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.

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ul. Krakowska 46,
31-066 Kraków


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Opening hours

Monday
closed
Tuesday  — Sunday
10.00 — 19.00

Ticket Prices

normal 13 PLN reduced 7 PLN normal group 10 PLN reduced group 5 PLN family 20 PLN Sunday — free admission to permanent exhibitions

Hurdy-gurdy from Łękawka

Hurdy-gurdy was an instrument known across Europe whose history dates back to the Medieval period. In the Polish territories, as early as the beginning of the 20th century, the tradition of playing this instrument was in decline. A hurdy-gurdy was one of the instruments used to perform church, court and folk music. Hurdy-gurdy performances accompanied dances and songs.

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.

“Arjuna” — “Wayang Golek” theatre puppet

IIt is a Wayang Golek theatre puppet representing one of the main positive characters of Mahabharata — noble Arjuna. He is the son of Kunti and Pandu, the third of five noble Pandava brothers; a perfect archer. He has a number of nicknames and names: the luminous, the glowing, the silver, the winner, the owner of the Gandava bow and many others.

“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.

Toy “Lajkonik’s march” by Jan Oprocha (father)

A toy cart, or actually a platform on wheels with holes to thread a pulling cord through and 31 figurines arranged on it, rocking while the toy is pulled. The whole toy, including the platform and the figurines, is made of polychrome wood. The rectangular platform with its bevelled corners and wheels are painted green. The edges are coated with white, yellow and pink paint, and the spokes are marked with yellow, blue and red.

Spoons of the Ainu people

Rise spoon A flat spoon made from a single piece of wood, with a paddle-like bowl with a triangular ending, and with the handle also having a triangular end. It is decorated with a characteristic geometric ornamentation in the form of a plaited rope, hinges and various cuts.

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.

Easter egg from Kaunas

This Easter egg might illustrate the roads by which the objects (including Easter eggs) arrived there in the first years of existence of the Ethnographic Museum of Seweryn Udziela in Kraków . Sometimes, entire collections gathered over the years, and sometimes only individual items were donated here—the result of social sacrifice, fascination and exploration of folklore, and sometimes accidental encounters.

Kraków Bronowice cottage

The model was made in 1901 by Bronowice carpenters under the supervision of Włodzimierz Tetmajer and with the participation of a painter, Antoni Procajłowicz. The piece was commissioned by Jerzy Warchałowski on the occasion of the First Exhibition of the Polish Applied Arts Society in Kraków.

The “Christ on the Cross” icon

Helena Dąbczańska is a famous Lviv collector of incunabula, engravings, books, drawings, fabrics and furniture; the owner of a private museum organized in her own villa and the hostess on artistic Sunday mornings for representatives of the Lviv elite at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Kraków’s bed

Kraków’s bed made from soft wood has signature 1 in the collection of the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków. It was the first object, which started museum’s collection.

Tibetan medicine set

A part of the Ethnographic Museum's collection, the so-called Tibetan medicine set is one of a few complete 19th/20th-century descriptions of Tibetan medicine in the world, including a set of medicines and a description of their application. It consists of two medical manuscripts and almost 300 medicines, or actually products to prepare them such as seeds, plants, fruit and minerals, mostly labelled in the Tibetan language.

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.

Staff with a hatchet

The staff of beech wood, of hexagonal intersection, slightly flattened, even along its entire length. It is equipped with a brass handle, in the shape of a hatchet with a slightly rounded blade. On the top of the axe there is the so-called cone a brass, oval shaped inscription inscribed in a rectangle, fastened with four nails.

Ceramic tile “Maryna’s discipline”

Ceramic corner tile taken from a clay stove, the so-called heater. It was made by the pottery workshop of Jan Oksitowicz, a potter enrolled in the Kraków guild in 1832. The tile comes from a stove which existed even in the interwar period in one of the Kraków tenement houses belonging to the Tarnowski family. After World War II, the stove stood in the former residence of this family in Dzików near Tarnobrzeg, from where, dismantled, it found its way to Kraków again.

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.

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.

Procession float, obverse: “Heart of Our Lady”, reverse: “Heart of Jesus”

Set on a profiled base with bar holes is a picture painted on both sides of a board, presented in a simple frame, flanked with a wavy ribbon on the sides and topped with a decoratively cut peak with a cross. The structure of the procession float is painted with oil based cobalt paint.

Pre Columbian bowl

This three-coloured bowl on an annular foot, decorated with so-called negative painting, using wax as a reserve material, belongs to the pre-Columbian Carchi-Nariño highland culture from the border of today's Ecuador and Colombia, dating back to around 700 or 800 AD and 1500 AD.

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.

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