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

“Henryk Jordan’s Park”

The photograph shows an alley in Henryk Jordan’s Park with two distant busts of famous personalities. The white marble-sculpted busts are a noteworthy detail, the Barthesian punctum, or the intriguing elements of the picture. The bushes make up an evenly trimmed hedge. It is a stereoscopic photograph, a single print with two separate shots.

“Portrait of two boys”

The photograph shows two boys in Kraków costumes. The photo is exceptional since it presents genuine Kraków costumes from the 1860–1880 period. On the left you can see a boy turned ¾ to the left. He is wearing a light russet coat and a Kraków four-cornered hat and is holding an Easter palm in his right hand propped against the ground. The other boy, taller and clad in a similar russet coat and a hat with feathers, is standing behind the boy with his hand on his shoulder.

“Block of flats being constructed — Kraków, Nowa Huta”

The photograph shows four people: two women, a man, and a boy. They look at the excavator digging the soil out for the foundations and loading it onto the truck. On the right, there is a young woman wearing a braid with a briefcase in her hand, standing with her back turned on the right side of the frame, and a man in a suit.

“Magic Lantern” — slide projector by ICA

“The magic lantern” is a slide projector made on 8 x 8 cm diaphragm glass plates, produced by the ICA company from Dresden, in the years 1909–1926. Established in 1909 from the merger of several Dresden photographic equipment factories, the large ICA (Internationale...

“Magic Lantern” — slide projector from Austro-Hungary

“Magic Lantern” – a projector for large-format transparencies framed in glass frames with a maximum format of 15 x 15 cm. The projector was produced over the years 1890–1918 by an unknown manufacturer in Austro-Hungary. Magic lanterns were devices known since the Renaissance times, used for projecting pictures painted on glass onto the screen. Later, they began to be used for displaying photographic images – diapositives.

“The Lajkonik is offered a treat in front of the Town Hall”

Lajkonik is photographed slightly from the bottom, framing the torso, turned to the right. He is holding a cup in his hand; he is receiving something to drink. The City Hall is visible in the background. The photograph was taken in the 1960s or 70s. It belongs to a series of five photos by the same author...

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...

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).

“Kraków’s architecture. The Cloth Hall in Kraków”

The photograph shows a view of the Cloth Hall from the side of the Adam Mickiewicz monument and the St. Mary’s Basilica. There are interesting details: in the background behind the Cloth Hall you can see the dome of the town hall tower with many passers-by in front of the building. There are the umbrellas of the stalls selling flowers, many pigeons and a tree. The foreground features the pavement slabs from the 1960s . On the ground and in the upper parts of the monuments there are thick white painted lines, standing out from the grey and black.

“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...

“Kraków’s architecture. Photomontage: white plane of the Main Market Square”

Photomontage: a white plane of the Main Market Square, the Adam Mickiewicz Monument, the Cloth Hall, outlines of the Wawel Castle and churches — all made of black paper columns with white letters overprinted. What draws our attention is the calendar page dated “March 8, International Women’s Day.”

“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.

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”.

“Kraków’s architecture. City Hall at Wolnica Square”

The photograph presents a view of Wolnica Square. In the foreground of the photograph stands the city hall of Kazimierz (today the Ethnographic Museum), with the tower and gable of the Corpus Christi Church, tenements at Krakowska Street and tall deciduous trees in the background.

“Main Market Square in Kraków. May 3rd Constiution Day in 1919”

This is an amateur photograph in which an important historical event has been captured. It was made by an unknown author on 3 May 1919 in Kraków. On the Market Square, the infantry is in the foreground; next, the artillery — set in a double row, back to the photographer. Sukiennice [The Cloth Hall] was decorated with flags and the Polish emblem. Many groups of civilians stand under them. A field mass is taking place, organised by artillery and cavalry. Under the arcades of the central part of the Cloth Hall, on the side of Szewska street, an altar was organised which was decorated with flowers and emblems of national colours. From the side of the town hall there are Kraków units represented by the 13th Infantry Regiment with an orchestra, 20th Infantry Regiment of the Kraków Land and 8th Uhlan Regiment.

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.

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...

“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...

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.

“Danube channel — Vistula — 2”

Kraków was to become an important hub for water transport. The idea came to light in 1901, when the Vienna State Council adopted the so-called the Koerber Act (from the name of the Austrian Prime Minister Ernst von Koerber, initiator of its adoption). The venture had a huge budget (1 billion kroner); it assumed the construction of new waterways...