Infanta’s Portrait was one of the elements of the “Poor Room of Imagination”, arranged on the stage by Tadeusz Kantor (see The artist’s table). It was on the right side of the stage, next to the artist’s table. The Infanta’s presence in the painting is based on rhythmic departures and returns. As Kantor wrote, “standing or sitting in the frame, she poses herself in the painting and presents/ all her charms, or moves outside of the frame for various reasons: she is thrown, falls out or leaves herself. This ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ somehow sets the rhythm of her functioning in the performance.”
The presented exhibit comes from the Qui non ci torno più [I Shall Never Return] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre created in Kraków and Milan in the years 1987–1988. The play’s premiere took place on 23 June 1988 at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan. The plot of the play takes place in a tavern. There are metal tavern tables and stools on the stage. In the background a wall of smooth black cloth is set up in a semi-circle with the barely visible contours of four doors.
The Children in a rubbish cart exhibit was designed by Tadeusz Kantor and executed in the 1st half of the 1980s drawing upon the idea of the Informel Theatre and the Cricot 2 Theatre performance, W małym dworku [Country House], whose premiere was staged in Kraków in the Krzysztofory Gallery on 14 January 1961 (see “Wardrobe — Interior of Imagination”).
Gunungan is one of the most important figures that opens a traditional performance of the Indonesian shadow theatre wayang kulit purwa. It depicts a tree of life representing the five elements making up the universe: earth, air, fire, wind and water. It also symbolises a palace, forest, and sea, as well as the above-ground and underground worlds.
This invaluable drawing presents the scene: “Properly handling the invention of Mr. Daguerre: the military way” of the first act of the work, Wielopole, Wielopole, directed by Tadeusz Kantor. The drawing has watermarks. The composition was made with ink and pencil and placed in a black cardboard passe-partout. The outline of the female photographer is marked in black ink. The woman is absorbed in the action of photographing/shooting.
This puppet nativity scene made by the carpenter Franciszek Zięba in 1935 is the first exhibit donated to the Museum – the Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and the Lipowiec Castle. The base of the nativity scene is adapted to the needs of puppet theatre.
Kantor perceived Velazquez’s Infantas as Madonnas and relics. Dressed in a kind of costume, they hide their rickety bodies underneath...
Theatre props/costumes/elements of scenography presented on the website are mostly incomplete objects which, although they are the key to many fascinating narratives, can hardly be examined in isolation from their staging. It is different when it comes to the objects from Tadeusz Kantor’s performances...
A prototype of the woman behind the window in the performance The class has died was probably a drawing by Stanisław Wyspiański, published on the cover of Interiors by Maurice Maeterlinck (1901). The sketch was created as a playbill of the poster announcing a lecture by Stanisław Przybyszewski, connected with the stage...
A mask in the nō theatre is a privilege on the one hand, and a restriction on the other. Its donning is accompanied by a special ritual, which always takes place in the mirror room, off stage; the actor enters dressed in costume. Accepting the mask — the new identity — is the last and most important element of embodying the character. Earlier, the actor bows to the mask, to express his respect to the ancestors who had donned it before.
For Japan, the Edo epoch (1600–1868), under shogunate rule, was a time of isolation from all external influences, but also a time of prosperity and peace, solidified by the established social order (in a highly hierarchical society, everyone played a specific role – samurais constituted the most privileged class of the bakufu).
The originator of the idea of creating an artistic cabaret was Jan August Kisielewski, after his return from Paris. Cukiernia Lwowska [Lviv Confectionery], run by Jan Michalik, was a meeting place for the Kraków bohemians to which belonged students and graduates of the Academy...
The reconstruction of Kantor’s work on his performances is possible thanks to, among others, the video recordings of rehearsals which were made on the artist’s request, starting with the play Niech sczezną artyści [Let the Artists Die] from 1985. Forty eight hours of rehearsals were recorded during the preparation for the play Dziś są moje urodziny [Today Is My Birthday].
The Ludowy Theatre was opened on 3 December 1995. It was intended to provide the workers of Nowa Huta contact with art and high culture, thus contributing to the propagation of correct attitudes. During the inauguration of the theatre it was said that “it shall be the pioneer of socialist culture in the newly-built city“.
The situation for actresses of the city theatre at the beginning of the 20th century was not easy. Work conditions were difficult; contracts obliged actors to, for example, learn two sheets of prose or one sheet of poetry within twenty four hours (up to 100 new titles and revivals were played...
The black and white photograph shows the building of the Ludowy Theatre in Kraków-Nowa Huta from the side of the main entrance on Władimira Majakowskiego Street (today: Obrońców Krzyża Street).
The Artist’s table is a unique object, created for the performance, Today is my birthday, at the Cricot 2 Theatre, on which the artist worked, from October 1989 to early December 1990. Tadeusz Kantor died after one of the last rehearsals of the performance, on 8 December 1990. The premiere took place shortly after, in January 1991, at Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse; then, the performance was shown in 22 cities around the world until June 1992.
As a result of a competition, the costume and stage design for Karol Szymanowski's ballet, Harnasie, was prepared by Irena Lorentowicz, a stage designer and painter, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The costume design, including the drawings and models, has been exhibited since 24 April 1936 in the Orbis halls, located near the Opera building.
The sculpture represents a figure of a sitting woman depicted from the waist upwards. The woman is holding binoculars and slightly leaning out of the theatre box, assumedly to take a better look of the details of the artistic event in which she is participating. There is a satisfaction, or even reverie visible on her face. Is it because of the play?
Bike is an exhibit from Tadeusz Kantor’s performance Umarła klasa [The Dead Class].The premiere took place in the Krzysztofory Gallery in Kraków in November 1975. In the play was a prop of an “old man with a bicycle” going round and round, saying goodbye and leaving in step to the François waltz. The old man was played by Andrzej Wełmiński.