The permanent exhibition of the NATURAL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT of the National Museum of Zrenjanin is today located on the second floor of the Museum. It consists of three displays: a diorama depiction of the living world of Banat, a three-dimensional installation of fossil remains from the paleontological collection, and an installation of dermoplastic preparations of birds. The diorama presentation is a modern rendition of this type of presentation. The dermo-plastic preparations and stuffed animals are displayed in a space that is arranged to represent their natural habitats. This manner of presentation achieves a three-dimensional experience and invokes the natural environment of the exhibits. In choosing subjects for inclusion in this exhibition, the emphasis is on those animals that have disappeared from or are endangered and are very rarely found in the area.

The basic conception of ​​the paleontological setting is the display of fossil remains in three dimensions. The fossilized skulls and tusks of the mammoth Mammuthus primigenius and the steppe bison, Bison priscus, are placed in space to approximate the true, natural size of these species. The other bones of the mammoth skeleton, the steppe bison, and the giant deer Cervus megaceros are arranged as if in the ground to portray the appearance of the place where they were found. The age of these fossil remains is estimated to be between 10,000 and 30,000 years. The dermo-plastic preparations of birds are exhibited as a special segment of the exhibition, demonstrating the basic characteristics and significance of this class of animals. They are divided into several key groups: Predators, Waterfowl, and Wading Birds, as well as birds from two important gift collections of the donors Emil Gladić from Kuman and Vladimir Omčikus from Perlez.

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT represents one of the richest such collections in Serbia with its collections. The concept of the permanent exhibition is based on a chronological representation – from the oldest time period included, 6,400 BC, to the Middle Ages and comprises the following epochs: the Neolithic – the Starčevo, Vinča, and Potiska cultures, the Eneolithic, the Bronze Age, Roman-provincial culture, Sarmatian culture, the migration of peoples, and he Middle Ages (XII-XIII century). Over 500 items are on display in the exhibition.

HISTORY DEPARTMENT

The Permanent Exhibition of the Collections of Older and Recent History is located in three rooms, as well as in niches in the hallway, on the second floor of the National Museum in Zrenjanin.

The Permanent Exhibition of the Collection of Older History of the National Museum in Zrenjanin features over 180 items. It contains a number of rarities of great value, such as the original imperial charter of Ferdinand I from 1847, which gave Paul Plajac approval for the opening of the first printing house in the city. Some of the first publications from that printing house are also held at the Museum. Also exhibited is a transcript of a charter of Empress Maria Theresa from 1769 regulating the socio-economic life in the then town of Bečkerek (today’s Zrenjanin), and which represented a precondition for this settlement to acquire the status of a city. The exhibition also displays well-preserved specimens of swords from the 13th and 14th centuries, more than ten significant combat weapons and firearms from the Weapons Collection of Baron Fedor Nikolić from Rudna (in present-day Romania), who was the brother of Prince Mihailo Obrenović’s aunt. Among other highlights are two exceptionally well-preserved fortress/ship cannons from the 19th century, made according to the Pauli system from 1812, later perfected by the French rifleman Robert, as well as a duel set from the 19th century produced in Liège. There is also the original flag of the Torontal District from the time of Joseph II and Maria Theresa, as well as an artistic painting of the Patriarch Joseph Rajačić. The Collection of Older History also possesses several more artistic paintings, though these are generally held in the depository of the History Department. These include the portraits of two dukes: Stevan Šupljikac and Stevan Petrović Knićanin. Additionally, several copies of Wochenblatta, a local German-language newspaper that began publishing in 1851, are also on display at the permanent exhibition.

The Permanent Exhibition of the Collection of Recent History is located in two rooms, which present the economic, social, political, and cultural life of Zrenjanin and the wider surroundings of today’s central Banat from the 1870s to the middle of the 20th century. It consists of three-dimensional objects, original documents (or their facsimiles and photocopies), artistic paintings, photographs, and other relevant material. In total, over 170 unique items are on display in the permanent exhibition. In its first room, there are objects, documents, photographs, paintings and other subjects which represent the period from the 1870s until the beginning of the Second World War. This exhibition, among other items of interest, displays the flags of several class and social organizations and associations such as Soko (Falcon) and Skauti (Scouts). A true rarity is the flag of the Regional Board of the Adriatic Guard, whose donor was Mihajlo Pupin’s godson. The flag is accompanied by a ribbon, on which it is written that the godfather of the flag’s donor was indeed this great man of world science. Two paintings of Vaso Eškićević, the official painter of the First Serbian Army in the Great War, are exceptional significant and valuable in this exhibition. One of these paintings, created in 1920 and depicting the withdrawal of the Serbian Army and the flight of the Serbian people through Albania in November and December 1915, is on display, while the other, “The Patrol of the Serbian Army among the Albanian Homeless,” created in 1916, is held in the depository of the Historical Department. Another important exhibit is the sculpture of the head of King Peter I, a fragment from the monument unveiled on December 1, 1928, by Rudolf Valdec, a sculptor from Zagreb, which was demolished by the Germans in 1941. The same exhibition also features an original photograph of volunteers in the Serbian Army 1916-1919, with their signatures, taken in Caransebeš (in present-day Romania). Included among them is the volunteer Corporal Kuzman Popović from Neuzina, whose diary is also exhibited.

