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“The artist's table” (“Today is My Birthday”, 1990)

The Artist’s table is a unique object, created for the performance, Today is my birthday, at the Cricot 2 Theatre, on which the artist worked, from October 1989 to early December 1990. Tadeusz Kantor died after one of the last rehearsals of the performance, on 8 December 1990. The premiere took place shortly after, in January 1991, at Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse; then, the performance was shown in 22 cities around the world until June 1992.

Exakta Varex VX Camera

The Exakta Varex VX camera, version 4.3.1, was produced between July 1953 and June 1955 in the Ihagee Kamerawerk plant in Dresden. It is a single-lens reflex camera with a roll-film. 39 thousand units were produced of this version of the model.

“Henryk Jordan’s Park”

The photograph shows an alley in Henryk Jordan’s Park with two distant busts of famous personalities. The white marble-sculpted busts are a noteworthy detail, the Barthesian punctum, or the intriguing elements of the picture. The bushes make up an evenly trimmed hedge. It is a stereoscopic photograph, a single print with two separate shots.

“Portrait of two boys”

The photograph shows two boys in Kraków costumes. The photo is exceptional since it presents genuine Kraków costumes from the 1860–1880 period. On the left you can see a boy turned ¾ to the left. He is wearing a light russet coat and a Kraków four-cornered hat and is holding an Easter palm in his right hand propped against the ground. The other boy, taller and clad in a similar russet coat and a hat with feathers, is standing behind the boy with his hand on his shoulder.

Photograph “Tadeusz Pankiewicz in the company of four people in the duty room”

Dr Roman Glassner is sitting in a dark leather armchair in the middle; on the left is Helena Krywaniuk sitting back on an armchair, leaning against Aurelia Danek who is standing behind her. Dr Leon Glück is sitting back on the seat on the right. Tadeusz Pankiewicz stands behind the armchair in the background.

“Block of flats being constructed — Kraków, Nowa Huta”

The photograph shows four people: two women, a man, and a boy. They look at the excavator digging the soil out for the foundations and loading it onto the truck. On the right, there is a young woman wearing a braid with a briefcase in her hand, standing with her back turned on the right side of the frame, and a man in a suit.

“Magic Lantern” — slide projector by ICA

“The magic lantern” is a slide projector made on 8 x 8 cm diaphragm glass plates, produced by the ICA company from Dresden, in the years 1909–1926. Established in 1909 from the merger of several Dresden photographic equipment factories, the large ICA (Internationale...

“Magic Lantern” — slide projector from Austro-Hungary

“Magic Lantern” – a projector for large-format transparencies framed in glass frames with a maximum format of 15 x 15 cm. The projector was produced over the years 1890–1918 by an unknown manufacturer in Austro-Hungary. Magic lanterns were devices known since the Renaissance times, used for projecting pictures painted on glass onto the screen. Later, they began to be used for displaying photographic images – diapositives.

“The Lajkonik is offered a treat in front of the Town Hall”

Lajkonik is photographed slightly from the bottom, framing the torso, turned to the right. He is holding a cup in his hand; he is receiving something to drink. The City Hall is visible in the background. The photograph was taken in the 1960s or 70s. It belongs to a series of five photos by the same author...

Stereoscopic camera by Heinrich Ernemann A.G. Company

This is a stereoscopic camera with a folding (scissor) structure for cut films, with a 5.5 x 12.5 cm format. The camera is equipped with two lenses: the Doppel Anastigmat DAGOR III 6.8/80, by CP Goerz of Berlin. The camera for stereoscopic photos was made between 1905 and 1910...

Ensign Midget (model 55) — a miniature camera

Ensign Midget Model 55 — a miniature camera designed to take the Ensign E 10 type of film and deliver photographs in the 3.5 x 4.5 cm format. The camera was manufactured between 1934 and 1940 by a London-based company called Houghton (UK).

“Kraków’s architecture. The Cloth Hall in Kraków”

The photograph shows a view of the Cloth Hall from the side of the Adam Mickiewicz monument and the St. Mary’s Basilica. There are interesting details: in the background behind the Cloth Hall you can see the dome of the town hall tower with many passers-by in front of the building. There are the umbrellas of the stalls selling flowers, many pigeons and a tree. The foreground features the pavement slabs from the 1960s . On the ground and in the upper parts of the monuments there are thick white painted lines, standing out from the grey and black.

“The main gate to Henryk Jordan’s Park”

The photograph shows the main gate of the Henryk Jordan park in Kraków. In the foreground, the road has been flattened (currently, 3 May Avenue), behind which there is a wooden bridge on the River Rudawa. Next, we see a tall wooden gate, with the inscription: Miejski/ Park Dra Jordana. In the background, on the left, a wooden pavilion designated the main pavilion...

Folding TRIX 185 camera

The Trix 185 camera was manufactured at the beginning of the 20th century, during the period 1902–1920, by the German company ICA (Internationale Camera Aktiengesselschaft). It was Włodzimierz Puchalski’s second camera and comes from a period when arduous work with the film and photo camera brought the young artist his first successes.

“Kraków’s architecture. Photomontage: white plane of the Main Market Square”

Photomontage: a white plane of the Main Market Square, the Adam Mickiewicz Monument, the Cloth Hall, outlines of the Wawel Castle and churches — all made of black paper columns with white letters overprinted. What draws our attention is the calendar page dated “March 8, International Women’s Day.”

“Zakopane. Highlanders in front of the church”

The photograph shows a big group of highlanders standing by a new parish church at Krupówki (the Church of Sacred Family). It is 1901. The picture can give you some idea about highlanders’ dress and customs, and shows a fragmentary view of the new church back then. A part of an album from a Kraków family of Pusłowscy, the picture is a great example of amateur toned black and white photography.

Glass ashtray with a postcard representing the Spa House in Krynica

The exhibit in question is a glass ashtray with a rectangular base with hollows for cigarettes on longer sides. The base features a stuck colour photograph in the size of a postcard representing the Spa House in Krynica. The lower middle section of the image features an inscription: “Curhaus — Krynica”.

“Kraków’s architecture. City Hall at Wolnica Square”

The photograph presents a view of Wolnica Square. In the foreground of the photograph stands the city hall of Kazimierz (today the Ethnographic Museum), with the tower and gable of the Corpus Christi Church, tenements at Krakowska Street and tall deciduous trees in the background.

Folding camera from 19th/20th century

Undoubtedly, Włodzimierz Puchalski’s struggles with photography were initiated by his father, Władysław, and his older brother, Roman. This mahogany folding camera was the first one that Włodzimierz Puchalski used. He got it from his grandfather, Hieronim Sykora, and as a 13-year-old boy he discovered a passion for photography.

“Main Market Square in Kraków. May 3rd Constiution Day in 1919”

This is an amateur photograph in which an important historical event has been captured. It was made by an unknown author on 3 May 1919 in Kraków. On the Market Square, the infantry is in the foreground; next, the artillery — set in a double row, back to the photographer. Sukiennice [The Cloth Hall] was decorated with flags and the Polish emblem. Many groups of civilians stand under them. A field mass is taking place, organised by artillery and cavalry. Under the arcades of the central part of the Cloth Hall, on the side of Szewska street, an altar was organised which was decorated with flowers and emblems of national colours. From the side of the town hall there are Kraków units represented by the 13th Infantry Regiment with an orchestra, 20th Infantry Regiment of the Kraków Land and 8th Uhlan Regiment.