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Exhibition: Mineralogical tours in Transylvania. Samuel von Brukenthal’s collection of minerals

Location: Museum of Natural History
Opening: Wednesday, April 5, 10:00 am
Duration: 5.04 – 31.12.2017
Curator: Dr. Rodica Ciobanu, Raluca Stoica, Nicolae Trif

Text from the curators:

Samuel von Brukenthal’s activity in collecting paintings, coins, medals, and decorative art is well known. Less known, though, is the Baron’s interest in gathering valuable samples of minerals. The exhibition presents the outcome of his passion for mineralogy – von Brukenthal collection of minerals of which 153 samples are to be found on displayed.
The Brukenthal mineralogical collection also stands as eloquent proof for the Baron’s complex intellectual profile, in addition to his aesthetic and spiritual affinities also devoting a special attention to mineralogy.
Originally in the same structure with the other collections in Brukenthal Museum, the Brukenthal minerals collection was handed over in the year 1923 by the administration of the Brukenthal Museum – while maintaining property rights – to the “Transylvanian Society of Natural Sciences in Sibiu”. In 1957, when the Museum of Natural History became part of Brukenthal Museum, the collection returned to the mother-institution.
As governor and shareholder in mining industry, von Brukenthal was able to come into possession of valuable mineralogical samples. Thus, his collection represents, considering the place of collection, variety and diversity, a “mineralogical journey” in Transylvania.
Extended after the death of its founder, the Baron’s collection of minerals has now scientific, historical and museum importance. It is a tangible proof of the concerns and knowledge about nature, of the generosity of this precursor of the systematic learning and understanding of the environment as a premise for its protection. If, at the end of the 18th century, Sibiu becomes the scientific center of the Transylvanian movement for nature, gaining an international notoriety as a center of culture and science, this was possible, first of all, due to Samuel von Brukenthal’s endeavors as a Maecenas in arts and sciences.
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