In the second exhibition chamber, there are items that represent the period from 1941 to 1945, i.e., the period of the Second World War in what was then the Vojvodina Province of the Republic of Serbia within Yugoslavia, with an emphasis on central Banat. In addition to several rarities in the Collection of Recent History, it also contains one very unique and special item – a box of heart-shaped bread, which Mihailo Miša Taboroši made for his girlfriend in the occupied concentration camp in what was then Petrovgrad (today Zrenjanin) in 1943 or 1944. This exhibition also contains a model of this camp, which was in function from 1942 to 1944 in Zrenjanin, and which was the most terrible symbol and concrete manifestation of the suffering of many peoples, including participants in the anti-fascist struggle for liberation in the Second World War in this area. The exhibition as well contains numerous documents, leaflets, and posters of significance for the mentioned period.

The Permanent Exhibition of the Sports History Collection or the so-called Sports Room contains about 1,000 exhibited items, such as: sports props and equipment, medals from competitions (originals and castings), trophies and awards (mostly made of metal and paper), which have been awarded to numerous sports teams in the city, recognizing championship teams in various sports, but also many individuals, national team members, and record holders. The trophies and recognitions that some of the city’s and region’s sports teams and individuals have won at various Yugoslav, European, and world championships are especially significant in this exhibition. Special emphasis in the permanent exhibition of the Sports Room is placed on the Olympics. Zrenjanin was the hometown of the first director of the modern Olympic Games, Dr. Ferenc Kemenja, while citizens of this city have won a total of 23 medals across multiple Olympic Games. Also, this exhibition displays group and individual photos of many clubs and individuals from various sports that have existed in the city and the Central Banat district over the years. There are also numerous documents about athletes and sporting events of all levels, from city competitions to the Olympics. The Sports Room is located on the first floor of the National Museum in Zrenjanin.

Fine Arts Collection – Permanent Exhibition

The Fine Arts Collection is presented on the first floor of the National Museum of Zrenjanin, occupying eight separate rooms. Its items are also on display in supplementing rooms in which exhibits from other museum departments are presented. The Fine Arts Collection comprises approximately 1500 items and is a kind of cross-section of major artistic movements occurring in Vojvodina and beyond, with a special emphasis on central Banat in the period from the eighteenth to the end of the twentieth century. The most valuable part of this fund of artistic works is on display in the Permanent Exhibition.

In the period from 2013 to 2015, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the National Museum of Zrenjanin realized the reconstruction of the Permanent Exhibition of the Fine Arts Collection. Artistic works from the 18th and 19th centuries are presented in two rooms, mostly represented by the works of painters, primarily local, mostly anonymous painters, but also those who created in the styles of Classicism, Biedermeier, and Romanticism. The portrait gallery dominates the 19th century exhibition, with portraits by such painters as Nikola Aleksić, Konstantin Danil, Đura Jakšić, Novak Radonić, Pavle Simić, and Stevan Todorović, among others.

The exhibition of works from the 20th century features the works of various artists who participated in the birth of Serbian modern art, but also of those who consistently retained the artistic characteristics of academic realism. Particularly noteworthy are “Veseli Banaćani,” by Stevan Aleksić, portraits of King Petar and King Aleksandar Karađođrević painted by Uroš Predić, and a portrait of Sofia Sojka Jovanović, the only work by Paja Jovanović kept by the Zrenjanin Museum. Nudes and portraits of the gifted and somewhat forgotten Aleksandar Sekulić, who studied in Munich, can be seen only in the Permanent Exhibition of the National Museum Zrenjanin, where the works of Vasa Pomorišac are also exhibited, among which is displayed the painting for which this painter once won a silver medal at the Paris Salon. The birth of modern art in Zrenjanin was significantly influenced by the so-called “Velikobečkerečki Impressionists,” who are also represented by several works. Finally, paintings by our “greats” of modernity, Sava Šumanović, Jovan Bijelić, Ivan Radović, and Zora Petrović, are also featured.

The legacies kept within the Fine Arts Collection are housed in three rooms and include those of: Paulina Sudarski, Uroš Predić, Tivadar Vanjek, Janoš Ajha, Friderika Benda, Zlata Markov-Baranja and Ljubica Tapavički. Among them, the Legacy of Uroš Predić occupies a central and special place. This legacy features works of the artist’s Belgrade studio, where this famous painter spent the last decades of his life. After his death, almost the entire inventory of this studio was bequeathed to the Museum.

Today, the permanent exhibition of the Fine Arts Collection, thanks to the generosity of its benefactors and active collecting, is a substantial collection whose space and design correspond to and represent both museological principles and local character, with the aim of making accessible to the viewing public the best that the art fund of the National Museum of Zrenjanin has to offer.

The Fine Arts Collection is managed by Olivera Skoko, senior curator – art historian.