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Yane Calovski, “Something laid over something else”

“The installation consists of separate elements, shaped more on the basis of context-specific particles of the work than its uniform form. I try to understand that the museum is a social and political construct with a powerful, extremely problematic load of meanings. It constitutes a physical manifestation of power, in the face of which we can only try to multiply its meaning, reciprocity, paradox and pluralism. Therefore, my work aims to respond to the dynamics and cosmogony of multiplicity of knowledge – be it historical, material or functional – but also to the sets of materializations that draw a portrait of space as a process played in an architectural framework.” In this way, Yane Calovski describes the conceptual assumptions of his installation. Its structurally diverse layers refer to the process of destroying the properties that characterize a given matter: erasing, removing, decolouring, and corrosion. In a wider perspective, they address the issue of the evanescence of memory and physical presence, materiality and abstraction.

Wooden cassette with triptych by Józef Mehoffer

This consists of a wooden cassette, iron-shod with brass, with a two-winged hinged lid, a brass shield at the front, with “WIELICZKA” and a crown at the top. It contains a document granting honorary citizenship of the city of Wieliczka to Doctor Kazimierz Junosza-Gałecki.

Woodcut “View of Kraków from the north”

It is the oldest representation of Kraków and the cities of Kazimierz and Kleparz. It was made for the requirements of what was, at that time, the monumental historical and geographical atlas, Liber Cronicarum, by Hartmann Schedl. The view is in an intermediate form between a panorama and a plan, which means that the side elevations have been taken into account in the restoration of the city development, and, at the same time, the area is shown slightly from above. It presents a schematic image of the buildings, to some extent in accordance with the reality of Kraków from the end of the 15th century, that provides the impression of being an accurate reflection of its topography. It is not, however, accurate in its detail, and does not reproduce the actual location and appearance of the buildings.

Woodcut “Portrait of actor Kōraiya Kinshō” by Toshūsai Sharaku

Toshūsai Sharaku is one of the most enigmatic Japanese artists. The woodcuts signed with his name come from the period between May 1794 and January 1795. A total of about 150 Sharaku card images depict actors from the Kabuki theatre; these are projects with a completely different new form of expression, often close to a caricature.

Woodcut “Oiran Yosooi from the Matsuba-ya Pleasure House” by Kitagawa Utamaro

Beautiful women of the oiran offered an attractive subject for artists dealing with Japanese wood engravings; it peaked in the Edo epoch (1603–1868). Elusiveness and passing, so strongly featured in the philosophy of this period, made people seize the current moment and celebrate the joy stemming from watching flowers or admiring the Moon.

Woodcut “Bright Weather after the Snow Storm in Kameyama” by Utagawa Hiroshige

Utagawa Hiroshige occupied a special place in the collection by Feliks Jasieński: the collection gathered more than 2,000 woodcut boards by this artist. The abundantly represented landscape genre helps us appreciate Hiroshige as an artist who was considered to be the master of recreating the mood created by snow, rain and fog.

Woman’s fan

The fan, originally designed as a cooling device, was elevated in modern times to a symbol of dignity. Over time, it became a very fashionable element of female attire. On the other hand, fan gestures became a conventional code used by men and women to communicate and flirt at the court.

Tomasz Bajer, “Minimalism of Guantanamo”

The work is an accurate replica of Yasser Talal al Zahrani’s prison cell at the American detention camp for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Saudi prisoner died in 2006. The official cause of death was given as suicide. However, an examination by an independent pathologist showed traces of repeated beating, which could be indicative of torture. The work can be interpreted as a commentary on the abuse of human rights by imperialist powers, and the individual’s helplessness in the face of such behavior.

Tibetan medicine set

A part of the Ethnographic Museum's collection, the so-called Tibetan medicine set is one of a few complete 19th/20th-century descriptions of Tibetan medicine in the world, including a set of medicines and a description of their application. It consists of two medical manuscripts and almost 300 medicines, or actually products to prepare them such as seeds, plants, fruit and minerals, mostly labelled in the Tibetan language.

The Book of Records of Apprentices, Promotions and Entries of the Grand Guild in Koszyce

As a city founded under the Magdeburg law, Koszyce had favourable conditions for the development of craftsmanship. In addition, the development of craftsmanship was influenced by trade routes passing through Koszyce (the royal trade route and the route to Kiev), the river port in Morsko, a weekly market taking place on Mondays...

