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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.

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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. Both of them are wearing high boots, the boys have their hands in their coat pockets. The right lower side of the picture features an inscription reading “123,” probably the number of the photography portrait series with scenes featuring Kraków costumes.
The picture was produced with the albumen technique based on simple reagents such as albumen, silver nitrate, and table salt. Invented in 1851 and popularised by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, it was the first common method of making paper prints out of negatives. Later, Krieger worked with collodion as well as with the bromide and gelatine processes.
The toned and coloured (the red edging of the russet coats) black and white photograph is glued onto a white cardboard with a red frame over the lower margin and the inscription “I. Krieger.” The piece features a red lithographic vignette on the back, an overprint featuring an architectural decorative motif with an inscription in the middle of it: “I. Krieger / Photographer in Kraków / at the Main Market Square at ul. / św. Jana in / the corner house no. 37,” the inscription “Copyrights reserved” in the lower part.
Ignacy Krieger’s models were, in this case, real Kraków inhabitants. The collection from the Museum of Photography in Kraków has many other folk photographs, including a portrait of a coachman (MHF 1203/II). The museum’s collections also boast photographs of bourgeois and gentry children, photographed in Kraków and highland costumes, common practice in the late 19th century.
The value of the photographs in question stems from the fact that they were taken by Ignacy Krieger (1817 or 1820–17/06/1889 in Kraków), a Kraków photographer who took numerous photographs of the city, its monuments and inhabitants. He travelled abroad to improve his skills. He made portraits and photographs of an ethnographic nature, photographs of newly completed Kraków buildings, including photographs of the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre and the Adam Mickiewicz Monument — a part of the collection from the Museum of Photography in Kraków and showed as part of its permanent exhibition. Ignacy Krieger was buried at a new Jewish cemetery. His children, Natan and Amalia, were photographers, too. Ignacy Krieger’s oeuvre is kept at the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków. It is composed of about 9000 films with photographs by Ignacy, Natan and Amalia. Unfortunately, the studio equipment has dispersed.

Elaborated by Museum of Photography in Kraków, © all rights reserved

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Amalia Krieger, photographer

She was known in broad communities by artists and citizens both in Kraków and throughout Poland. She was widely liked for her personality and artistic background...

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“She was known in broad communities by artists and citizens both in Kraków and throughout Poland. She was widely liked for her personality and artistic background (…). She devoted her life to work related to photographing monuments (…) of her beloved city of Kraków and Poland. Showing utmost diligence and reverence, she spared no effort in collecting new film rolls and enlarging the collection left by her brother and father“.

Nowy Dziennik, 27/09/1928

Who knows if we would be able to looks at Ignacy Krieger’s photographs if it hadn’t been for the efforts of his daughter, Amalia Krieger (1846–1928)? It was she who had set up a foundation for the preservation of her father’s oeuvre two years before she died herself. With no more strength to run the family business, she gave the municipality of Kraków the entire studio equipment and the thousands of film rolls gathered for many years. The donation went to the Museum of Industry and then to the Library of the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1967, the precious collection found shelter in the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków. Unfortunately, the studio equipment was not preserved.
Amalia was not only a guardian of her father’s oeuvre, she was also professionally committed to photography. From Ignacy Krieger’s five children, it was she and her brother Natan who devoted themselves to running the family photography studio located on the corner of Kraków’s Main Market Square and św. Jana Street. After Ignacy had died in 1889, the business was officially taken over by his son Natan. But in fact both siblings ran it together. Amalia became the official and independent owner of the Krieger studio in 1903 after her brother’s death, and managed it until 1926. She continued, thus, to personally photograph wealthy Kraków inhabitants in the family studio. She also continued cooperation with the Society of the Fans of Kraków History and Monuments, which she was a member of herself. Famous Krieger photographs of Kraków monuments were featured in Rocznik Krakowski [Kraków Annual] published by the Society. Today, they provide an invaluable source of knowledge about Kraków’s look of that time. It is hard to tell which photographs were taken by Ignacy and which by Amalia or Natan, as the siblings signed their own photographs with their father’s name, even after his death. This makes it difficult to identify authorship of the photographs to this day. They were taken by the Kriegers: Ignacy, Natan and also Amalia, who additionally made great efforts to preserve the collection of great significance to Kraków and the region of Małopolska.

