Serbian American Museum St. Sava, formerly known as Serbian Cultural and Arts Center St. Sava, was founded in Chicago in 1952. Thanks to generous contributions of its members, the house at 448 West Barry Avenue was purchased the same year, which later became, and still remains, the Serbian Home.
A Brief History
The Serbian People Reconstruction Movement was founded in Germany in 1944. Its members were known as Dušanovci, because the organization was known as Dušan the Mighty, headed by Slobodan M. Drašković, PhD.
Slobodan M. Drašković arrived to Chicago in 1947 and took part in the All-Serbian Congress, after which he permanently relocated to the United States. At the same time, Dušan the Mighty relocated to the United States, but in 1952, due to the US laws and regulations, it changed its name to Serbian Cultural Club St. Sava and became a non-profit organization.
Two years after it was founded, the Serbian People Reconstruction Movement started the newspaper The Serbian Struggle (Srpska Borba) whose aim was to reach out to the Serbs outside of Serbia. Between 1946 and 1949, the periodical was printed in Germany, later continued in France, and finally moved to Flushing, NY, USA, where it was printed as a weekly newspaper until 1981. Today, The Serbian Struggle is published as a bi-monthly magazine.
Slobodan M. Drašković, who authored many books, was not only one of the founding fathers of the Center, but was also one of the main pillars of the Serbian diaspora. Below is an excerpt from his book Which Way that was published in The Serbian Struggle in September of 1983:
“The first and basic reason for the success of every big venture is in the readiness to accept the risk and danger, to risk failure and to be exposed to the peril of ruin. In that lays the crux of the struggle for assuring the freedom and better future for Serbian people. The misfortune of the Serbian diaspora today is that too many individuals want to call themselves and be considered by others the fighters against communism, but does not want, under any circumstances, to endanger neither his job, nor his house, nor his pension, nor his social security, nor his car, nor his vacation, nothing!
Imagine if our fathers and grandfathers went to liberation wars of 1912, 1913 and 1914 with this notion that no one will die, and that everyone will get to keep what they have and safely return home! That is exactly what the most of the Serbian immigrants want today. And that can’t be! That is not how the great and fateful battles are fought.”
At the 2007 Members’ Congress, a majority of members voted to change the name and status of Serbian Cultural Club St. Sava (501 C-7) private club, to Serbian Cultural and Arts Center St. Sava (501C-3) not for profit organization. Consequently another change was made in 2010 at the yearly congress when majority voted to change purpose and name once again to Serbian American Museum St. Sava (501C-3), first Serbian Museum in diaspora.