The Ethnographic Museum in Kraków was established on a basis of passion and respect for peasant culture, European cultures and the cultures of distant continents. It is a striking feature of this oldest and greatest ethnographic collection in Poland.
Apart from objects from the past and present areas of Poland (relics of folklore, craft, handicraft, wooden constructions, folk art), the Museum collection also contains unique items from other European and non-European countries.
The museum was established in 1911 thanks to the efforts of  Seweryn Udziela, a teacher, amateur ethnographer and collector. For the ethnographic museum, he envisaged a research workshop where one could “sit down to work and study the history as well as the current condition of the nations’ culture” (1904). Today, more than one hundred years after its establishment, the museum keeps pursuing the same goal: to document and interpret contemporary lifestyles.
By organising exhibitions, publications, workshops and research projects, the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków creates a space for and encourages discussion and debate. This is further achieved through the use of experiments and innovations. The Museum presents cultural information for our personal reflection, thus bringing into awareness their very existence. It also allows us to compare our current lifestyles to past ones.

Elaborated by The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, © all rights reserved

Photograph by Marek Antoniusz Święch, arch. MIK (2012),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

www.etnomuzeum.eu

ul. Krakowska 46,
31-066 Kraków


phone 12 430 60 23
Fax 12 430 63 30
phone 12 430 55 75 (Ratusz)
phone 12 430 63 42 (Dom Esterki)
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Opening hours

Monday
closed
Tuesday  — Wednesday
11.00 — 19.00

Ticket Prices

normal 13 PLN reduced 7 PLN family 23 PLN Sunday — free admission
Objects

White woollen apron

An apron to match the Kraków costume made of two gores of white thin woollen fabric with motifs of green twigs, roses and other pink and red flowers, and blue and pink tiny flowers and buds printed over it.

Apron for Kraków costume

An apron of white thin cotton cloth for the festive Krakow costume, full so as to cover the front and sides of a skirt, made from two widths of material, pleated, sewn into a narrow trim with cords formed on it. The apron is richly decorated with hand-made white punch and openwork pull out (toledo) embroidery, with a satin stitch.

“Turoń” (the type of horned creature) from Stary Sącz

Turoń (horned creature), or actually the head of one, i.e. a head of an animal with ears and horns made of several hefty pieces of wood nailed together and mounted on a stick. Originating from Stary Sącz (1908), this Turoń head, just like other similar exhibits from the very beginning of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, has been shown at the permanent exhibition in the form it was used in, i.e. as a part of an animal monster, a disguise of a member of a group of carollers.

Throne of Zanzibar

Throne, decorative chair (the attribute of power and dignity) of ebony wood, consisting of 6 elements connected by pins. The seat, backrest and footrest components made ​​from braided cord made ​​from palm leaves. Decorative elements located on the finial seat manufactured of ivory inlays.

Wooden snuffbox

A container in the shape of a human hand clenched into a fist, intended for storing snuff. It is made of oak, with a rectangular hollowed-out interior, covered with a thin lid. The plate of the lid is mounted on the wrist part with a leather hinge. It is finished with a ledge, which was used to raise the lid with a fingernail. The snuffbox is finished with dark brown French polish.

Nativity scene from Wieliczka

A model of a puppet nativity scene, symmetrical, with two storeys and five towers, provided with carrying handles on its sides. The entire structure is made of wood, the base and the upper floor of boards, and the frame from strips of wood. The walls are made of cardboard; the ground floor is covered with red paper with “bricks” painted with black ink and the walls of the upper floor and towers are covered with paper cut-outs in the shape of windows and star ornaments. The floors are separated with a decoration of horizontal, multicoloured stripes with silver teeth on the sides.

White sukmana coat — Bronowice costume

A men's sukmana coat with a mandarin collar, made of white cloth. The sleeves are finished with small trapezoid lapels, with two oblique pocket holes on the front, fastened with a brass hook and eye. The collar, sleeve lapels, and a slit on the front are lined with red cloth; the edges are finished with a red trim. The sukmana coat is adorned with amaranthine silk cord appliqués and similar motifs of thread bundles embroidered with silken threads.

