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Volker Hildebrandt, series “Popes”: “Pope: comes”, “Pope: goes”, “Popes”

A Volker Hildebrandt series of works titled Popes came into being as a result of transforming a picture that already existed in the visual sphere. In this case, it was three parts of a documentary film: the appointment of Karol Wojtyła as Pope, the administration of Holy Communion by John Paul II to Joseph Ratzinger, and the Pope bestowing a blessing from a window of the Papal Apartments towards the end of his life. The artist breaks the shots down into their constituent parts, showing a given event frame by frame.

Photograph “John Paul II in Mistrzejowice” by Stanisław Gawliński

Jokingly, we can say that John Paul II owes his career to Nowa Huta. The troubles connected with the construction of the new church in Nowa Huta, created by the communists, had compelled Bishop Eugeniusz Baziak to take action. He appointed Karol Wojtyła, despite his young age, as his deputy.

Karol Wojtyła’s letter on filter paper

Karol Wojtyła wrote in his autobiographical sketches: “The war was an obstacle to completing my studies [Polish Philology at the Jagiellonian University] and the living conditions during the occupation forced me to work as a manual worker at the Solvay Company in Borek Fałęcki, near Kraków, between 1940 and 1944.

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.

Photograph “Portrait of Emilia Wojtyła”

A portrait of Emilia Wojtyła who died in 1929 when Karol was 9. The photograph had its place in a living room in a flat in Wadowice and afterwards, together with other objects, it was transported to Tyniecka Street in Kraków, where Karol and his father moved after Karol’s final school examinations. The portrait of his mother accompanied Karol until he entered a seminary.

Cassock and zucchetto of Pope John Paul II

A white cassock with small buttons (just like red shoes) is an everyday Pope’s outfit. White symbolises the purity of body and soul. The history of the papal outfit of that colour dates back to the time of Pope Pius V — a Dominican who, during his pontificate (1566–1577), introduced decisions of the Council of Trent connected, among others, with the renewal of the hierarchy in the Church.

Cassock of Karol Wojtyła

Karol Wojtyła received the sacrament of Holy Orders from Cardinal Sapieha on 1 November 1946. On the next day he celebrated his first mass in St. Leonard’s Crypt at the Wawel Cathedral. The decision about joining a seminary was made by Karol in 1942 (he entered the seminary in October; however, since babyhood everything suggested that this way would be chosen by him).

Sneakers of Karol Wojtyła

Sneakers are usually an attribute of children’s games. The ones in the collection of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums are big (size 44!). Judging from the state of preservation, they were used by Karol Wojtyła many times when hiking. His love for sport was inculcated in Karol by his brother, 14 years older Edmund, who played in a football team. Very often Karol accompanied him; however, due to the age difference he could not run on a football pitch.

Ski-boots of Karol Wojtyła

Czarne skórzane buty narciarskie należały do Karola Wojtyły. Lewy but z pary jest bardziej zniszczony.

Karol Wojtyła master’s degree diploma in theology of Jagiellonian University

Karol Wojtyła obtained his master’s degree in theology from the Jagiellonian University on 24 November 1948. The document contains information about studies completed between 1942 and 1947 and exams passed. Earlier, before joining the seminary, Wojtyła also studied Polish at the Jagiellonian University.

Cardinal Karol Wojtyła's surplice

This is a white, richly ruffled surplice, fastened at the front with a button. The sleeves are decorated with white embroidery on red lining. There are two small spots visible on the right sleeve.

Diary with notes by Karol Wojtyła

This consists of 72 yellowed pages, bound in a hard, greenish leather-like cover. The notebook of Karol Wojtyła's colleague contains fifteen entries, dated from 2 February 1936 to 19 November 1963. There is also a collective record of 21 May 1988, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the high school final examinations. On page 71, there are a few verses...

Coat with cape and biretta of Bishop Karol Wojtyła

The presented object is the burgundy coat of bishop Karol Wojtyła, fastened with a decorative hook. The set contains a burgundy biretta.

Cassock and biretta of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła

The red cassock is a cardinal vestment of Karol Wojtyła. It was made of thin material. The set also includes a cape (mozzetta), reinforced with additional lining, and a biretta.

Maturity certificate (secondary school leaving certificate) of Karol Wojtyła — copy

This is a secondary school leaving certificate, issued in Wadowice, on 14 May 1938. It has been copied onto two black and white sheets. On the first page, there is a photo of Karol Wojtyła, with the round stamp of High School Certificate No. 38, signed by the Chairman and Members of the State Examination Commission.

Paddle of Karol Wojtyła

The presented object is a wooden paddle, joined in the middle (screwed-on, detachable), which served Karol Wojtyła during canoeing trips with young people. The ends of the paddle are covered with metal; it is coloured brown and made of natural wood.

Curriculum vitae of Karol Wojtyła

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;} This is a biography, written by the priest himself, Karol Wojtyła, on 8 April 1951, attached to the application for an assistant's position at the Faculty of Theology of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Karol Wojtyła's hat

The presented object is a hat, which belonged to Karol Wojtyła. It is a very popular fedora hat, which is characterised by a concave fold along the head and a fairly wide brim. It is decorated with haberdashery in the form of a ribbon that wraps around the head with a bow on the side. The object was made of petersham ribbon in the Krakow tailor’s workshop of H. Frydel.

Rosary made ​​by Sister Lúcia of Fatima

This case is large for a rosary. Externally, it has been intricately embroidered with gold thread; it has been lined with white material, decorated with fine sequins, inside. Everything was made by Sister Lucia, who—alongside Hyacinth and Francis—was one of the three children to whom the Mother of God appeared...

Scapular of Karol Wojtyła

The scapular, whose tradition dates back to the 13th century, is, on the one hand, a privilege, on the other, an obligation. Those who accept it, by exercising the recommended piety (thanks to John XXII, who announced the “Saturday privilege”), are promised that, on the first Saturday after their death, they will be saved from purgatory.