Elaborated by Kinga Kołodziejska (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

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

See also: Photograph Portrait of two boys by Ignacy Krieger

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Kraków costumes

In 1903, the Publishing Committee of the Anthropological Committee of the Academy of Learning, along with Włodzimierz Tetmajer and Seweryn Udziela, undertook the challenge of describing the richness of folk costumes, beginning with Kraków ones.
The usual male headgear...

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In 1903, the Publishing Committee of the Anthropological Committee of the Academy of Learning, along with Włodzimierz Tetmajer and Seweryn Udziela, undertook the challenge of describing the richness of folk costumes, beginning with Kraków ones.
The usual male headgear was cylinder and the haircutting was done by barbers, putting pots on their customers’ heads to achieve ideally even haircut.
Interestingly enough, according to Włodzimierz Tetmajer, “the outfit (...) of the peasant is the reflection of the former noblemen attire and today’s bourgeois dress, and it has been changing simultaneously with them“ — and thus the hat widely worn by peasants took origin in higher social strata.
It was typical of the inhabitants of the entire Kraków district to distinguish between maidens and married women by their hairstyle. Maidens (commonly referred to as “girls“) plaited their hair into two plaits, which stuck from their bonnet headscarves, additionally decorated with artificial flowers. They also stuck pins with colourful heads into their headscarves.
Married women cut their hair and allowed tufts of hair (icki) to stick out of their scarves. Once married, they never went anywhere with their heads uncovered. Previously headscarves had been tied at the back, though at the beginning of the century the custom of headscarves tied below the chin started to become popular.
Additionally, maidens would decorate their headscarves with bouquets of artificial flowers.

Elaborated by Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

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

See the Kraków dress as captured by Tadeusz Rząca.

See also:
Men’s tunic for Kraków costume

Men’s shirt for Kraków costume
Apron for Kraków costume

White woollen apron

Velvet corset for Kraków costume

Women’s shirt for Kraków costume

Green woollen skirt

Black woollen skirt for an old type of Bronowice costume

Chequered skirt

Wedding scarf

Women’s shoes hungarian style for Kraków costume

Men’s shoes for Kraków costume

Celender” hat for Kraków costume

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Palm Sunday customs

The custom of blessing Easter palms dates back to the Middle Ages. Palms were a symbol of resurrection, they played an important role, ensuring good crops, a long life, and even... a good death. Sticking palm branches into the roof of a house or farm buildings guaranteed protection from lightning strikes or fire...

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The custom of blessing Easter palms dates back to the Middle Ages. Palms were a symbol of resurrection, they played an important role, ensuring good crops, a long life, and even... a good death. Sticking palm branches into the roof of a house or farm buildings guaranteed protection from lightning strikes or fire.
Traditional palms were made of willow twigs with catkins – in unfavourable weather conditions, if the spring did not come quickly, they were picked earlier and put into water, so that the buds would shoot. The twigs of currants or raspberries, which were picked on Ash Wednesday and kept in water until Palm Sunday, were treated similarly.
The catkins also played an important role in a series of rituals that had to be performed using a palm tree. To protect against a sore throat in the coming year, it was necessary to eat a catkin...
However, this is not the end – according to the custom, fragments of a palm tree had to be distributed all over the house. Some of the twigs were used to make crosses, which were stuck into the ground at the four corners of a field. This action was to effectively deter rodents and ensure good crops.
The vast array of uses offered by the palm tree meant that affluent residents who kept considerable riches or had become wealthy quickly had to fulfil their duty and get palms which, with every passing year, were increasingly bigger. Over time, their size became an indicator of a person’s social position. Although the customs of exposing the cattle to the fumes of incense or protecting the field using fragments of palms have disappeared, the practice of competing against other people in terms of the size of their palms is still alive and well. Competitions are organized in the spirit of this rivalry, among which the one in Lipnica Wielka is the best known.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolskas Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

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

See:

Photograph “Selling palms to be consecrated at St. Mary’s Church in Kraków” by Leopold Węgrzynowicz
Photograph “Portrait of two boys” by Ignacy Krieger
Sculpture “Jesus Christ Sitting on the Palm Sunday Donkey”

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“Portrait of two boys”

Pictures


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