New permanent exhibition Prešeren – the Poet
When Prešeren arrived in Kranj on September 5, 1846, he rented the entire first floor of Mayer’s house for the purpose of living. He brought with him his sister Katra and clerk Andrej Rudolf, the illegitimate son of his friend Andrej Smolet. He arranged an apartment in the part of the house facing Mestni trg, and an office for practicing law on the other side of the house.
Prešeren’s bedroom and office are also highlighted in the new exhibition, as these rooms present the poet’s original furniture and ambience. As we climb the stairs to the exhibition spaces, we are addressed by a portrait of the poet. The image of Prešeren is not known, as he did not want to be portrayed for the time of his life. Various interpretations of artists attribute different identities to him through the image. We make our way to his bedroom through Katra’s room, where the poet is presented with selected objects as a key artist of Slovenian romance and a leading socially critical figure of the 1930s. The exhibition is equipped with artistic accents and compositions by the artist Andrej Štular, who also added some dramaturgical tension to the ambience. The visual accompaniment of Prešeren’s songs is also complemented by music, with the possibility of listening to the musical poetry of popular Slovenian musicians.
Prešeren experienced many life crises and creative decline. Nevertheless, his poetic genius was recognized by Dr. Janez Bleiweis who published his poems in the newspaper Kmetijske in rokodelske novice, a newspaper that, according to Kranjska čbelica from the beginning of the 1930s, for the first time placed poetry in the first place in the construction of national identity. Prešeren and Bleiweis are today considered key figures of the national awakening in the mid-19th century.
The space in front of Prešeren’s office, where, according to Katra and scribe Andrej Rudolf and Primož Soklič, in the poet’s absence they devoted themselves too much to fun card games, is now dedicated to Slovenian poets – Prešeren’s laureates. The extraordinary influence of the Prešeren cult on various areas of social and creative life to this day is also shown.