The Babylonian Talmud

The Talmud is the most important compilation of the oral Torah, that was revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. It is a commentary, an explanation, and a discussion. Before the Talmud, there was the Mishnah, to which Talmud is an extension. There are two Talmuds—the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud—whose 1831 edition is presented in our collection. The process of editing the former was completed in the 4th century AD in Palestine, in the academies of Caesarea, Sepphoris, and Tiberias. The latter was completed a little later, at the beginning of the 6th century AD in Babylonia, in the academies of Sura, Nehardea, and Pumbedita. It is far more extensive than the Jerusalem Talmud.

Stanisław Dróżdż, “In-Between”

The installation consists of a free-standing, enclosed space measuring 3 x 4.5 m entered through an opening on the left in one of its walls. All the walls as well as the floor and the ceiling are white and covered in black letters, which contrast sharply with the background, lit by fluorescent light. The letters have been placed in horizontal and vertical rows so as to result in a regular grid. Many letters have been turned by 90 ̊ in relation to the vertical or horizontal axis. At first glance, the selection of letters may seem random; however, on closer scrutiny, only those letters have been included that are part of the word between in Polish.

Sister Konstancja Studzińska’s master’s degree diploma

Konstancja Studzińska (1787–1853) była pierwszą kobietą w Europie, która ukończyła studia i otrzymała dyplom magistra farmacji. Fakt ukończenia studiów farmaceutycznych przez kobietę w 1 poł. XIX wieku, w czasie, kiedy kobiety nie miały możliwości studiowania, można uznać za wyjątkowy. Konstancja Studzińska pracowała wówczas w prowadzonej przez siostry zakonne aptece szpitala św. Łazarza w Krakowie. Władze uniwersyteckie zarzucały zakonnym aptekarkom niekompetencję i dążyły do tego, by zarządzanie apteką przekazać odpowiednio przygotowanym do zawodu aptekarzom.

Simon Syrenius’s “Herbarium”

Autorem Zielnika... jest Szymon Syreniusz (ok. 1540–1611), lekarz i botanik, profesor Akademii Krakowskiej. Dzieło zawiera opisy 765 roślin leczniczych wraz z ich leczniczym zastosowaniem. Monografia zawiera drzeworytnicze wizerunki roślin. Jak wynika z tytułu, był on przeznaczony lekarzom...

Roger&Gallet packagings

Three Roger&Gallet packagings: two cardboard pouncet-boxes and a glass bottle.

Register of the flights of a lieutenant pilot Stefania Wojtulanis-Karpińska (“Barbara”)

Stefania Wojtulanis-Karpińska “Barbara” was actively involved in all types of aviation sports, starting with her participation — as a navigator — in the National Balloon Competition in 1936. In 1938, she participated — also as a navigator — in the 8th National Air Competition; in May 1939, Stefania competed in the Ninth National Balloon Championships as a balloon pilot.

Powder by L.T. Piver

The round pouncet-box intended for storing powder has been made of cardboard. The entire surface of the pouncet-box is richly decorated with various ornaments in a colour imitating gold on a red background.

Powder by Houbigant

The round cardboard pouncet-box is covered with yellow paper featuring decorative motifs in black, red and green. On the lid of the box, there is a large tinted basket with a blue ribbon pressed into the cardboard, featuring simplified representations of yellow, red and orange flowers among green leaves, on a yellow background, with lines spreading out like rays.

Portable small altar

According to tradition, it is associated with the Relief of Vienna. When, after the victory over the Turks, the army of King Jan Sobieski was returning to Poland, several soldiers stopped in Biecz. In gratitude for defeating the pagans and ending the war unscathed, the soldiers left this small portable altar in the church in Biecz.

Photograph “Portrait of Karol Wojtyła Senior”

Portraits of loved ones (including Emilia Wojtyła) hung on a wall in a flat in Wadowice; then they got to 10 Tyniecka Street, where Karol Wojtyła and his father settled in after Karol’s final school examinations. The portraits were silent witnesses of traumatic events. One day when Karol came home, he found his father’s dead body. After this experience it was very difficult for him to return to the flat.