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Karol Szymanowski's posthumous mask

Few mementoes and works of art directly associated with Karol Szymanowski have been preserved to this day. Therefore, the posthumous mask makes for quite a unique document. Suffering from tuberculosis, Szymanowski died in Le Signal hospital in Lausanne. The mask was made right after his death by a Swiss sculptor, Lucien Jules Delerse.

Puppets from the “Zielony Balonik” (“Green Balloon”) nativity play — Juliusz Leo

On 8 October 1905 in Cukiernia Lwowska Jana Michalika (a Lviv Confectionery run by Jan Michalik) the first performance of the Green Balloon cabaret was staged. The name of the cabaret arose by accident. After one of the meetings of ”the painter’s table”, where the idea of the cabaret originated, the artists saw a boy with a bunch of green balloons on Floriańska Street and then someone said: “That is our name: «Green Balloon»!”.

Puppets from the “Zielony Balonik” (“Green Balloon”) nativity play — Jacek Malczewski

On 8 October 1905 in Cukiernia Lwowska Jana Michalika [a Lviv Confectionery run by Jan Michalik] the first performance of the Green Balloon cabaret was staged. The name of the cabaret arose by accident. After one of the meetings of ”the painter’s table”, where the idea of the cabaret originated, the artists saw a boy with a bunch of green balloons on Floriańska Street and then someone said: “That is our name: «Green Balloon»!”.

Aset-iri-khet-es mummy cartonnage

The gilded cartonnage was found during the excavations conducted in 1907 in el-Gamhud by the first Polish Egyptologist, Tadeusz Smoleński. The openwork cartonnage is made up of several layers of linen stuck together. On the front and on the reverse, chalk undercoat was placed as the base for polychrome.

Cartonnage mask

This anonymous cartonnage mask probably dates back to the Ptolemaic period (306–30 BC). The mask is gilded on the face but eyes, pupils and eyebrows are marked black. It has a typical blue wig (nemes). The representation of the deceased is definitely idealised and it bears no distinguishing features.

Corn-mummy with silver mask of Osiris

“Pseudo-mummy”, formed of Nile silt mixed with resin and germinating seeds, molded and then wrapped in linen bandages. Silver mask with traces of gilding in the place of the face. Eyes marked with drawn out corners, eyebrows painted brown, small nose and prominent ears. The crown of Upper Egypt on its head and a hole for the beard in the chin. Silver masks, unlike the waxen ones, are extremely rare in this kind of objects.

Paweł Althamer, “Daniel”

One of some one hundred figures made during Althamer’s project Almech at the Deutsche Guggenheim. From his father’s plastics-manufacturing company, the artist transferred some machines to the gallery. The exhibition space was turned into a sculptor’s studio, where factory machines and molten plastic poured over a metal frame replaced chisel and marble.

The “snow” type “Ko-omote” mask of the “Nō” theatre

In the classic Japanese theatre, masks are the most important accessories of the leading actor shite. With these masks, an actor is able to impersonate characters of both real and imaginary worlds (e.g. a warrior, a young woman, an old man, as well as a demon, a god or a goddess, etc.). By putting on a mask, the character is transformed and the audience is able to discover their hidden secrets (e.g. the extraterrestrial origin of the character), or fierce feelings tormenting them (sorrow, envy, madness).

Jadwiga Sawicka, “Batman”

In Jadwiga Sawicka’s works, individual objects and phenomena appear belonging to everyday life, as well as words and phrases taken out of context, from newspapers, commercials or electronic media. Items of clothing, such as a shirt, trousers, skirt, gloves, and a jacket assume the painted form of a simplified, monochromatic image of clothing, having no particular features; they become more concrete while being photographed. In a series of photos from 1997, presenting casual clothing separately, they are captured on a uniform background of plastic foil and artificial leather: a leather coat, a colourful dress, a suit, trousers, a bathing suit.