Green woollen skirt

A skirt for a Kraków-style costume sewn from six green woollen fabric gores with pink-crimson-white motifs of single roses and yellow-claret ribbons. By means of delicate green stems, the roses are bunched together with blue flowers – rosettes with five petals separated from each other with small yellow circles.

Black woollen skirt for an old type of Bronowice costume

A woollen skirt machine-sewn from six gores of fabric, creased in its upper part. A small black tape sewn over the creasing changes into fastening strips at some point. The bottom part of the skirt is lined with a strip of patterned cotton fabric; the edge is finished with a blue trimmed tape.

Men's shirt collar stud

In the 19th century, jewellery was worn with folk costumes both by women and men who tied a red ribbon around the shirt collar or fastened the sides of the collar with a collar stud. It was usually made of an alloy of lead, zinc and nickel (bakfon — a material made of imitation silver). The collar stud was adorned with a bead, although few men could afford real coral beads, artificial or even bread beads were used much more often.

Hutsul saddle “tornycia”

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Chinese saddle from Harbin

The first exotic exhibit arrived in the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków as early as in the first year of its operation. This Chinese saddle from Harbin was given by Dr. Julian Juliusz Szymański, an ophthalmologist from Chicago, or actually from Kielce, located within the territory of the Russian Empire at the time.

Sculptures of young couple from Indonesia

Loro Blonyo – sculptures of a young couple representing Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice, and her husband Sadhono. The Loro Blonyo figures are an inseparable couple. Like the deities, they are considered symbols of fertility, granting the ability to have many descendants and to ensure good harvests, happiness, and prosperity, as well as a long life in good health and peace.

Sculpture “St. Onuphrius”

The sculpture originates from a wayside shrine and represents St. Onuphrius the hermit. The massively built saint is kneeling with his hands folded at the chest in prayer. He is naked, with his body covered only with his long hair and a beard with a surface underlined with carved undulating lines. He has a broad face, hair with a parting across the middle of the head, a straight long nose, opened eyes and lips surrounded by facial hair.

Sculpture “Our Lady with Baby Jesus”, Kurpie region

This sculpture made of a single block of wood depicts the Virgin Mary with Child. The sculpture is unique as regards depictions of Madonna with Child in the folk art of the Kurpiowszczyzna region.

Sculpture “Mother of God of Skępe”

Sculptures representing the Mother of God of Skępe were modelled after a Gothic figurine of Mary the Servant from the Bernardine Church in Skępe near Toruń. The legendary beginning of the sanctuary is associated with the year of 1495, when the church was founded and where the unusual glowing person had appeared.

The "Christ in Gethsemane" sculpture

The sculpture Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane is a depiction of the time when Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, just before he was taken captive. It may have been a fragment of a non-preserved composition showing Christ praying in the company of the sleeping apostles and an angel with a cup of bitterness, heralding future suffering.

Sculpture “Pensive Christ” by Leon Kudła

The author of this sculpture is thought to be one of the most eminent amateur artists. The sculpture represents a Pensive Christ. This image alludes to the Passion and is one of the most popular themes used among amateur and folk sculptors, producing numerous sculptural variations on the Pensive Christ: seated on the throne, half-naked or covered with a royal coat, with a royal crown or with a crown of thorns, with a sceptre in his hand or Adam's skull at his feet.

Sculpture “Angel” by Karol Wójciak

The author of the sculpture, Karol Wójciak, also known as Heródek (1892–1971), is considered to be one of the most original amateur artists. The angel is represented in a primitive way. Its head and torso are made up of a block of wood with a round section, truncated flat on both sides. The wings nailed to the back are made of triangular pieces of wood with a non-planed surface.

Bike

Tadeusz Seweryn (1894–1975) — Director of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków — describes this bike in the scientific catalogue sheet as follows: ”A bike made of wood by a cattleman, Franciszek Gucwa. The full wheels (spokeless) are connected with wooden ploughs. The front one has handlebars, heavily fitted with iron at the place where it is connected to the axis of the bike.

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