The Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty tells the story of one of the oldest towns in the Małopolska region and its inhabitants, including, among others, Saint John Cantius, Blessed Louise and Stanisław Jarząbek, a wood-carver. All exhibits which can be seen in the Museum came from and were donated by the town dwellers. The collection presents everyday activities performed by members of different social classes, including guild confraternities, a traditional peasant room and a 19th-century middle-class living room. In the museum we can become familiar with local furniture, small domestic appliances, craftsmen’s tools, musical instruments as well as traditional costumes.
The guild chests are one of the more interesting exhibits of the Museum in Kęty. In the museum one can also become acquainted with the details concerning Józef Piłsudski’s visit to Kęty together with his First Brigade of the Polish Legions at the beginning of 1915. Mainly documents and medals belonging to the legionnaires from Kęty as well as original photographs taken during Józef Piłsudski’s funeral are assembled here.

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 (2012),
Licencja Creative Commons

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

www.muzeum.kety.pl

Rynek 16,
32-650 Kęty


phone 33 845 31 07
page museum

Opening hours

Monday
closed
Tuesday
10.00 — 15.00
Wednesday
10.00 — 15.00
Thursday
12.00 — 17.00
Friday
10.00 — 15.00
Saturday
closed
Sunday
12.00 — 16.00

Ticket Prices

normal 5 PLN reduced 2,5 PLN guide services 15 PLN
Sunday — free admission
Objects

Painted dowry chest

Na podstawie ogólnej analizy można stwierdzić, że prezentowana malowana skrzynia posagowa spełnia wymogi kanonu skrzyń wadowickich. Skrzynia ma kształt pudła z wiekiem, a jej malatura jest wykonana w czterech kolorach: białym, żółtym, czerwonym i ciemnozielonym stanowiącym tło. Ściana frontowa posiada dwa pola zdobnicze w formie kwadratów; uproszczone motywy roślinne.

Painted dowry chest

Dowry chests used to be an inseparable element of the furnishings of almost every house. They were often passed down from generation to generation, repainted, renovated, and in time considerably differed in the colour and ornamentation of their original appearance. Time, fashion, and also wardrobes which were cheaper and cheaper and consequently more accessible, were their enemies. Cheap chests were usually made of softwood, which was often attacked by insects.

Chest of the tailors’ guild and related guilds in Kęty

The tailors’ guild chest is the oldest guild chest in the collection of the Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty. Tailors from Kęty set up one of the oldest guilds in town. Also, the oldest surviving charter issued by King Sigismund Augustus in 1558, mentioning the guild chest belonging to them. Unfortunately, the chest from that period has not survived, but a chest somewhat younger, made in 1792, belongs to the museum collection.

Sculpture showing “St. Anna” from 18th century

An altar sculpture showing an unknown saint, probably saint Anna, was made by an unknown artist in the 18th century. It supposedly comes from the wooden All Saints’ Church in Kęty which was dismantled on the command of Austrian authorities. The main reason for this decision was the poor technical condition of the building. Moreover, after the great fire which broke out in 1797, there were attempts to eliminate the wooden buildings from the centre in order to reduce the danger.

The Wilamowice folk costume

Kęty and the town of Wilamowice, which was exceptional as early as in the interwar period, lie 7 kilometres apart. Wilamowice was founded as a settlement around 1250 by a group of newcomers from Frisia and Flanders who took care of their culture throughout the centuries, including their own dress and language, so different from the one in the communities nearby.

Vessel for crushing crops (“stępa”) — with a place to sit on

Stępa vessels, also called groats mortars, were commonly used in many houses as early as in the interwar period. Grains of crops were shelled and crushed by them in order to obtain the groats, including among others millet groans, or peeled barley. Groats mortars were also used to crack, that is grind, grains, more rarely to break grains into meal, and even to press oil from flaxseed.

Dark brown earthen jug

Pottery products, which have accompanied people from the dawn of history, are associated mainly with folk mementos these days, while the function of pottery was successfully taken over by industrial products, not limited by fragile material.

Device — coffee roaster

Only a few of those who have visited the museum in Kęty are able to determine what the presented object was designed for. It is similar in shape to tea brewers, which were popular until recently, but its considerable size excludes this function. The device dates back to the 2nd half of the 19th century...

