Cultural history

Curatorial department of cultural history

The department focuses on acquiring works of applied arts and pictorial documents created or used in the inner Dolenjska region from the Late Middle Ages to the 20th century. Further stages of our work involve storing the acquired items, their preservation and research, and presenting them to the public via exhibitions and lectures.

Large music box – orchestrion, second half of the 19th century. Photo: Branko Babič.
Wooden statue of St. John Nepomuk, which used to stand in a shrine at the entrance to the old wooden bridge in Novo mesto, 18th century. Photo: Borut Križ.
Signboard bearing the Novo mesto coat of arms, which used to hang from the façade of the old town hall, 19th century. Photo: Branko Babič.
Cast iron furnace, manufactured in the Dvor ironworks, second half of the 19th century. Photo: Borut Križ.

The two most prominent themes, considering their significance and the number of museum items, are the history of Novo mesto and the ironworks in Dvor.

The history of Novo mesto is represented by a notable collection of documents, pictorial evidence, and useful objects related to the state or the municipal government, to clubs and societies, as well as by household goods from the town’s history.  

Chalice with the Novo mesto coat of arms, ca. 1950. Photo: Borut Križ.
Piano, end of the 19th century. Photo: Branko Babič.
Fan with messages written by friends, 1899 and 1900. Photo: Borut Križ.
Bowl for sweets, second half of the 19th century. Photo: Borut Križ.

Operating from 1796 to 1891, the ironworks in Dvor was the central industrial plant in the region of Dolenjska. The Museum of Dolenjska houses the largest collection of its products.

Personal hygiene set, beginning of the 20th century. Photo: Borut Križ.
Punch bowl set, donated to the commander of the Isonzo Army, Svetozar Borojević von Bojna. Photo: Borut Križ.
Bedroom furniture from Novo mesto, ca. 1900. Photo: Branko Babič.
Memorial box with photographs of the officers of the court of the Novo mesto district, 1901. Photo: Borut Križ.

We also keep the collections of furniture and weapons from the 16th to the 20th century, a smaller number of useful and decorative glass, porcelain, and pottery vessels, and small everyday objects made of different materials (clocks, seals, toys, etc.).

Uniform of a mail coach driver from Novo mesto, first half of the 19th century. Photo: Borut Peterlin.
Glass jug for iced drinks, second half of the 19th century. Photo: Borut Križ.
Banner of the Novo mesto town guards with the Novo mesto coat of arms, 1875. Photo: Boris Farić.
“War man” or “Iron man”, 1916. Photo: Branko Babič.

Most of the time, however, the rich collections are hidden from public view due to space restrictions. The material is stored in depots and is only occasionally presented in thematic exhibitions.