Moravské zemské muzeum
Národní muzeum

The Emperor Joseph II (1765/1780-1790) became famous thanks to several

reforms. The most signifi cant of them was the guarantee of religious freedom

through the Edict of Tolerance, the issuance of the Civil Code, reforms in

state administration, the abolition of censorship and capital punishment and

especially the abolition of serfdom in 1781 that brought personal freedom to

serfs. Joseph II was interested in life of farmers and looked for possibilities

of its amelioration. He often travelled incognito up and down the country in

the mask of „count of Falkenstein“ to learn about life and work of his subjects.

If there was an opportunity, he did not hesitate to try it. His „imperial

ploughing“ near Slavíkovice became a favourite topic in plastic arts.

As soon as 1796 the foundation of the Moravian Museum as a centre

of scientifi c life of the country was prepared. The president of the Society

for Agriculture (k.k. Mährisch-Schlesische Gesellschaft zur Beförderung

des Ackerbaues, der Natur- und Landeskunde) F. H.  Salm-Reifferscheidt

supported its creation. On the appeal of the Austrian government several

Moravian scientifi c societies merged in 1806 and after the accession

of the Silesian agricultural society in 1811 the above mentioned Society

for Agriculture was started. It issued the periodicals Mittheilungen and

Notizenblatt. The president of the Court of Appeal Josef Auersperg supported

the memorandum of 1816. On July 29, 1817 the Society for Agriculture

obtained the offi cial approval of the emperor Francis I with the foundation

of the museum that bore his name. The Moravian governor A. B. Mitrovský

then offi cially announced the inception of the museum on March 24, 1817.

From the important representatives of various sections of the Agricultural

Society let us mention A. Zawadski, M. V. Trapp, F.C. Napp, F. Živanský

and since 1854 the founder of modern genetics J. G. Mendel who became

a regular member of natural history section in 1855 and later was elected

member of the central committee. The Moravian Museum is thus indisputably

not only one of the oldest institutions of this kind in Europe but also the only

continuously working scientifi c institution in the world in the development and

programme of which the world famous founder of genetics took part. Mendel

discovered the continuity of the hereditary information and its transfer over

generations. He solved the centennial mystery of the principle of heredity

and variability, created the basics of genetics and opened the way leading

to the discovery of DNA structure. He published his discoveries in basic

papers Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden (Experiments with plant hybrids)

and Ueber einige aus künstlicher Befruchtung gewonnenen Hieracium-

Bastarde (On some hawkweed hybrids) that appeared in the periodical

of the natural history section of the Agricultural Society Verhandlungen

des naturforschenden Vereines in Brünn.

© Moravské zemské muzeum 2010, vytvořila Adamna NET (