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Lajkonik’s costume designed by Stanisław Wyspiański

The costume of Lajkonik, also called the Zwierzyniec Horse, designed by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1904, could be seen in the streets of Kraków until 1963. The costume used today during the annual frolics of Lajkonik is a faithful copy of the displayed exhibit. Although legend associates the origins of Lajkonik celebrations with the Tatar invasions of Kraków in the 13th century, the first ever source reference to it dates back to 1738.

White woollen apron

An apron to match the Kraków costume made of two gores of white thin woollen fabric with motifs of green twigs, roses and other pink and red flowers, and blue and pink tiny flowers and buds printed over it.

Pola Dwurnik, “Mercy!”

Twenty four colour self-portraits stand out from the crowd sketched in the background; each face plays out the spectacle of a different personality.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “HONOURABLE / disloyal”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions. Gender play is an additional device to manipulate meanings. The same adjective has different connotations depending on whether it is feminine or masculine.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “MADE IN POLAND / foreign”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “NATIONAL / exclusive”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “Ojczysty / Macierzysta”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “ETHNICALLY PURE / national”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “IMPIOUS / infamous”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

Painting “Frenzy” by Władysław Podkowiński

Along with Józef Pankiewicz, Władysław Podkowiński is considered to be the precursor of impressionism in Polish art painting. His works also gave rise to Symbolism and Expressionism trends in Polish Modernism. About 1892 Podkowiński’s oeuvre began to feature visionary and phantasmagoric depictions of the issues of love, suffering and death inspired by his personal experiences, with references to achievements by Western European symbolists.

“Self-portrait” by Leon Wyczółkowski

Normal 0 21 false false false PL X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:Standardowy; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; border:none;}Among all the portraits created by Leon Wyczółkowski, his self-portraits occupy a special place. They not only reflect the artist’s appearance in different periods of his life, but also act as records of the painter’s changing personality and moods. They also document his artistic development. Wyczółkowski created several dozen images of himself using oil, tempera, pastel, and graphic techniques. His first works come from the 1890s. He kept creating until the end of his life...

Painting “Meditations” (“Ash-Wednesday”), from the Cycle: "Ceremonies" — VII

Witold Wojtkiewicz occupies a special position among the Young Poland painters. His paintings, typical of the decadent fin de siècle, were described by André Gide as the “personal fusion of Naturalism, Impressionism and grotesque.” The artist created his own painting world, astonishingly expressionistic, as if from some somnambulistic vision.

Painting “Wernyhora” by Jan Matejko

Wernyhora – a Ukrainian lyricist and bard, according to some a legendary person, according to others a historical person living in the second half of the 18th century – became famous for political prophecies regarding the fate of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Ukraine. He was supposed to have foreseen the bloody Cossack rebellions, the partitioning of Poland, the unsuccessful national liberation uprisings and the revival of the Polish statehood.

Marcin Maciejowski, “The Doctor Said…”

The works by Marcin Maciejowski reveal interest in the present and everyday life of a human being. His pictorial commentaries on reality are the result of insightful and multifaceted observation of Polish society. The artist analyses customs, explores stereotypes and cultural patterns. He deals with media topics, presenting figures known from the first pages of newspapers (politicians, journalists, celebrities), topics of sensational events, as well as social and economic problems. He devotes much attention to the social reception of art and the role of the artist.

Tomasz Baran, untitled

The works made by Tomasz Baran seem to challenge the famous phrase emancipating the picture as an independent formal unit – they are a challenge to the flatness of the image and the order of colours that Denis recognized as one of the key properties. In his work, Baran analyses the issues of surface and colour, which are some of the basic elements building the form of the painting. By contradicting the traditional flatness of pictures, he brings painting closer to three-dimensional objects, he bends the loom, modifies the way it is attached to the canvas, trims painting edges in an irregular way, and creates spatial organisms by using them. In the work held in the Bunkier Sztuki collection, a sub-frame was created in a non-standard manner, which – apart from the place where canvas is stretched on a rectangular frame – was attached to two additional diagonally extending slats and to a cardboard layer covering the reverse of the painting, the elements inaccessible to the viewer’s eye. The outcome of this process is an uneven, spatial structure, consisting of convex and concave spots, usually absent from a smooth canvas plane.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “Batman”

In Jadwiga Sawicka’s works, individual objects and phenomena appear belonging to everyday life, as well as words and phrases taken out of context, from newspapers, commercials or electronic media. Items of clothing, such as a shirt, trousers, skirt, gloves, and a jacket assume the painted form of a simplified, monochromatic image of clothing, having no particular features; they become more concrete while being photographed. In a series of photos from 1997, presenting casual clothing separately, they are captured on a uniform background of plastic foil and artificial leather: a leather coat, a colourful dress, a suit, trousers, a bathing suit.

The Wilamowice folk costume

Kęty and the town of Wilamowice, which was exceptional as early as in the interwar period, lie 7 kilometres apart. Wilamowice was founded as a settlement around 1250 by a group of newcomers from Frisia and Flanders who took care of their culture throughout the centuries, including their own dress and language, so different from the one in the communities nearby.

“Bust of the Girl” by Tadeusz Łakomski

Tadeusz Łakomski (1911–1988) during the period 1931–1938 studied at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts under the direction of Fryderyk Pautsch and Wojciech Weiss. He also studied in Paris. He created wall and easel paintings, drawings and book graphics. He also produced caricatures, inter alia, of some the most outstanding artists of his time: Władysław Hasior, Tadeusz Kantor and Jerzy Nowosielski. Initially, his painting was influenced by the dominant colours of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. In the 1950s he introduced geometrical motifs and interpenetrating planes.

“Study of a male figure” by Stanisław Bieńkiewicz

Stanisław Bieńkiewicz (1855–after 1930) in 1871–1880 studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków under the direction of Jan Matejko. During the period 1889–1890, together with Józef Mehoffer and Stanisław Wyspiański, he worked on a polychrome of Mariacki Church in Kraków. Bieńkiewicz painted portraits, landscapes, historical, genre and religious scenes.

Home Army Band

A piece of white and red cloth with a W.P. stamp served as a necessary substitute for the longed-for Home Army soldier uniform — a clear sign that one is a soldier rather than a civilian. The Union of Armed Struggle [Związek Walki Zbrojnej] was...