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Jagiellonian tapestry “Paradise Bliss” of the “History of the First Parents” series

The Jagiellonian tapestry Paradise Bliss is the first fabric of the History of the First Parents series, commissioned by Sigismund II Augustus and created in Brussels during the years 1550–1560. It depicts events of the beginning of the Biblical Book of Genesis (Gen 2.8.–3.20).

Chasuble of a late Renaissance set of vestments

The chasuble evolved from a Roman outer garment, which was a kind of sleeveless coat with only one small hole for the head. The chasuble was worn during all priestly acts. Beginning in the 13th century, the chasuble began to be shortened on the sides, so that it would not constrict hand movement, until the 17th century, when only two sheets of fabric remained: front and back. At the same time, the chasuble came to be decorated with increasingly rich embroidery.

Cope of late Renaissance set of vestments

A cope is a long and wide cloak, worn over shoulders and fastened on the chest during the Liturgy of the Hours, the celebration of the sacraments outside the Holy Mass, and the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The only ones authorized to wear it are bishops, presbyters, and deacons who received permission from the Holy See.

“Tank” (“Today Is My Birthday”, 1990)

Presented object was made for the play Today is my birthday Cricot 2 Theater, over which the artist worked from October 1989 to early December 1990. Tadeusz Kantor died after one of the last rehearsals, 8 of December 1990 year. The premiere took place shortly afterwards, in January 1991 at the Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse, then the play was shown in 22 cities around the world until June 1992.

“Pillories of characters” (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

The “pillories” are extremely characteristic objects from the Niech sczezną artyści [Let the Artists Die] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre. The play had its premiere in Alte Giesserei in Nürnberg on 2 June 1985. The “pillories” appear in act III of the play and become the key objects with which the later stage plot, right to the epilogue in act V, is associated.

“The Trumpet of the Last Judgement” (“Where Are Last Year’s Snows”, 1979)

The “trumpet” was an object — a prop of the Rabbi character (played by Zbigniew Gostomski) and his Pupil (Dominika Michalczuk). The natural-sized tin trumpet was covered with a black material, a kind of casing whose end on the cup side dropped loosely falling into the metal bucket. The trumpet was hung on a metal frame structure (nearly 3.5 metres high) where a system of blocks and transmissions was installed with steel links enabling it to be raised and dropped by a crank handle.

“Goplana and Elfs” (“Balladyna”, 1943)

Goplana and the Elves is a reconstruction of the object from the performance Balladyna, performed in Kraków in 1943 by Tadeusz Kantor and a group of the artists from Kraków, in the Underground Independent Theatre. No objects survived from this period. As well as Balladyna by Juliusz Słowacki, Kantor also directed Return of Odysseus by Wyspiański in 1944...

Baroque chasuble

Chasubles are the outer garments put on by priests in the Roman Catholic rite to conduct a holy mass. Their colouring is of significance and depends primarily on the period of the liturgical year. Nowadays, the rules of using the colours of liturgical vestments are precisely defined in the so-called General Introduction to the Roman Missal.

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.

Dalmatic of a late Renaissance set of vestments

The dalmatic was worn by the Greeks and Romans as a loose garment extended to the feet worn by lay people with long, wide sleeves and two vertical purple stripes, also known as clavi. In the 2nd century, it was adopted in Western Europe through Byzantium in today’s Dalmatia during the Merovingian and Carolingian period. The dalmatic has been functioning as a liturgical vestment since the 5th century, when it disappeared from lay people’s clothing.

“Rat trap” (“I Shall Never Return”, 1988)

The presented exhibit comes from the Qui non ci torno più [I Shall Never Return​] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre created in Kraków and Milan in the years 1987–1988. The play’s premiere took place on 23 June 1988 at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan. The plot of the play takes place in a tavern. There are metal tavern tables and stools on the stage. In the background a wall of smooth black cloth is set up in a semi-circle with the barely visible contours of four doors.

Chasuble of the Lubomirski Foundation

A white chasuble with an embroidered purple column. The type of embroidery dates this back to around 1600. It was made, among the others, with a gold and silver thread and stitches partially on an underlay of silk fabric with a lancé of gold wire. At the bottom of the vestment, the Lubomirski-Szreniawa coat of arms was gently but legibly incorporated into the chasuble column. The jacquard side fabric with a damask effect is from the 19th century.

Chasuble of Wadowice

A chasuble in a dark red colour with the addition of elements in turquoise and blue with a motif of a six-leaf rose in a net arrangement and pomegranates in the middle. There are two columns (initially a cross-shaped orphrey) sewed on brocade, laced with colourful silk as well as silver and gold threads with flat and satin stitches.

Jagiellonian tapestry “God Conversing with Noah” from the “Story of Noah” series

The textile depicts one of the episodes of the Book of Genesis and is one of eight tapestries of the Sigismund collection forming a series dedicated to the figure of Noah. The Latin inscription in the upper border perfectly desribes the scene taking place below: “Noah walks with God. God reveals to Noah the future flood and commands him to build an ark for salvation”. God warns Noah – the only righteous inhabitant of the earth – that because of mankind’s sins, he intends to flood the earth. He tells Noah to build an ark in order to save Noah’s family. Noah is also to bring a pair of animals of each species into the ark (Genesis 6:13–21).

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.

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).

Lajkonik’s costume designed by Stanisław Wyspiański

The costume of Lajkonik, also called the Zwierzyniec Horse, designed by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1904, could be seen in the streets of Kraków until 1963. The costume used today during the annual frolics of Lajkonik is a faithful copy of the displayed exhibit. Although legend associates the origins of Lajkonik celebrations with the Tatar invasions of Kraków in the 13th century, the first ever source reference to it dates back to 1738.

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.

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.

Orava skirt

The presented object is a wide skirt of navy-blue cretonne covered with a white print of plant pattern (contour clover leaves), referring to the so-called 19th century, factory-made tłoczeliny. It has a traditional cut.