The mission of the Museum of Photography in Kraków is to care for the cultural heritage entrusted to it as well as to inspire others and show good photography practice. The permanent exhibition is devoted to the history of Polish photography, from its beginnings until 1939. It deals with matters of technique and camera technology, ornamentation and the collecting and storing of photographs. In the historic tenement house in Józefitów Street, there is a photo atelier designed to resemble that of one at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Museum houses a unique collection of travelling and studio cameras as well as photo equipment used in darkrooms during the last 150 years. Photographs documenting historical events, including stereoscopic photos commemorating the 1871 siege of Paris, events of the defensive war in September 1939 in Poland and pictures of Italian cities and Japanese landscapes, are important parts of the collection.

Elaborated by Julia Czapla, Joanna Kotarba,
Licencja Creative Commons

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

Photograph by Marek Antoniusz Święch, arch. MIK (2013),
Licencja Creative Commons

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

www.mhf.krakow.pl

ul. Królowej Jadwigi 220
30-216 Kraków


phone 12 634 59 32
Fax 12 631 04 55
page museum

Opening hours

Monday
closed
Tuesday  — Friday
11.00 — 18.00
Saturday
10.00 — 17.30
Sunday
10.00 — 15.30

Ticket Prices

normal 15 PLN reduced 10 PLN normal group 10 PLN reduced group 7 PLN Tuesday — free admission
Objects

The “Mercury” Stereoscope viewer by Underwood & Underwood

The “Mercury” Stereoscope is a Holmes system stereoscopic viewer for stereoscopic photographs, with a single 7 x 7 cm image, produced in 1900–1920 by Underwood & Underwood from New York (USA). One of the simplest designs of stereoscopic viewers was the “open” viewer system, invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1861. This was an extremely simple design, equipped with an eyepiece with lenses, including an appropriately curved wooden or metal sun visor. The Underwood & Underwood Company sold millions of stereoscopic photos, thanks to this very cheap production model of the viewer.

Stereoscopic camera by Heinrich Ernemann A.G. Company

This is a stereoscopic camera with a folding (scissor) structure for cut films, with a 5.5 x 12.5 cm format. The camera is equipped with two lenses: the Doppel Anastigmat DAGOR III 6.8/80, by CP Goerz of Berlin. The camera for stereoscopic photos was made between 1905 and 1910...

Stereoscope viewer from Austro-Hungary

The stereoscopic viewer of Brewster’s system for stereoscopic photos (slides), in the single 7 x 7 cm image format, was manufactured in Austria-Hungary in the early twentieth century...

Speed Graphic Camera

Speed Graphic cameras were first used in the 1930s. During the following decades, American photojournalists used large, reporter cameras, equipped with a rangefinder, usually in the format of 3¼ x 4¼ inches or 4 x 5 inches. These were usually the products of the American label of Graflex photographic equipment. The history of this company begins in 1887, as the company of William F. Folmer and William E. Schwing, producing gas lamps and bicycles. Ten years later in New York, Folmer & Schwing Manufacturing Co. began the production of cameras, which soon became its main product. In the years 1907–1926, the company belonged to Eastman Kodak (F.&S. Division of Eastman Kodak Co.), based in Rochester. The manufacturing plants re-established themselves, taking the name Folmer Graflex Corporation, and then, in 1945, Graflex Inc.

Ring — film projector produced in Germany

The Ring is an amateur cinematographic projector for 35 mm wide tape, made in 1900–1919 in Germany (Bavaria). The construction of the cinematograph constructed by the Lumière brothers in 1895 and the rapid development of film art ...

Primar Reflex camera

The Primar Reflex is a single-lens reflex camera for film and glass plates, in the format of 9 x 12 cm, produced in the years 1900–1918 by Curt Bentzin from Gőrlitz (Germany). The camera is equipped with a Carl Zeiss Jena Triotar 3.5 / 180 lens. The large body of the camera...

Pathé Baby film projector

Pathé Baby (COQ D'OR) — is an amateur cinematographic projector for a 9.5 mm film strip, produced in 1937–1940 by the Pathé Frères works in Paris. Founded in 1896, Société Pathé Frères...

