Credit: KB / BD

Lesem Exhibition Invites Visitors To Learn About The Ecosystem and Its Connection With Human History

The exhibition will present the development of forests and human activities connected with forests in the context of the City of Brno and South Moravia. Credit: KB/BD.

Brno, 5 Sep (BD) – The Forest exhibition, opening on Thursday at the Brno City Museum in Špilberk Castle, will take visitors on a walk through themes that connect the phenomenon of the forest with the history of human society. Chronologically and thematically, it will present the development of forests and human activities connected with forests in the context of the City of Brno and South Moravia, from 7 September until 30 June 2024.

Director Zbyněk Šolc explains why the Brno City Museum chose this specific theme for the exhibition at Špilberk Castle: “The city of Brno has been called the “City in the Forest” many times due to its connection with the extensive forests to the north and west. It is associated with the beginnings of modern forestry and hunting in Moravia. The exhibition also tries to break old stereotypes about this phenomenon and presents possible perspectives for the future.”

The name of the exhibition is simple, but it brings with it a comprehensive history of the forest ecosystem, which has fascinated mankind since its beginning. It is a phenomenon that is inherently connected to human society and its history. Society has viewed it differently over the centuries; a raw material base, a spiritual space, or a place of relaxation and rest. The forest has often become a source of inspiration for painters, poets or musicians. The exhibition will delve into all the different ways our society, through its history, has perceived the space of the forest, not simply presenting the forest only from one point of view of a forester, tourist, hunter or craftsman, but encompassing the range of views of the forest phenomenon by human society.

The exhibition was helped by significant cooperation with Mendel University, Forests of the City of Brno, Forests of the Czech Republic, the National Agricultural Museum, specifically the Museum of Forestry, Hunting and Fishing at the Ohrada Castle, and the Czech-Moravian Hunting Union.

“We will guide visitors through the gradual birth of the forest in the Mesolithic, its mediaeval economic use, which almost deforested the landscape, the forestry renewal in the 19th and 20th centuries, and provide insight into current modern trends in forestry and forest use,” explained exhibition curator Martin Samson. “In addition to economic use, we will present social functions, such as aristocratic hunting in modern times, the development of federal hunting, tourism, mushroom picking, music, applied arts and other activities connected with the forest. Among the exhibits, I can highlight the reconstruction of a hunter’s clothing and equipment from the second half of the 16th century, equipment of a forestry office from the 19th century, hunting and poaching weapons or the legendary hat of Professor Josef Hromas, an important figure of Mendel University and hunting.” 

Of course, the exhibition includes a children’s section, and interactive elements that make the themes of the exhibition fun and accessible for young visitors. The Department of Pedagogy of the Brno City Museum has prepared a program for kindergartens and elementary schools. “The spirit of the forest in the interactive trail to the Forest exhibition introduces pupils to its secrets. Children engage their senses, experiences and observations,” said Markéta Brhlíková, head of the museum’s pedagogical department.

This year, the Czech-Moravian Hunting Union is celebrating 100 years since its foundation, so they have prepared an accompanying exhibition in the castle premises until 31 December 2023, intended to bring visitors closer to the tradition of hunting.

From 11 October to 31 December 2023, Špilberk Castle will also feature a special accompanying exhibition, “Home”, presented by artist Marie Ladrová, which will provide an interesting artistic echo of the Forest exhibition.

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