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Costume of a Scythian princess from Ryzhanovka

Since 1887 the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Kraków has boasted the equipment of a rich Scythian female tomb situated under the mound of a kurgan, examined in Ryzhanovka near Zvenyhorodka in Ukraine by Gotfryd Ossowski, the first curator of the Museum of National Antiquities (from which today’s Archaeological Museum has originated) at the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Kraków.

Orava trousers

The presented object is a pair of white baize trousers, Orava (originating from the area of Zubrzyca-Orava) made of white factory-made baize resembling home-spun cloth. One of the characteristic features which also occurs in other outfits of the Carpathian highlanders is two cuts at the waist, called zwory, trimmed with a black cloth trim, the so-called oblamek, with one red stripe of English cloth called wscyp z angliji [lit. an insert from England].

Corset

Corset – an element of the traditional women’s outfit in Podhale, made of home-spun brown fabric with a characteristic triangular indent, the so-called szczytek, cut out in the middle of the top front and back parts. The corset comes from the Dzianisz village in the Podhale region, situated north of Zakopane. It was here that in the years 1887–1893 a highlander named Styrczula sold it to the married couple of collectors, Maria and Bronisław Dembowski. In this way, the presented item entered one of the largest and most interesting 19th-century ethnographic collections from Podhale. In 1922 this collection became the property of the Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane by way of legal bequest.

Group AES+F, “Défilé #1”

The AES+F group shows dead bodies dressed in ballroom finery. The dramatic content is emphasised by using f life-size photographs, made all the more realistic by being displayed in lightboxes. The human fear of passing away is hidden behind obsessive adornment of the body. Death is presented in its “luxury” version which, despite all efforts, only serves to emphasize the deadness of the corpse. The series Défilé consists of 7 photographs in lightboxes. Film with the photographic prints has been glued to Plexi and placed in aluminium boxes, lit from behind.

Velvet corset for Kraków costume

A woman's corset for the Kraków costume from Bronowice, made of velvet, composed of two front parts, and with a flounce sewn on to it on the back, laid in thirteen folds. The front is fastened with hooks and eyes. It has a white lining and is decorated with haberdashery bands of metal gold and silver threads, and decorative buttons, beads, and sequins.

Wedding scarf for Kraków costume

A White headscarf tied into a bonnet for the Kraków costume, decorated with flat and punch embroidery. Two sides of the scarf are cut in an openwork teeth style with small holes, the other two sides are more richly decorated. Above the openwork teeth there is a frieze composed of hemstitched and punched cone motifs. Moreover, in the spaces between the cones, there are six-petal punched flowers and embroidered small branches with leaves.

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.

Hutsul cane “kełef”

A solid wooden cane topped by a brass handle; an exhibit in the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, inventory number 15457/MEK. It has often been displayed during many on-site and off-site exhibitions, and published in descriptions and photographs; on a day-to-day basis, it is stored meticulously wrapped in acid-free paper in a cardboard box on a shelf in a depository of the Museum's collections. It is quite valuable as it is one of only four similar items, the so-called kełefs, in the Museum's collection.

Womens’s corset for Kraków costume

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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.

Green woollen skirt

A skirt for a Kraków-style costume sewn from six green woollen fabric gores with pink-crimson-white motifs of single roses and yellow-claret ribbons. By means of delicate green stems, the roses are bunched together with blue flowers – rosettes with five petals separated from each other with small yellow circles.

Coif scarf from the region of Gorlice

The tulle shawl, richly decorated with white, hand-made embroidery, is a characteristic element of women's costumes from Podgórze Gorlickie (the Gorlice Foothills).

White sukmana coat — “chrzanówka”

The sukmana coat, formerly known as an outer garment, was commonly worn on Sundays and festivals by the inhabitants of Kraków villages. It was made of white cloth formerly manufactured, for example, by drapers from Chrzanów (even in the early 20th century, about a dozen families living in Chrzanów were still involved in this craft). Cloth made of spun wool was purchased from merchants from Biała. Depending on the recipient, tailors used a various finish of sukmana coats.

Tafetta skirt

Skirt of silk taffeta brocaded with a silk thread – an element of a woman's festive dress from the Podhale region. The skirt comes from Zakopane or its vicinity. Its fabric dates back to the second half of the 18th century. The time when the skirt was made and the period of its use are unknown.

Women’s folk — the Szczawnica highlanders

Today’s female folk costume of the Szczawnica highlanders consists of a corset made of black velvet with large floral patterns embroidered with silk threads on the back and the front, which is put on a white shirt, a skirt from green tybet fabric printed in large red flowers, an embroidered tulle apron and kierpce (hard-soled leather moccasins) put on white socks. In the past married women covered their heads with coifs and later with scarves. In the winter they wore cloth slippers and long sheepskin coats with sleeves.

Men' tunic for Bronowice Costume

A man's kaftan without a collar and sleeves, sewn by hand and made of deep dark blue factory cloth. On the back, below the waist, there are three slits dividing the kaftan's bottom into four laps, the so-called gills. The lining and trimming are made of red cloth. On the front, the pockets are covered with pentagonal lapels.

Apron for Kraków costume

An apron of white thin cotton cloth for the festive Kraków costume, full so as to cover the front and sides of a skirt, made from two widths of material, pleated, sewn into a narrow trim with cords formed on it. The apron is richly decorated with hand-made white punch and openwork pull out (toledo) embroidery, with a satin stitch.

Women’s outfit lendian

Kęty and its surrounding areas had been inhabited by the Lendians for centuries. Female costume is one of the few examples of Lendian culture which have survived to the present day, n examples of which are presented at the museum in Kęty. Single examples of such costumes could still be seen on the streets of Kęty in the 1970s.

Black woollen skirt for an old type of Bronowice costume

A woollen skirt machine-sewn from six gores of fabric, creased in its upper part. A small black tape sewn over the creasing changes into fastening strips at some point. The bottom part of the skirt is lined with a strip of patterned cotton fabric; the edge is finished with a blue trimmed tape.

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.