INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECT
The driving force behind the work of many researchers, who enthusiastically joined this project, was their admiration for Adamić and his life. In 1998, when I first got this idea and included it in the programme suggestion for the following year, it seamed to me that Adamić himself and the research of the time and context in which he lived and worked – above all with regard to economy, traffic and politics – could be a kind of discovery and that our approach could be innovative in some way, at least in the context of Croatian historiography.
Adamić has never been a national hero nor was he a saint, a prophet, a teacher or the initiator of great ideas. On the contrary, Adamić was a skilful merchant and entrepreneur who knew very well how important money is and what a strong driving force it can be. He always took care that his actions are profitable above all for himself and, thus, running after money, often got into troubles that could have cost him his life. In competing for a high position as a merchant, he also regularly faced legal disputes and numerous unforeseeable difficulties.
However, apart from these facts there is one aspect of Adamić and his life which won me over completely and gave me the impetus and the conviction to try and persuade many experts to join the project: Adamić was a man of clear and far-reaching visions; he was a merchant of great actions and belonged to the group of those entrepreneurs who announced a great technical era, which was only just starting to develop at their time.
The exhibition and a number of manifestations of the project are directed above all at young people. The aim of the visual character of the exhibition and other manifestations is to be clear and interesting and at the same time simple, humorous and imaginative. The main objective of the project is to win over the interest of the broadest public and to communicate with them. Students of all ages, citizens and tourists alike have the opportunity to learn more about the key time of political and social change when the bourgeoisie and the industrial revolution succeeded in radically ousting the feudal era.
The project is also directed at scientists, researchers and the cultural scene. An educative booklet aimed at the broader public as well as small illustrated catalogues in Croatian and English have already been published. In addition, an extensive compilation of works will be launched, comprising texts written by thirty experts from Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Great Britain and the United States. This compilation will above all be directed at members of the scientific and cultural scene. There will also be a concert with music from Adamić’s era and music written by the composer Johann Zajitz.
Director of the Rijeka Municipal Museum and head of the project