Museum in Smederevo
The museum in Smederevo was created thanks to the enthusiasm of the aprons of the cultural life of Smederevo, who, by collecting objects, preserved the memory of past times and torn away the heritage of Smederevo and the Smederevo region from oblivion. They were the pioneers who, through their tireless work on collecting, preserving, scientific processing and presenting the heritage, established the activities of the Museum in Smederevo in the local community.
Passionate collectors and antique lovers, such as Milan Jovanovic Stojimirovic, journalists, politicians and antique lovers, Svetozar Spasojevic, the first director of the Smederevo Museum, or Leonti Pavlovic, longtime director of the Museum and a dedicated scholar, have contributed greatly to the many outstanding items of significance to the Museum's collections. The basis for the formation of the museum fund were the Gymnasium Collection of Antiquities and the confiscated Private Collection of Milan Jovanovic Stojimirovic.
Gymnasium Antique Collection
After the First World War, history professor at the Smederevo Gymnasium, Ljubomir Petrovic, was the first to take a more serious approach to collecting and studying antiquities from these areas. He kept them in his house for a while, and later transferred the collection to the Grammar School, where he used it to better understand his teaching.
The principal of the Gymnasium, Vladimir Lazic, ordered in 1935 that an inventory of this museum collection be established. Based on this inventory, the Grammar Collection of Antiquities numbered 725 different items according to the 1941 census. Among the exhibits the most important were: a pillar of white marble-style Ionic, a Roman stone mill, five parchments, three of which are in Greek, and two in ancient (Serbian) language, one silver coin by Caesar, Alexander of Macedon and the city of Dubrovnik, a stone sink from a Turkish temple in Smederevo, three silver Greek and four Roman silver coins and more. Prior to this census, the Gymnasium Collection was partially damaged by the bombing on 6 April 1941 and the explosion of ammunition and explosives in Smederevo on 5 June 1941.
Private collection of Milan Jovanovic Stojimirovic
Crucial to the formation of the Smederevo Museum Fund was the private collection of Milan Jovanovic Stojimirovic (1898-1966), a politician, jurist, journalist and writer, who also marked his versatile personality with his collector's work. He collected a large collection of fine art objects (paintings, sculptures, graphics), applied arts, icons, ethnological objects (jewelry and furniture), archeological objects (stone plastic) and historiographic material into his collection. After the end of World War II, his collection was confiscated and Milan Jovanovic Stojimirovic was indicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for collaborating with the occupier. In spite of this, Stojimirović bequeathed an art legate to the Museum in Smederevo in 1964, consisting of 34 objects (paintings, sculptures, objects of applied art, and the stylistic writing of a hundred Prince Mihailo Obrenović). From 1959 to 1972, the Museum was housed in the house of this famous Smederevac, located at the corner of Ante Protic 2 and Karadjordjeva streets.
Over time, the Museum Fund became rich, and the activities of the Museum were modernized and expanded, making the Museum building dysfunctional. By engaging Dr. Leonti Pavlovic, the Museum's longtime warden and tireless apron in the cultural life of Smederevo, the Smederevo Museum gets a new, more modern building. On this occasion, for the needs of the Museum, a new, contemporary basic museum exhibit was created, housed in three museum halls and a lapidarium. The most representative exhibits are exhibited thematically and chronologically in the Museum's basic setting, so that the history of Smederevo can be traced from the earliest occurrences of life in this region, through prehistory and antiquity, to the Middle Ages, until the mid-20th century.
The decisions of the Smederevo Municipality from 2001 were first handed over to the Smederevo Museum for the care and use of the Smederevo Fortress, and then in 2007 it became the responsibility of the Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Smederevo. With the establishment of the Sector of the City Gallery of Contemporary Art in 2005, the Museum's activities have expanded significantly and the exhibitions have become more dynamic.
For the past six decades, the Smederevo Museum has been an inseparable part of the cultural, scientific, educational, as well as socio-political milieu of Smederevo and its surroundings. Nevertheless, the geographical frameworks of influence of the Smederevo Museum do not end with the administrative boundaries of the city of Smederevo, because we believe that this institution today has a much wider, regional significance.