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About the National Gallery of Slovenia

Education

Popularizing artistic heritage was one of the key tasks of the National Gallery of Slovenia since the founding of the National Gallery Society. Educational work was revived and intensified after 1963 with the employment of the first education custodian Polonca Vrhunc, whereas a systematic method of work focusing on education was set up and directed by Lidija Tavčar, PhD, between 1986 and 2006. The tradition of educational work spanning over half a century is today supplemented with contemporary museological guidelines. In doing so, it is not only the museum object – the work of art – that is placed into the forefront, becoming the point of interest and focus, but also the visitor. For this reason all the collections and exhibitions are shaped with the thought of the widest range of visitors in mind, therefore in line with their wishes, needs and abilities.

The designation and principled direction of the department can be summarized with the words of Eileen Hooper-Greenhill, who clearly defined the duties of the contemporary museum at the end of the 1920s: The museum has become an institution of learning and amusement.
 

In order to reach different target groups, specific methods and forms of work are being developed to optimize the presentation, understanding and experience of art from the past. Gallery education programmes vary greatly from those of school, which is already dictated by the very nature of the gallery space. The privilege of being in the presence of original works of art provides a unique emotional experience, however, this also comes with a responsibility to protect our heritage. It is our aim to harbour – especially in those that cross the gallery threshold for the first time – feelings that are associated with various ways of stimulating sensory perception and to change the gallery space into a place of wonder, play, discovery and wealth of ideas.

The educational work delivered in the gallery results from an integrated model, which is constantly updated and contains a variety of programmes for each age group. Activities are prepared and delivered to accompany the permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions, for pre-school children, primary and secondary school pupils, and adult audiences.

In addition to the organized programmes for school groups, much attention is devoted to educational leisure-entertainment programmes for children. In 2001, Gal’s Club was born, which invites membership to children aged between 6 and 14. The diverse and interactive year-long programmes, which are run in collaboration with external experts on art or appropriate subject matter, include nine afternoon meetings so that children return and gradually learn about the gallery spaces, the works of art and the work that goes on in a museum.

Other leisure activities for children and families also belong in the entertainment programme, such as children’s birthday parties as well as Saturday and holiday workshops, etc. Also included here is the variety of activities organised on open days. The most resounding are the didactic additions to the exhibitions on display, and the exhibitions of children’s products in the entrance hall.

More and more attention is being paid to vulnerable groups of visitors, especially those with sensory or mobility impairments. In the past, age-appropriate activities were prepared for children, young people and adults, also with the help of outside colleagues. The future, however, will also see the permanent collections equipped with software applications, guides and notices for visitors with special needs, particularly the blind and the partially sighted.

With its mission to promote art heritage, the department maintains close links with the Education Section of the Union of the Museums of Slovenia (SMS), as well as other educational and cultural institutions. To this end, we organize (art, printmaking) courses, invite applications to various competitions and prepare expert conferences for educators, teachers and professors.

An important segment of educational work is represented by the Gallery’s book production: Gal’s books, workbooks, teaching kits and manuals have proven to serve as welcome motivational preparation for a visit to the Gallery, or an incentive to promote discussion and creative output after the visit. It is our goal to also make the publications available in appropriate print for the blind and the partially sighted, as well as in English.

Modern access to the gallery, its artworks and activities, is also offered via electronic applications (QR) and social networks (FB).

The department employs two education curators, whose job it is to organize, prepare and promote the Gallery’s education and entertainment programmes. In addition to them and the in-house curators, these activities are also carried out by gallery animators and volunteers. The latter are usually art history students who are trained in the Gallery to work with visitors. Annually, more than 1000 activities are carried out, which are attended by around 30,000 visitors. About a quarter of these visitors are children and young people.

We graciously accept the help and ideas of volunteers. We also welcome the cooperation of artists and experts from various fields in order to enhance the Gallery’s education and entertainment programmes.

Information and bookings for guided tours and activities can be made every day from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 10 am, by calling +386 (0)1 24 15 415 (you may leave a message on the answering machine). You can also book your place via e-mail: activities@ng-slo.si

Živa Rogelj
Head of Education
E: ziva_rogelj@ng-slo.si 

Kristina Preininger, MA, Museum Adviser
E: kristina_preininger@ng-slo.si

Nataša Braunsberger, Curator
E: natasa_braunsberger@ng-slo.si

Tjaša Debeljak
E: tjasa_debeljak@ng-slo.si