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The Bucharest National Theatre Museum,a History of the Romanian Theatre

The National Theatre’s Museum is a history in pictures and documents of the National Theatre, since it was founded and up to present days. The Museum is a journey through time and it clarifies many aspects of the tumultuous history of the Theater.

It was initiated and led by Gheorghe Franga for many years, a man who had a strong desire to gather from the elder actors and from their relatives anything one could find that was significant for the Romanian theatre's past.

Therefore, an impressive collection of books, manuscripts, paintings and other objects was gathered. In September 1942, under the directorship of Liviu Rebreanu, the first location of the Museum was opened, in the buildings near the National Theater on Calea Victoriei (today’s Novotel hotel, which faithfully reproduces the front entrance of the former National Theatre).

Moved from place to place

After the National Theatre’s building was bombed in August 1944, the museum was closed for a long time. Its patrimony was evacuated at Pucioasa and then exposed in two halls of St. Sava Highschool in Bucharest. It will stay here until 1952, when it’s moved in the Majestic Passage – today’s Odeon Theatre.

After the inaugural of the current building of the National Theatre, the museum is reopened for the public between 1975 and 1978. Then the objects are put in storehouses for 12 years, until 1990. A reopening of the museum takes place in the foyer of the Great Hall. In the winter of 2001 the museum receives the current location and the objects remain exposed in this final version up until today.

The National Theatre Museum tour reveals some less known things about the theater.

Did you know...

- For a long time, it has only been a state-owned building, leased to great actors, and it always went bankrupt because of the difficulties of maintaining a theater of such a great size?

- Ion Ghica, politician and writer, organized the National Theatre copying the French Comedy Theatre model?

- The theater has worked in turns in the nowadays locations of Ion Creanga Theatre, Odeon Theatre and The Small Theatre?

- The Bucharest National Theatre has had 45 directors so far?

The museum holds a variety of paintings and busts of actors and personalities involved in the theatre’s world and other items like books, documents, costumes and stage props from different plays.

Romanescu Aristizza painting, one of the actors who will represent the Romanian school of drama for all eternity - made by Costin Petrescu

Constantin Nottara painting, in the play "Blanduzia Garden" – made by Traian Cornescu, scene - painter of The Bucharest National Theatre, producer of the scenery for the shows in the interwar period


The costume worn by Maria Filotti in the play "Blanduzia Garden"


Painting of Ion Brezeanu, in the role of the drunken citizen in "A Lost Letter" play - by Jean Steriadi


Stage props worn by George Calboreanu in „Sunset" play

C.I.Nottara's makeup box


Make-up scene - Agatha Bârsescu's tiara, associate of the Vienna Burgtheater

Ilustrated postcards sent by I.L. Caragiale from Berlin to his friends in the country, between 1905 and 1912


Bogdan Petriceicu Haşdeu's Bust - sculpted by Dimitri Paciurea


The Glasses of Sica Alexandrescu, Romanian director who followed Paul Gusty's Realism School


Aristizzei Romanescu fan


Matilda Pascaly's bust - made by Carol Storck

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