskra, Ana Porok, Barbara Savenc, Bernarda Županek
External contributors: Miha Jeršek and Tomi Trilar, Slovenian Museum of Natural History
Design: Gia design
English translation: Borut Praper
Linguistic review (ENG): Monika Fritz
Conservation and restoration of materials: Katarina Toman Kracina, Maja Banović, Matjaž Bizjak, Alenka Drol, Janja Gojkovič, Helena Pucelj Krajnc, Matija Skrt, Bojana Zavodnik, Simon Zgonec, Mojca Zver, MGML; Saša Snoj, restoration specialist; Restavratorstvo Zupan, Ljubljana
Conservation and restoration of books: Blanka Avguštin Florjanovič, Marjana Cjuha, Darja Harauer, Tatjana Rahovsky Šuligoj, Jedert Vodopivec Tomažič, Centre for the Restoration and Conservation of Archival Materials, Archives of the Republic of Slovenia
Exhibition producer: Eva Bolha
Photos: Andrej Peunik; Maj Blatnik, NUK
Illustrations: Jakob Klemenčič
Documentation: Gorazd Knific, Matej Satler
Axonometry of Auersperg Mansion: Andraž Žmuc
Technical preparation: Mitja Marc, Zvone Sečnik, Jernej Volk, Tomaž Žnidarčič, MGML; RPS
Promotion: Urša Karer, Nejc Kovačič, Maja Kovač
Programmes for children and adults: Janja Rebolj, Nika Damjanovič, Katja Kajba, Ema Marinčič
Exhibits contributed by: Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Museum of Architecture and Design Ljubljana, Archdiocesan Archives in Ljubljana, National Gallery Ljubljana, National and University Library Ljubljana, National Museum of Slovenia, Celje Regional Museum, Maribor Regional Museum, Slovenian Museum of Natural History, Ursuline Convent Ljubljana, private collectors
Mondays, 1 January, 1 November and 25 December: Closed
Adults: 8 € / Reduced: 6 €
Family ticket: 18 €
ICOM, PRESS, SMD, turist guides with licence, turist card URBANA: Free entry