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“Children at their desk” (“The Dead Class”, 1989)

Children at their deskfrom Umarła klasa [The Dead Class] is an art work (installation) by Tadeusz Kantor created in the spring of 1989 in the Cricoteka facilities on Kanonicza Street. It is one of several examples of works by this artist, drawing upon the idea of the Umarła klasa [The Dead Class] performance (version of A boy at his desk from The Dead Class, School Class — Closed Work, various kinds of drawings, sketches and paintings from the years 1975–1990) that was specially prepared for the future Museum of the Cricot 2 Theatre.

“Camera/Mr Daguerre’s invention” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

Kantor observed some analogy between photography and shooting, between a group posing for a photograph and a group of recruits lined up in a row. This field of association was used in one of the images from Wielopole, Wielopole, a performance that continued the themes/motifs from Umarła klasa [The Dead Class].

Sculpture “Angel” by Karol Wójciak

The author of the sculpture, Karol Wójciak, also known as Heródek (1892–1971), is considered to be one of the most original amateur artists. The angel is represented in a primitive way. Its head and torso are made up of a block of wood with a round section, truncated flat on both sides. The wings nailed to the back are made of triangular pieces of wood with a non-planed surface.

“Arjuna” — “Wayang Golek” theatre puppet

IIt is a Wayang Golek theatre puppet representing one of the main positive characters of Mahabharata — noble Arjuna. He is the son of Kunti and Pandu, the third of five noble Pandava brothers; a perfect archer. He has a number of nicknames and names: the luminous, the glowing, the silver, the winner, the owner of the Gandava bow and many others.

“Turoń” (the type of horned creature) from Stary Sącz

Turoń (horned creature), or actually the head of one, i.e. a head of an animal with ears and horns made of several hefty pieces of wood nailed together and mounted on a stick. Originating from Stary Sącz (1908), this Turoń head, just like other similar exhibits from the very beginning of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, has been shown at the permanent exhibition in the form it was used in, i.e. as a part of an animal monster, a disguise of a member of a group of carollers.

Toy “Lajkonik’s march” by Jan Oprocha (father)

A toy cart, or actually a platform on wheels with holes to thread a pulling cord through and 31 figurines arranged on it, rocking while the toy is pulled. The whole toy, including the platform and the figurines, is made of polychrome wood. The rectangular platform with its bevelled corners and wheels are painted green. The edges are coated with white, yellow and pink paint, and the spokes are marked with yellow, blue and red.

Sculpture “Jesus Christ Sitting on the Palm Sunday Donkey”

The sculpture, coming from the parish church of St. Sigismund in Szydłowiec, constitutes an extraordinary dramatic exhibit used during processions of going to church on Palm Sunday as to a symbol of Jerusalem. Christ, in a firmly upright position, is raising his right hand in a gesture of blessing.

“Young couple” (“I Shall Never Return”, 1988)

Young Couple is an object of spectacle Cricot 2 Qui non ci torno più (I Shall Never return), which was created in Kraków and Milan in 1987–1988. The premiere took place on 23 June 1988 at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan. The play I Shall Never return is a summary of previous work of Tadeusz Kantor's theater.

“The Cross” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

The “Cross” is a stage element from the Wielopole, Wielopole performance at the Cricot 2 Theatre. The premiere took place in Florence in June 1980 in a building that was formerly a monastery at 25 via Santa Maria. What is symptomatic here is that, apart from the discussed cross, the Wielopole, Wielopole play featured 15 other crosses, and in his entire theatrical oeuvre Tadeusz Kantor created more than 30 crosses.

“The artist's table” (“Today is My Birthday”, 1990)

The Artist’s table is a unique object, created for the performance, Today is my birthday, at the Cricot 2 Theatre, on which the artist worked, from October 1989 to early December 1990. Tadeusz Kantor died after one of the last rehearsals of the performance, on 8 December 1990. The premiere took place shortly after, in January 1991, at Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse; then, the performance was shown in 22 cities around the world until June 1992.

Spoons of the Ainu people

Rise spoon A flat spoon made from a single piece of wood, with a paddle-like bowl with a triangular ending, and with the handle also having a triangular end. It is decorated with a characteristic geometric ornamentation in the form of a plaited rope, hinges and various cuts.