Corn chest — “sąsiek”

One of the rooms in a barn is traditionally called a mow (sąsiek). In this case, the name refers to a wooden chest, usually situated in a hall or in a chamber behind a hall, which was designed for keeping grains for sowing. A chest belonging to the collection of the Museum in Kęty is typical of southern Poland. Inside the chest are two chambers for two types of grain.

Cross of tailors' guild in Kęty

Znak cechowy w kształcie krzyża pochodzący z cechu krawców w Kętach. Został wykonany w 1912 roku. Znaki takie nazywano między innymi obesłaniami, biegunami, cechami. Pełniły funkcję komunikatów zwołujących rzemieślników należących do cechu na obrady. Obesłaniem zawiadamiano również braci cechowych o pogrzebach oraz świętach kościelnych i świeckich, w których byli zobowiązani uczestniczyć.

Cross of butchers' guild in Kęty

Obesłanie należące do rzeźników w Kętach służyło do wzywania braci rzemieślników na spotkania i różne uroczystości. Informacja przekazana z takim znakiem w ręku była bardzo ważna i należało ją uznać z całą odpowiedzialnością. Posłaniec idący z cechą, najczęściej był nim najmłodszy majster, pojawiał się w warsztacie lub domu rzemieślnika i informował o zarządzeniu starszyzny cechowej. Jeśli nikogo nie zastał, pozostawiał znak napisany kredą na drzwiach lub stole.

Plough, small plough, wooden two-sided lister

One exhibit which usually arouses substantial interest among visitors to the Museum in Kęty is the 19th-century wooden lister, which can also be called a plough or a small plough. A lister differed from a plough in the fact that it did not turn over a ridge during ploughing and because...

Legionary plaque of the town of Kęty

This plaque, like many similar ones in Galicia, was prepared in order to raise funds to support the widows and orphans of soldiers fighting during World War I. This manner of collecting money became popular during World War I. This was related to the financial burden that fell on the Austrian government. The reason for this was mainly the costs associated with the increasing number of wounded and victims.

Wooden pitchfork

Wooden forks, a popular simple agricultural tool, were commonly used until the first half of the twentieth century, when they were replaced by ever-cheaper iron forks. The type of fork used for spreading dung, displayed in the collections of the Museum in Kęty, could be found in southern Poland, as well as in the area of the present-day Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Sculpture “Ludowika from Kęty”

It is believed that this church sculpture, probably dating from the seventeenth century, represents the saintly Ludowika from Kęty, who lived from 1563 to 1623. Ludowika was born into a family of poor townsmen, and she spent the first period of her life in Kęty. At the age of 30, she joined a group of pilgrims heading for Rome. She remained in the Eternal City, where she joined the community of the Third Order of St. Francis.

Liturgical vessel

This tin dish, which has been identified as a church bowl, could have been used during baptism or other liturgical activities, for example, as a priest’s washbasin, a so-called lavabo. It probably comes from one of the wooden churches in Kęty, which was demolished on the orders of the Austrian authorities. These churches were located on Świętokrzyska and Wszystkich Świętych streets. They were pulled down after a serious fire in 1797.

Chest of the shoemakers’ guild in Kęty

The guild chest, often also called “the mother”, was the most important object for the guild brothers. It was connected with the functions it performed. First of all, it was a treasury, in which statutes, books, and other important documents were filed, and money and guild jewels were often hidden in its cleverly hidden secret box. Shoemakers in Kęty were exceptionally dynamic; they sought to conquer the neighbouring markets with their excellent products and succeeded in so doing.

Chest of the millers and bakers guild in Kęty

The guild chest was also called the treasury, counter or mother. This one, belonging to the guild of millers and bakers in Kęty, is made of sycamore wood and comes from the beginning of the nineteenth century. In contrast to the other guild chests from Kęty, it is simple in form; neither is there any hidden box nor decorative painting inside. What distinguishes it, are the beautiful fittings that make it appear very impressive.

Chest of the furierrs’ guild in Kęty

Kęty was a well-known handicraft centre. Furriers were also well-known among the many representatives of handicrafts cultivated here. They set up their own guild, which hat makers and tailors later joined. The museum's patron, Aleksander Kłosiński, also came from a furrier family and knew guild customs well. The furrier’s chest was probably made in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Toy “Wooden locomotive”

This wooden steam train was made by Tadeusz Matusiak in the German prison camp, Luckenwalde (Stalag III-A), in 1944. Tadeusz Matusiak, who was born in Kęty in 1907, was a house painter by profession; from an early age, he painted pictures and carved in wood with great passion. He was a very talented artist.