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Michał Jelski, “D.G./D.Y.60s0-0-0.4s”

The photographic work of Michał Jelski, DG/D.Y.60s0-0-0.4s, is an unusual record of issues focusing on conflict. Its sphere of presentation – patches of colour – whose smooth transitions are disturbed by a distinctive streak, primarily refers to the manipulation of materials applied on the surface of the artistic medium used. The photogram technique used by the artist involves irradiation of photo paper without the use of special devices designed for this purpose, such as a camera. The image is created here is the result of obscuring the photosensitive material with semi-transparent or opaque objects (in such a case, we talk about the technique of luxography).

Wojciech Doroszuk, “Reisefieber”

A project by Wojciech Doroszuk called Reisefieber concerns the problem of economic migration. During his stay in Berlin, the artist played the role of a newcomer from the East and was employed in the service sectors which are usually entrusted to emigrants. Based on his experience, five films and photography have been created, that form a multi-layered story of everyday, ordinary life in a foreign country, including both paid work and leisure activities, for example, participation in mass events organized in the city space. In each situation, the hero is shown as a stereotypical stranger, deprived of the will and the possibility of joining indigenous members of the community.

Lemko skirt “kabat”

SA Lemko skirt, or kabat, was made of modrotrotnik – thin printed factory fabric with a pattern of small yellow flowers and small green stars. It was hand-sewn at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Such fabrics were made in the towns of the southern part of the Carpathians, in Bardiov, as well as in Krynica and Muszyna.

Lemko coif (“czepec”)

A coif (czepec) was an obligatory headgear for married Lemko women. It has the form of a shallow cap consisting of a horseshoe-shaped bottom folded in the bottom part and a surrounding rim with rounded edges.

Lemko corset

The presented corset comes from the village of Rozdziele. Corsets (lajbyky) were worn by Lemko women – brides and young married women. They were worn over blouses.

Hanukkah lamp

The eight-branched candelabrum made in honour of the Hanukkah festival – the victorious Maccabean Revolt. The festival – recorded in the books of Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) – is over 2,000 years old.

Besamin tower box

One of liturgical utensils of the Jewish faith is a vessel for scents called a spice tower (Hebrew: bassamim, psumin-byksy) used during Sabbath. This spice tower represents the most common turret type in the shape of a multi-storey synagogue.

Megillat Esther binding

The Megillat Esther binding is a case for storing a parchment scroll of the Book of Esther. The Biblical Book of Esther tells the story of how Esther, the wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus, thwarted the plans of Minister Haman aiming to annihilate the Jews who inhabited the Persian Empire. To commemorate these events, on the 14th and 15th day of the month of Adar the Jews celebrate the joyful holiday of Purim.

Jewish tin plate

This plate could have been used on the Sabbath or, more likely, during the Purim holiday celebrated in the month of Adar, which symbol is fish, used as an decoration motif in this exhibit.

Hanukkah lamp

It was probably created at the turn of the 20th century. Its base rests on three lying lions. The profiled stem is finished with a figure of an eagle with outspread wings. Eight semi-circular branches are attached to the stem with clips.

Jewish wedding ring

The Jewish wedding ring was purchased in 1985 in “Desa”. Its owner is unknown. The ring is decorated with a floral motif and a Jewish inscription, Mazel Tov [Good luck]. It is topped with a model of a building — a symbolic depiction of the buildings in Jerusalem.

Torah scroll

The parchment scroll containing text of the Five Books of Moses, i.e. the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy was hand-written in Hebrew, rolled onto two sticks; the so-called ace(i) chaim [shafts of life] made of oak wood was furnished at the ends with pairs of wooden plates with a diameter of 17.5 cm, and handles for rolling the scrolls. The handles are profiled, with a head decorated with ivory buttons in the upper part and an ivory sleeve at the bottom.

Etrog tin

An etrog tin in the shape of a pomegranate with three leaves, oxidised and open in the middle. The exhibit presumably belonged to rich Jews, as only they could afford such a decorated, silver container, used to carry the etrog to a synagogue on the holiday of Sukkot.

Hanukkah lamp from Samuel Roth's shtibl

This unusual Hanukkah lamp was set on a wooden base, in the middle of which there is a small wall made of two planks, reinforced with another plank and a metal plaque on the back. To the front of the wall, a cast-iron chandelier is fixed.

Jewish book of the Chevra Kadisha funeral brotherhood

A Jewish book belonging to a Chevra Kadisha funeral fraternity. It is a prayer book of the Ashkenazi rite (Nusach Ashkenaz). The Hebrew title of the book is Sidur Safa Berura ha-Shalom.

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.

Orava clock

This is a domestic wall clock with a pendulum, having an escapement with a drive and a signalling mechanism chiming the hours. It is also equipped with a weight drive. The whole mechanism is placed in a wooden casing with a bell and a hammer at the top.

Bond Committee for the Construction of the New Synagogue in Tarnów

The document was issued by the Committee for the Construction of New Synagogue in Freunds Druckerei in Breslau in the autumn of 1864. The bond amount is 50 Austrian guilders, and it was issued in the name of Zelig Offner. Exactly 44 years separate the date of the bond issuing and the moment when the New Synagogue was opened, which took place on the 18th of September 1908. The grand opening of the magnificent building, which is the pride of the Jews of Tarnów, was preceded by an excruciatingly long period of several decades when the walls were built slowly.

Gypsy wagon

In the extensive exhibition devoted to the history and culture of the Romani/Gypsies, the exhibits particularly attracting the attention of visitors are the colourful wagons presented in the courtyard of the Ethnographic Museum. Preserved in the Polish landscape in the 1st half of the 20th century as well as in Polish pop culture thanks to the song by Maryla Rodowicz, they make an interesting memento of the vagabond, truly “Gypsy life”.

Hanukkah lamp

Chanukah — the eight-day Jewish festival of lights – in its historical aspect commemorates the victorious Maccabean Revolt against the Greeks under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, whereas in its ethical aspect refers to the salvation of Judaism, the only existing monotheistic religion based on the coherent system of moral values in the 2ndcentury BC.