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- Author designed by Wojciech Brzega
- Performed by made by Jan Śliwka
- Date of production ca.1902
- ID no. S/623/b/MT
- Object copyright The Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
Apart from paintings and sculptures, the collection of the Art Department of the Tatra Museum also includes a rich set of furniture. The visitors are particularly attracted to the Zakopane-style furniture. A desk and a chair designed by Wojciech Brzega can be seen, among other things, on permanent display at the Museum of the Zakopane Style at the Koliba Villa.more
Utility and artistic national duty...
Apart from paintings and sculptures, the collection of the Art Department of the Tatra Museum also includes a rich set of furniture. The visitors are particularly attracted to the Zakopane-style furniture. A desk and a chair designed by Wojciech Brzega can be seen, among other things, on permanent display at the Museum of the Zakopane Style at the Koliba Villa. The desks were constructed by combining a lectern, a table and a chest of drawers, most likely in the 17th century. Over time, it became more and more difficult to imagine a study without this piece of furniture as it was used not only to write, but also to store documents and letters, as well as valuable trinkets. The desk designed by Wojciech Brzega was made by Jan Śliwka for Bronisława Kondratowiczowa, who was fascinated by photography, collecting, as well as the Zakopane style and its origins. This piece of furniture was presented at the exhibition of the "Polish Applied Arts" Society in 1902. The desk legs, whose outer edges are slightly bent, were carved. A drawer decorated with lilies can be found under the desktop with serrated edges. The desktop is enclosed by a small balustrade of hearts on three sides. On the right, there is an upper section consisting of a small cabinet and storage compartments. The desk forms a set with a chair designed by the same artist. Chairs were known as early as ancient Egypt. They are pieces of furniture of a framework structure, with a backrest but usually without arms. The piece of furniture from the collection of the Tatra Museum has all the aforementioned features. It is also characterised by beautiful decorations in the Zakopane style. Its legs and openwork backrest are ornamented with hearts, rosettes and lilies, which were made with great precision, and they fit the furniture structure perfectly. The artist graduated from the department of ornamental sculpture of the Wood Industry School in Zakopane. He continued his education in sculpture in Kraków, Munich and Paris. He designed his first furniture in 1896 and from 1903 he made it in his own workshop for many years. Apart from finished objects, the museum collection also includes numerous designs by the artist. Years later, Wojciech Brzega wrote in his memoirs, “I believed in Witkiewicz and it seemed to me that I would fulfil the obligation of a Pole and highlander citizen by working in this trend. I dedicated a good deal of life to working on the Zakopane style in furniture.” The Zakopane style created by Stanisław Witkiewicz was to refer to both architecture and applied arts. This artist and art critic, who settled permanently in Zakopane in 1890, tried to win over the widest possible group of supporters and collaborators to his idea. He encouraged local artists to make various objects (not just furniture) with a graceful decoration consisting of lilies, rosettes and hearts. The initiator's intention was that the style was to go beyond the borders of a Podhale village and become the first Polish national style, which was particularly significant given the contemporary political situation of Poland. Hence the words of Wojciech Brzega, who considered it his civic duty to work with patterns that, despite having been developed anew by Stanisław Witkiewicz, after all, had their roots in his native land.
Elaborated by Julita Dembowska (The Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane), © all rights reserved