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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.

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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. The photograph was taken in the 1970s in the summer. It is made with the pseudosolarization technique.
What is the history of Wolnica Square photographed here? Today’s name is derived from the Latin Forum liberum (the right to trade freely in meat outside the stalls) and exists since the end of the 18th century when Kazimierz was granted the privilege of free trade. Only the city hall survived from that time.
Currently, the Ethnographic Museum with a collection of folk art is located here. In 1996, a plaque commemorating the arrival of Jews in Poland in the Middle Ages was embedded in the building wall. The city hall of Kazimierz dates from the 14th century. Originally Gothic (relics from the 14th century are preserved in the basements). In 1578 and 1623, Renaissance forms of the building were preserved with crenelated attics and a tower covered with a tented roof. In 1829 the city hall was rebuilt for the needs of a vocational and trade school, in the 2nd half of the 19th century it was taken over by the Jewish community: a Jewish elementary school was located there. During the years 1875–1876 the city hall was expanded according to the design of Stefan Żołdani. The picture shows the fountain from 1970 with Bronisław Chromy’s sculpture Trzej grajkowie [Three buskers], contemporaneous with this picture.

Elaborated by Małgorzata Kanikuła (Museum of Photography in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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About the square which ceased to be the market square, about the town hall which was almost demolished and the plaque which was destroyed, but is still hanging

On the eastern wall of the former Town Hall in Kazimierz shown in the photo by Jan Motyka, there is a plaque commemorating the arrival of Jews in Poland. Originally the plaque was placed...

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A replica of the bas-relief by Henryk Hochman, The Arrival of the Jews in Poland in the Middle Ages, on the former Kazimierz town hall. Photo: Kinga Kołodziejska, arch. MIK (2012), CC-BY 3.0 PL

On the eastern wall of the former Town Hall in Kazimierz shown in the photo by Jan Motyka, there is a plaque commemorating the arrival of Jews in Poland. Originally the plaque was placed on the northern wall of the building where it was ceremoniously hung in 1907. At that time the Wolnica Square no longer functioned as the market square of the town of Kazimierz, which in 1800 was annexed to Kraków. The building automatically stopped functioning as the town hall. Being useless, it was even intended for demolition. However, in 1829 it was converted into a school of industry and commerce. Simultaneously, in the period of the Free City of Kraków (1815–1846), the Wolnica Square– almost as large as the Kraków Main Market Square – was reduced because of the need to extend Krakowska Street.
In the 2nd half of the 19th century, the building of the former town hall was taken over by the Jewish Community, which established an elementary school for Jewish children there and in the period from 1875 to 1876, it developed the building to the condition preserved until the 1960s (when the run-down building was restored). In 1907 the Community commissioned a plaque commemorating the fact that shelter was given to Jewish refugees from Germany to Poland by King Casimir the Great. Who was given this task? Well, the commission was granted to Henryk Hochman – the artist we already know from another work described in this portal; the disciple of Konstanty Laszczka and August Rodin. Hochman was the creator of the marble bust of Julian Fałat and the sculpted figure of actress Maria Modzelewska, a highly respected participant of national and foreign art exhibitions, who during the war – as a Polish citizen of Jewish origin – was deported to the Bochnia ghetto and shot in nearby Baczków in 1943.
Few of his works survived. Also his bas-relief commemorating the attitude of King Casimir to the Jews was destroyed by the Germans who occupied Kraków in the period from 1939 to 1945. A similar fate was met by the second plaque sculpted by Hochman depicting Queen Jadwiga, which was placed in the interior of the Jewish Community seat located  at the corner of Krakowska and Skawińska Streets (the Community returned to this building and occupies one storey, but the plaque has disappeared).
In 1996, on the occasion of a visit by the mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, to Kraków, the ceremonious restoration of the historical plaque, The Arrival of the Jews in Poland in the Middle Ages on the building of the former Kazimierz Town Hall, was held. Is this the same plaque which was destroyed during the occupation? Is it the work by Henryk Hochman? Well, it turned out that either this plaque or another one – very similar to the plaque by Henryk Hochman – was found in the National Museum in Warsaw. The bas-relief placed on the eastern wall of the town hall in the Wolnica Square is its faithful copy. The signature under the photo: a replica of the bas-relief by Henryk Hochman, The Arrival of the Jews in Poland in the Middle Ages, on the former Kazimierz town hall.

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 Kraków’s architecture. City Hall at Wolnica Square” by Jan Motyka
Sculpture ”Portrait Study”

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Jan Motyka

Jan Motyka (1924–2005) was a photographer from Kraków. The Museum of Photography in Kraków stores his extensive legacy, documented by catalogues of about 200 exhibitions in Poland, diplomas from international competitions (Poland, Romania, France, Great Britain, Spain, the USA, Singapore...

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Jan Motyka (1924–2005) was a photographer from Kraków. The Museum of Photography in Kraków stores his extensive legacy, documented by catalogues of about 200 exhibitions in Poland, diplomas from international competitions (Poland, Romania, France, Great Britain, Spain, the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong). In 1980, Jan Motyka showed photograms at the 4th National Exhibition of Artistic Photography, in 1972, in Spain, at the exhibition of sports photography; in the 80s, he received an award in Edinburgh; in the 90s — in Hong Kong. His first exhibition was held in 1964, at the First Salon of Artistic Photography in Gdańsk; one of the first exhibited photographs was entitled Smile. Therefore, firstly there were portraits and later a wide range of issues: sports, sports competitions for the disabled (1971), architecture, stills (Out of a cupboard drawer, the 70s); he received first prize for the series My Kraków; Jan Motyka used photomontage, isohelium, pseudosolarisation.

Elaborated by Małgorzata Kanikuła (Museum of Photography in Kraków), © all rights reserved

See also:
Kraków’s architecture. City Hall at Wolnica Square
Kraków’s architecture. Photomontage: white plane of the Main Market Square
Kraków’s architecture. The Cloth Hall in Kraków
Wawel: Cathedral’s courtyard

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Pseudo-solarisation

Pseudo-solarisation is associated with the Sabatier effect and is visually similar to solarisation. It is characterized by a partial reversal of the negative image to the positive one under the influence of additional — even illumining — photosensitive material during the development.

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Pseudo-solarisation is associated with the Sabatier effect and is visually similar to solarisation. It is characterized by a partial reversal of the negative image to the positive one under the influence of additional — even illumining — photosensitive material during the development. As a result of pseudo-solarisation, a positive image with a weaker negative image superimposed is created; both images are separated by a bright borderline called equidensity, created as a result of the Eberhard effect. Pseudo-solarisation was discovered in 1862 by the French zoologist Armand Sabattier. Probably, the main cause of pseudo-solarisation is the desensitization of the emulsion by the growing silver pieces. The master of pseudo-solarisation was the American painter and photographer Man Ray.

Elaborated by Małgorzata Kanikuła (Museum of Photography in Kraków), © all rights reserved

See photograph “Wawel: Cathedral’s courtyard” by Jan Motyka.

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

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