Krokus enlarger

In 1954, with the launch of production of a twin-lens reflex camera Start, the production of photo processing accessories commenced in the Warsaw Photo-Optical Works. One such device was an enlarger named Krokus. This name was given to subsequent models of enlargers produced until the 1990s. Enlargers of this family bore additional digital marking, e.g. Krokus 3, 4 N Color, 44, 69S, and were produced for various negative formats. Enlargers from Warsaw Photo-Optical Works satisfied the needs of amateur photographers in Poland and many other countries, being a perfect export product for years.

Glass ashtray with a postcard representing the Spa House in Krynica

The exhibit in question is a glass ashtray with a rectangular base with hollows for cigarettes on longer sides. The base features a stuck colour photograph in the size of a postcard representing the Spa House in Krynica. The lower middle section of the image features an inscription: “Curhaus — Krynica”.

Ernoflex — camera by Heinrich Ernemann A.G. Company

The Ernoflex (Model II) is a single-lens reflex camera with a folding structure, for cut film and glass discs, with a 9 x 12 cm format, produced in 1910–1920, by the company Heinrich Ernemann AG from Dresden (Germany). The camera body is double-folded, made entirely of metal, and covered with black leather with a decorative texture.

Ensign Midget (model 55) — a miniature camera

Ensign Midget Model 55 — a miniature camera designed to take the Ensign E 10 type of film and deliver photographs in the 3.5 x 4.5 cm format. The camera was manufactured between 1934 and 1940 by a London-based company called Houghton (UK).

Duchessa Stereo — stereoscopic camera by Contessa Nettel A.G. Company

This is a foldable stereoscopic camera for glass discs, with a 4.5 x 10.7 cm format. The camera is equipped with two lenses — Tessar 1: 4.5 f = 6.5 cm—by Carl Zeiss from Jena. It took pictures (stereo-pair) on a 4.5 x 10.7 cm....

Detective camera by V. Bischoff Company

The detective camera was produced around 1890 by V. Bischoff from Munich (Germany). It is a very rare camera, with a hand-held 9x12 cm disc changer, that allows you to quickly take 12 photos.

Coronet Midget — minature camera by Coronet Camera Company

The Coronet Midget is a miniature 16 mm film camera, with frame format of 13 x 18 cm, produced in 1935 by the Coronet Camera Company from Birmingham (Great Britain). The camera is equipped with a Taylor Hobson lens...

Atelier camera, R.A. Goldmann Company

This is an atelier camera made between 1890 and 1900 at the R.A. Goldmann company in Vienna. It has been meticulously manufactured and records photos on “dry” glass plates with a maximum format of 18 x 24 cm. It is equipped with a portrait lens, produced in 1897 by Voigtländer & Sohn from Braunschweig (Germany).

Atelier camera produced in Germany

This is an atelier camera for “dry” glass plates with a maximum format of 18 x 24 cm, produced in the 1880s by an unknown manufacturer in Germany. The lens is from a later date (an 1890–1920 Aristostigmat 7 6.5/360), produced by Meyer...

“Zakopane. Highlanders in front of the church”

The photograph shows a big group of highlanders standing by a new parish church at Krupówki (the Church of Sacred Family). It is 1901. The picture can give you some idea about highlanders’ dress and customs, and shows a fragmentary view of the new church back then. A part of an album from a Kraków family of Pusłowscy, the picture is a great example of amateur toned black and white photography.

“Wawel: Cathedral’s courtyard”

This artistic photograph by Jan Motyka presents Wawel outlined with a white line, a side elevation of the Wawel cathedral with the Silver Bells’ Tower, Wawel itself, and Sigismund’s chapel. In the foreground, two men are standing in the alley; one is standing in front of the easel...

“The monastery of SS. Norbertine”

This photograph presents a view of the convent complex from the south-east side, from the bank of the Vistula. On the right, we see a silhouette of the church facade, with a roof with a turret for a signature, next to a clock tower with a high dome. From the left side, there is a complex of convent buildings with an elongated wing from the south; from the front, there is a high wall...

“The main gate to Henryk Jordan’s Park”

The photograph shows the main gate of the Henryk Jordan park in Kraków. In the foreground, the road has been flattened (currently, 3 May Avenue), behind which there is a wooden bridge on the River Rudawa. Next, we see a tall wooden gate, with the inscription: Miejski/ Park Dra Jordana. In the background, on the left, a wooden pavilion designated the main pavilion...