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

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

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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.

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.

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.

Sculpture “Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane”

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“Christ on the Cross” icon

Helena Dąbczańska is the famous Lviv collector of incunabula, prints, books, drawings, textiles, furniture; owner of a private museum decorated in their own villa and hostess Sunday mornings arts, which hosted representatives of the Lviv elite late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

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.

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

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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.

Wayside shrine “Pensive Christ”

Until 1968, the shrine stood by a rural road. Its principal part was made of a thick pine trunk, and the figure of Pensive Christ of lime wood. The shrine is crowned with a sloping roof, its front supported with two columns. The pillar has been preserved only partially. Pensive Christ is represented here as Christ the King, as a royal crown sits on top of the sculpture rather than a crown of thorns.

Pre Columbian bowl

Trójbarwna misa na pierścieniowatej stopce, zdobiona tak zwanym malunkiem negatywowym, z wykorzystaniem wosku jako materiału rezerważowego, należy do prekolumbijskiej wysokogórskiej kultury Carchi-Nariño z pogranicza dzisiejszego Ekwadoru i Kolumbii, datowanej na okres od około 700 lub 800 roku n.e. do 1500 roku n.e.

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.

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 Krakow guild in 1832. The tile comes from a stove which existed even in the interwar period in one of the Krakow 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 Krakow again.

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