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

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 Kraków 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.

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.

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.

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.

Throne of Zanzibar

The throne, a decorative armchair (attribute of power and dignity) of ebony, consisting of 6 parts joined with pegs. The seat, backrest elements and footrest were made of cord woven from palm leaves. The decorations topping the backrest were made with the technique of inlaying with ivory. The outer edges of the backrest and footrest are decorated with wooden carvings in the form of spheres.

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.

Jewel Box

This large container with a low barrel-shaped belly, a wide neck and an attached hemispherical lid with an arched handle is decorated with an engraved geometrical and plant ornament. These decorations are based on an adherence to the principles of symmetry and harmony according to Quran teachings. The container was made with great attention paid to its appearance and beauty as it is to be a reflection of a better world and to bring good luck.

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.

Hutsul saddle “tornycia”

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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.

Bow harp

Between 1882 and 1885 (although Poland did not exist on world maps), the first Polish Research Expedition to Africa was conducted. It was the first Polish research project to ever have been run in Africa. The exhibition was curated by the exhibition originator Stefan Szolc-Rogoziński.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”).

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