A picturesque city located right in the center of Romania, Sibiu will charm you from the very first visit. While the Big Square is an impressive exhibition of Baroque buildings, the Little Square and the Square Huet are hiding lovely terraces and the monumental Reformed Church. Sibiu is also renewed both for its art and its ethnography museums, offering the visitor an outlook of the national art, from folk to contemporary. Take a tour and discover the local art and artists.
The Romanian Art Gallery
Art Gallery, Museum
Located in the “Blue Building” in a stunning baroque décor, the Romanian Art Gallery presents the evolution of the country’s art through 200 paintings. Based on stylistic criteria, the artworks are displayed chronologically, revealing the European influences on the Romanian artistry. The focus point of the exhibition is the Transylvanian section, one of the richest in the country. Some of the Transylvanian artists that are exhibited are Johann Martin Stock, Franz Neuhauser, and Mişu Popp, completed by national painters as Nicolae Grigorescu, Ion Andreescu, and Ştefan Luchian, whose works are of great value to Romanian art.
The European Art Gallery is located in the Bruckental National Museum, a 18th-century baroque palace that served as a residence and as a place of exhibition for the art collections of the nobleman and former Transylvanian governor Samuel von Bruckental. After being restored and modernized in 2006, the palace was opened as an art museum and adapted to the modern museography and exhibition style. The European Art Gallery is divided into several subsections, approaching different forms of art, like gothic paintings, medieval and early modern Transylvanian architectonic pieces, cartographical exhibitions, Flemish, Dutch, and Italian paintings. For those who want to re-live the 18th- and 19th-century atmosphere, the museum’s first floor presents a restitution of the time’s interiors through two bedrooms, a living room, a secretary’s room, the room of the imperial portraits, and the portrait room of the Brukenthal Family.
Romania is well known for its amazing contemporary art scene, its art galleries, and reputed artists. The Contemporary Art Museum in Sibiu is following this trend, promoting the contemporary Romanian art through innovative works. Created as a visiting storage, the galleries count 205 paintings, 15 tapestries, and 95 tridimensional works exhibited on the first floor, while the second one is surrounded by glass walls that offer an overview of the main gallery. The museum is also a platform for contemporary artists, where they can present and debate their creations.
A former craftsmen house and center of the medieval guilds, the Franz Binder Museum continues on the path of artistry and showcases pieces representing the culture, civilization, and art of the out-of-Europe populations. The only one of its kind in Romania, the museum’s collections are formed from donations from Saxon travelers, who gathered a great diversity of objects, clothes, ceramics, toys, paintings, photographies, and handcraft pieces, including a samurai armour and an Egyptian mummy. The main exhibition, “Culture and Art of the World’s Populations” is completed by a temporary exhibition, “From the Artisanal Creation of World’s Populations,” born from the exchange and display of objects coming from private collectors, photographs, artists, associations, and embassies from all over the world. Travel through the Earth’s cultures in the museum’s galleries.
An immersion into the life of Transylvanian peasants, the exhibitions of the Museum of Transylvanian Civilisation are of a great value. The objects displayed present tools, clothes, painted icons, ceramics, and embroidery, all made and used by the Transylvanian people. Each piece exposes a part of the daily life, the local beliefs, traditions and customs, the traditional art, and living aspects in a multicultural region—the land of Romanians, Saxons, and Hungarians. The museum team tries to encourage the preservation of national values and culture through local artists that can pass on the folk art forms from one generation to another.
In Sibiu, medicine and pharmacies are more than five centuries old. The first apothecary was mentioned in 1494 and since then, the city developed rich medical activity. The Pharmacy Museum is located in the third-opened pharmacy of the time, a late 16th-century building that will transpose you back in time, where fascinating medicine and mysterious procedures were curing terrible diseases. The 6,600 pieces of the museum portray more than three centuries of evolution of pharmaceutical techniques and remedies. Following the pattern of the old pharmacy, the museum is divided between an Oficina and a laboratory, while a third room exhibits medical kits and includes a homeopathy sector. Travel back in time and unveil the secrets of the miraculous cures.
The Emil Sigerius Museum of Ethnography and Saxon Folk Art
The Museum of Ethnography and Saxon Folk Art exhibits through four collections the lifestyle, culture, and crafts of the Transylvanian Saxons, one of the three ethnic groups that showcase the multiculturality of the region. Extremely valuable for the Saxon heritage, the pieces recreate the design of the old Saxon houses and workshops. You will be surprised by the colorful furniture, the unique style of home decoration, and the extraordinary art skills of the Saxons, showed through folk costumes, textiles, embroidery, painted furniture, and ceramics. A visit to the museum is a fascinating discovery of their culture.
A visit to the Museum of the Evangelical Church is an overview of the Saxon community of Romania: from the moment of their arrival in Transylvania to fundamental practices and beliefs related to their spiritual and community life to the history of the Evangelical Church in Transylvania and its role in the Saxon communities. Valuable objects of sacral art like altars, cult objects, sculptures, textiles, and plans of the fortified churches—unique architectural monuments that exemplify the master of architecture and the structure of the Saxon communities in southern Transylvania—are present here. The Saxons were not only remarkable architects and constructors but also great artists. The museum’s treasury presents ark worts of the most famous craftsmen of Transylvania.
Different from the classic museums, the Shepherding Museum, located in the village of Jina, close to Sibiu, is an enchanting collection of objects passed from father to son, relating to the shepherding customs and to the local traditions of the village. Authentic and unique, the museum is in a village’s house and the host will gladly explain the history, utility, and significance of each object displayed. A visit to this museum can be followed by a visit to the village and the discovery of a rural and profound Romania, an experience that will reveal you another way of living.
The only private contemporary art gallery in Sibiu, Art VO Gallery aims to promote Romanian contemporary art and artists on the local and international plan. The gallery has partnerships with artistical entities from Romania and abroad. With artworks displayed in three rooms, the gallery represents a platform between art and art lovers, where emerging artists can present their work.