Museum of Puppetry receives award
November, 20, 2018
On Saturday, the annual conference of the Network of European Museum Organisations was held in Valletta where European Museum Academy and Hands On! Association presented the Children in Museums award to museums employing creative approaches and excellence in introducing cultural heritage to children.
The first award was given to the centre for art education at the National Gallery in Singapore, while the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre received the special jury award. The shortlist included 12 museums from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Great Britain, Slovenia, and Singapore.
The jury accompanied the special jury award with the following words:
The museum is a joint project of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre and Ljubljana Castle, supported by the Municipality of Ljubljana. It is housed in a recently restored part of the castle. One of the primary objectives was to create the conditions for the proper care and long-term preservation of major pieces from almost 300 puppet shows. The permanent exhibition, entitled ‘Images of Slovenian Puppetry Art, 1910-1990’, houses a vast collection of material artefacts including artistic and technical designs for puppet shows, puppets and scenic elements, as well as stages and written documents. The museum also screens television puppet shows, runs workshops, presents interactive puppet stages and actively engages in developing the field of puppetry conservation and restoration know-how. In its educational programme the museum encourages different target groups, ranging from the ages of four to 13, to explore, listen and discuss the displays in a playful way, to remember the puppet plays that left an impression on them, and to experiment with their own puppet shows. There is a special focus on programmes for children and families, with guided tours accompanied by interactive workshops to learn the techniques of puppetry and to try out puppetry skills. There are thematic stations and three interactive wooden stages – for string, hand and shadow puppets, all accompanied by experiential content on interactive screens.
The judges said that this multi-layered exhibition succeeds in immersing visitors with different backgrounds in puppet theatre and its techniques. The museum is commended for its strong commitment to make a collection of national relevance accessible to young visitors by encompassing both a multi-layered presentation, which shows the collection's richness, the urgency of preservation as well as its great potential for learning and new ideas in using a collection for cultural learning by providing free-choice, multisensory and extraordinary hands-on experiences targeted at different age-spans.