“Tank” (“Today Is My Birthday”, 1990)

Presented object was made for the play Today is my birthday Cricot 2 Theater, over which the artist worked from October 1989 to early December 1990. Tadeusz Kantor died after one of the last rehearsals, 8 of December 1990 year. The premiere took place shortly afterwards, in January 1991 at the Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse, then the play was shown in 22 cities around the world until June 1992.

“Door” (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

Door are a key element of the play Let the Artists Die of Cricot 2 Theater. The premiere was held at the Alte Giesserei in Nuremberg June 2, 1985 year. Place of action is CEMETERY WAREHOUSE the door opens DOORMAN (ONCE UPON A TIME, HAD THE NAME OF CHARON, CARRIER OF THE DEAD). Composition, referring explicitly to the earlier of five years play Wielopole, Wielopole, turns into a room where lasts, constantly renewed, short daily activities.

“Infanta’s Portrait” (“Today is My Birthday”, 1990)

Infanta’s Portrait was one of the elements of the “Poor Room of Imagination”, arranged on the stage by Tadeusz Kantor (see The artist’s table). It was on the right side of the stage, next to the artist’s table. The Infanta’s presence in the painting is based on rhythmic departures and returns. As Kantor wrote, “standing or sitting in the frame, she poses herself in the painting and presents/ all her charms, or moves outside of the frame for various reasons: she is thrown, falls out or leaves herself. This ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ somehow sets the rhythm of her functioning in the performance.”

Sculpture “Our Lady of Sorrows” from 15th century

It is a gothic sculpture depicting a figure in contrapposto, hands folded for prayer, face with a straight, narrow nose, small lips, head slightly bowed, covered with a cloak falling on the shoulders, bare neck, dress with a partially preserved polychrome in red, robes falling with heavy folds.

Wooden toy — “A cart pulled by horses”

A cart pulled by wheeled horses or rocking horses used to be one of the most favourite toys for children. Nowadays, it is coming back to store shelves in a fashionable and ecological design. This wooden cart is part of a larger collection of toys from the museum in Myślenice and the object used to present the history of folk toy manufacturing in general. Folk toys are more than merely usable items as all of them have their own history and all members of a family were engaged in the production process. They were made mainly by peasants in the winter time, when they were able to carve toys because of less agricultural work.

“The Trumpet of the Last Judgement” (“Where Are Last Year’s Snows”, 1979)

The “trumpet” was an object — a prop of the Rabbi character (played by Zbigniew Gostomski) and his Pupil (Dominika Michalczuk). The natural-sized tin trumpet was covered with a black material, a kind of casing whose end on the cup side dropped loosely falling into the metal bucket. The trumpet was hung on a metal frame structure (nearly 3.5 metres high) where a system of blocks and transmissions was installed with steel links enabling it to be raised and dropped by a crank handle.

Sculpture “Pensive Christ” by Leon Kudła

The author of this sculpture is thought to be one of the most eminent amateur artists. The sculpture represents a Pensive Christ. This image alludes to the Passion and is one of the most popular themes used among amateur and folk sculptors, producing numerous sculptural variations on the Pensive Christ: seated on the throne, half-naked or covered with a royal coat, with a royal crown or with a crown of thorns, with a sceptre in his hand or Adam's skull at his feet.

“Goplana and Elfs” (“Balladyna”, 1943)

Goplana and the Elves is a reconstruction of the object from the performance Balladyna, performed in Kraków in 1943 by Tadeusz Kantor and a group of the artists from Kraków, in the Underground Independent Theatre. No objects survived from this period. As well as Balladyna by Juliusz Słowacki, Kantor also directed Return of Odysseus by Wyspiański in 1944...

Sculpture “St. Nicholas”

Saint Nicholas lived at the turn of the 3rd and 4th centuries and was the bishop of the city of Mira (in the southern part of Asia Minor), which is why he is presented iconographically in garments and with insignia corresponding to his episcopal rank (compare with the figure of Saint Nicholas in the Triptych of Saint Mary Magdalene from Moszczenica Niżna near Stary Sącz).