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)
page museum

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
Objects

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.

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 Julian Juliusz Szymański PhD, an ophthalmologist from Chicago, or actually from Kielce, located within the territory of the Russian Empire at the time.

Women's shoes with uppers from Mników

Women's calf-length boots made from black leather from the Krakow costume are an example of Hungarian style boots. These are the oldest type of boots, which were characterised by stitching two pieces of leather together on the sides. The upper layers of the boots are stiffened at the top, and in the lower part the skin is characteristically concertinaed (“bellows”).

Women's shoes hungarian style for Kraków costume

A pair of women's boots in a Hungarian style for the Kraków costume, made of black tanned leather, stiffened inside with pale cow skin. These boots have two-piece uppers stitched on the sides and stiffened at the top; in the lower part, at the ankles, the skin is characteristically concertinaed (“bellows”).

Women's shirt for Bronowice costume

A women's blouse for the Kraków costume made of white cotton, decorated with handmade embroidery white, hole and satin stitch. Cut with yoke, without a collar. In the middle of the front, a slit about 27 cm long, fastened under the neck with a button. Long sleeves, gathered at the top, finished with embroidered cuffs.

Women's cropped jacket

A few kinds of cropped jackets were used around Kraków, though the most popular and liked ones were those worn by Kraków women in the Young Poland time. Cropped jackets emerged as a popular piece of women's attire in the 1960s and 1970s, though their history dates back to as far as the 19th century.

Wedding scarf from Raciborowice

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Wedding scarf for Kraków costume

A White headscarf tied into a bonnet for the Kraków costume, decorated with flat and punch embroidery. Two sides of the scarf are cut in an openwork teeth style with small holes, the other two sides are more richly decorated. Above the openwork teeth there is a frieze composed of hemstitched and punched cone motifs. Moreover, in the spaces between the cones, there are six-petal punched flowers and embroidered small branches with leaves.

Velvet corset for Kraków costume

A woman's corset for the Kraków costume from Bronowice, made of velvet, composed of two front parts, and with a flounce sewn on to it on the back, laid in thirteen folds. The front is fastened with hooks and eyes. It has a white lining and is decorated with haberdashery bands of metal gold and silver threads, and decorative buttons, beads, and sequins.

Tree of life “Gunungan” — shadow theatre figure “wayang kulit purwa” from Indonesia

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photograph “Selling palms to be consecrated at St. Mary’s Church in Kraków” by Leopold Węgrzynowicz

Exhibits given to the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków by Leopold Węgrzynowicz include sculptures, paintings on glass, costumes, archival records, items related to rites... However, the Museum owes much more to Węgrzynowicz than shown by inventory sheets, which he even co-created in the first years of the Ethnographic Museum's operation, helping to catalogue and inventorise the Museum's exhibits.

Men's shoes for Kraków costume

Men's calf-length boots for the Kraków costume, made of black Russian leather. The main stitch is at the back of the boot. The boots have an isolated vamp, counters and a two-piece upper. The upper is stiffened at the top and lined with leather, at the bottom it is soft and lined with linen.

Men' tunic for Bronowice Costume

A man's kaftan without a collar and sleeves, sewn by hand and made of deep dark blue factory cloth. On the back, below the waist, there are three slits dividing the kaftan's bottom into four laps, the so-called gills. The lining and trimming are made of red cloth. On the front, the pockets are covered with pentagonal lapels.

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.

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.

Hutsul cane “kełef”

A solid wooden cane topped by a brass handle; an exhibit in the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, inventory number 15457/MEK. It has often been displayed during many on-site and off-site exhibitions, and published in descriptions and photographs; on a day-to-day basis, it is stored meticulously wrapped in acid-free paper in a cardboard box on a shelf in a depository of the Museum's collections. It is quite valuable as it is one of only four similar items, the so-called kełefs, in the Museum's collection.

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