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Painting “Jews” by Piotr Michałowski

The group portrait of the Galician Jews belongs to the late works by Piotr Michałowski (1800—1855). It was created in a time when the artist — treating painting as a hobby — managed the estate in Bolestraszyce near Przemyśl. This painting, being actually an oil study, is similar in character to the 17th-century Dutch portraits. From the dark, abstract space busts of five Jews emerge.

Esther’s scroll in a cover

Megilla it's a parchment scroll with a Hebrew manuscript of the Book. It was designed for individual reading at home and in a synagogue in the period of the early spring holiday of Purim.

Top of a chapel built after the Swedish Deluge

This consists of metal element from the top of a chapel, built in 1664. Ten years earlier, Gorlice had been burned down and its inhabitants largely murdered by a Transylvanian army, who laid waste to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the south during the Swedish Deluge.

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”.

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.

Painting “Wernyhora” by Jan Matejko

Wernyhora is a legendary 18th century Cossac bard (bandurist) who prophetized the fall of Poland as well as its eventual rebirth. He has been a subject of several folklore tales and poems (particularly in the 19-th century romanticism in Poland). Most notably he has been a character in works of Juliusz Słowacki and Stanisław Wyspiański, as well as a subject of a painting by Jan Matejko.

Kontusz style outfit

This outfit, comprising the kontusz, żupan, trousers, kalpak, boots and karabela sabre, belonged to the Drohojowski Family from Czorsztyn. A full Polish national costume consists of an external part known as the kontusz and the żupan, the part which is worn underneath the kontusz. The kontusz was made of velvet. The back was cut in a characteristic manner with the so-called pillar, flared with a system of deep pleats highlighted with the sewn-in silk haberdashery.

Svetovid – Zbruch Idol

The statue presented here was found in 1848 in the Zbruch River near the village of Liczkowce (today: Lychkivtsi) (Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine). The sculpture is a four-sided pillar topped with four faces under a tall hat. Below there are three figural representations in the three-tier arrangement, with the division marked with plastic slats. Three sides of the lowest tier depict a kneeling figure with raised arms. In one case, it is a man (the moustache is marked)...

Sculpture “Dance” by Maria Jarema

Maria Jarema — born in an artistic family, the daughter of a Lviv pianist — explored the problem of dynamics, rhythm, and the musicality of a work of art both in paintings and in sculptures throughout her whole artistically devoted life.

Rzeszów Home Army Inspectorate Office Flag

The flag was made in 1943 upon the initiative of the Inspector of the Home Army Inspectorate for Rzeszów, Major/Lieutentant-Colonel Łukasz Ciepliński a.k.a. Pług. The development process was supervised by Special Affairs Officer Dr. Gabriel Brzęk a.k.a. Dewajtis.

Glass decorated with scenes from the legend of St. Hubert

Glass of milky and pink colours, on a small base of a jug-like shape, decorated with a painted hunting scene of the legend of Saint Hubertus.

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.

Painting “Saints from Dębno” representing St. Catherine and St. Agnes

This painting consists of a portrayal painted with tempera on a linden board, with the addition of silvering and glazes. Saints with dark hair, turned slightly to the side, dressed in long tunics and coats, are holding palms in their hands. At the top, on a white stripe in the background, there is a black inscription, written in majuscule...

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.

White sukmana coat — Bronowice costume

A men's sukmana coat with a mandarin collar, made of white cloth. The sleeves are finished with small trapezoid lapels, with two oblique pocket holes on the front, fastened with a brass hook and eye. The collar, sleeve lapels, and a slit on the front are lined with red cloth; the edges are finished with a red trim. The sukmana coat is adorned with amaranthine silk cord appliqués and similar motifs of thread bundles embroidered with silken threads.

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).

Old print. Marcin Kromer’s work, “De origine et rebus gestis polonorum libri XXX”, published in Basel

Marcin Kromer’s old print, being one of the oldest book relics, is entitled De origine et rebus gestis polonorum (On the origin and deeds of Poles). The printed book by Kromer (in Latin) shows the 16th-century researcher’s state of knowledge about history and it is also an interesting source in the field of research contemporary to him on the oldest history of Poland.

Silver fowler of The Fowler Brotherhood

The silver fowler of the Kraków Fowler Brotherhood is one of the most valuable objects in the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków. This is an example of the work of an outstanding goldsmith of Renaissance Kraków. Unfortunately, we do not know either the artist's name or the goldsmith's workshop responsible for the creation of the bird's sculpture. Very few of the marksmen's societies can boast of an original, well-preserved, cockrel of this type.

Orava pants

Prezentowane spodnie uszył Jan Paniak z Jabłonki na zamówienie skansenu w Zubrzycy. Jest to typowy przykład paradnych spodni orawskich, używanych na Górnej Orawie nie na co dzień, ale od święta. Jeszcze w latach 60. noszono je sporadycznie podczas wielkich uroczystości religijnych i kościelnych. Dzisiaj tradycja ubioru orawskiego jest kultywowana przede wszystkim przez zespoły regionalne.

Photograph “Sheaves of corn against the steelworks plant” by Henryk Hermanowicz

The photograph taken by Henryk Hermanowicz (1912—1992) gives a perfect example of the then propaganda, in which those who were smarter could see the criticism of the authorities who decided to build industrial facilities on perfectly arable soil. It is also a kind of document of how our approach to the environment has changed. It should be remembered that until the 1970s there was no environmental awareness, even in the West.