The Slovene Ethnographic Museum is the country's foremost ethnological museum responsible for the keeping, preservation, study and comprehension of collections of artefacts related to Slovenian and non-European material, social and spiritual culture. The Museum was founded in 1923, when it separated from the National Museum of Slovenia. Its earliest origins go back to the collections put together by the Provincial Museum of Carniola (Deželni muzej za Kranjsko), established in 1821.
In order to present traditional culture of Slovenian inhabited areas and the cultures of several other peoples of the world, the Slovene Ethnographic Museum presents a programme of exhibitions and other events related to Slovenians (including Slovenian ethnic minorities abroad and expatriates) and other European and non-European peoples, runs a programme of educational events, and releases various publications. Exhibited artefacts and museum activities cover both material cultural heritage related to everyday and festive days and the intangible heritage of knowledge, values, skills, wisdom and creativity.
The Slovene Ethnographic Museum also incorporates a weavers' workshop, a museum shop called Lectarija and a café.
Permanent exhibition: Between Nature and Culture
The Slovene Ethnographic Museum's permanent exhibition of over 3,000 items presents the treasury of Slovenia's and the world's ethnological heritage. It provides an insight into the purposes of exhibited artefacts and the ways our ancestors used them, and traces their transformations over time and space.
Permanent exhibition: I, We and Others - Images of My World
This exhibition is about man's place among his fellow men and his place in space and time. The exhibition's seven chapters reflect the different aspects of the individual's sense of belonging, which stems from man's social nature and is shaped by the environment. The cohesive thread running through the exhibition is individuals' journey through life illustrated by glimpses into their personal lives, family histories, and their shared history as Slovenians.
Folk art between home and the world: SEM collections and folk art NSK of the IRWIN group
The exhibition in which Slovene folk art meets the global folk art of NSK reexamines the semantic framework of one of the collections of tradition and places it next to a collection of artifacts created in contemporary social identification processes. At the same time, it explains the creation of communal identity as a well-thought-out process, within which the selection of symbolic visual components that should represent the community takes place. For Slovenian nation, the sourcing was made through objects of traditional culture, and in the case of the citizens of the NSK state, the contemporary artistic production of the NSK.
The exhibition presents more than a hundred representative objects from the collection of Slovenian folk art SEM and contemporary global production of folk art NSK - graphics, photographs, posters, artifacts and videos of nineteen artists, citizens of NSK country at the time. The initiators of the creation of the NSK folk art collection are the IRWIN group and NSKSTATE.COM, maintained and collected by the IRWIN group.