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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.

Curriculum vitae of Karol Wojtyła

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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.

“Herbarium of Tatra mosses” of Tytus Chałubiński

Tytus Chałubiński’s herbarium of Tatra mosses is the most valuable botanical collection at the Dr Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum. Doctor Tytus Chałubiński (1820–1889), a man of broad horizons and multiple interests, a great physician with a passion for botany, is one of the legendary figures of Zakopane.

Cast iron bathroom stove

This is a decorated cast iron stove, designed for heating water in the bathroom. It consists of four parts, decorated with geometric and floral ornaments.

Longcase clock

One of the two twin longcase clocks, decorated with the imitation of green Far Eastern lacquer, comes from the castle in Podhorce, belonging originally to the Rzewuski family and subsequently purchased together with its furnishings by the Sanguszko family. The clock cases distinguish themselves with the pseudo-Chinese decoration painted in gold, enriched with European motifs and “Chinese” figural scenes and landscapes.

Tournament armour

The tournament armour is compiled of several suits of West-European armours created in the mid-16th century. Its basic parts are the cuirass, collarbone guard, and pads and thigh guards made by the best armourers from southern Germany. The breastplate with the fishbone and goose — that is a protrusion in the stomach area — has vertical stripes with an etched motif of a floral twig entwined over a panoply and musical instruments.

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.

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.

“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.

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”.

Spear of the Lombards

The presented spear could have been forged either in the fifth or fifteenth century. In spite of the metallurgical examination carried out by specialists from the Jagiellonian University, it was not possible to determine the production date of the spearhead.

Stained glass door a mortar surrounded by medicinal plants

Witraż pochodzi z jednej z wrocławskich aptek, dla której około 1900 roku wykonał go warsztat witraży Adolfa Seilera we Wrocławiu. W centralnym punkcie witraża znajduje się moździerz aptekarski, wokół którego rozmieszczono rośliny lecznicze: tojad (Aconitum L.) pokrzyk wilczą jagodę (Atropa belladonna L.), mak lekarski (Papaver somniferum L.) oraz naparstnicę purpurową (Digitalis purpurea L.).

Paddle of Karol Wojtyła

The presented object is a wooden paddle, joined in the middle (screwed-on, detachable), which served Karol Wojtyła during canoeing trips with young people. The ends of the paddle are covered with metal; it is coloured brown and made of natural wood.

Painting “City Hall north view” by Teodor Baltazar Stachowicz

The view shows the edifice of the city hall on the Main Square in Kraków, according to its state before its demolition in 1820. In the foreground, you can see the Renaissance part of the complex with the characteristic attic; on the left, the upper parts of the city hall tower.

Painting “View of Kraków's north fortification” by Józef Brodowski

A view of the northern section of Kraków's defensive walls with the Barbican, the neck connecting it with Florian Gate and the towers, from the left: Karczmarzy I, Pasamoników, Stolarska and Ciesielska. On the far right is the one-storey Kleparz building. The ring of fortifications, with wall towers and gate towers, surrounding Kraków, was built during the Middle Ages and became a characteristic element of the city's panorama. A significant part of the defensive walls was built at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the southern part of the city, they were probably completed in the1st quarter of the 14th century. From the mid-14th century, the fortifications were maintained at the cost of the city and gradually expanded. o Craftspeople of various specialities were responsible for the direct care of their individual sections, from whom the names of the towers were derived.

Copperplate engraving “View of Kraków from the south, from the Krakus Mound”

The inscription in the field of view, at the top, in the middle, in the cartouche: CRACOVIA / MINORIS POLONIAE METROPOLIS.; in the central part, against the river: VISTULAFL. REGNVM DIVIDENS; in the lower left corner a cartouche with a legend in two columns, which explains the type and name of the fourteen buildings marked with letters in the view; on the frame of the cartouche on the left the date, “A(nn)o 1617”; below the legend “Depictum ab Egidio vander Rye / communic Georgius Houfnaglius”.

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 “View of Mikołajska's Gate” by Teodor Baltazar Stachowicz

This is a view of a part of Mikołajska Street, closed by Mikołajska's Gate. On the left, you can see the characteristic window grates and the gutter protruding on the street, and, on the right, a fragmentary view of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Gródek can be seen. The gate is covered with a tent roof with a break—the hole in the base is topped with a sharp arch.

Painting “Wernyhora” by Jan Matejko

Wernyhora – a Ukrainian lyricist and bard, according to some a legendary person, according to others a historical person living in the second half of the 18th century – became famous for political prophecies regarding the fate of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Ukraine. He was supposed to have foreseen the bloody Cossack rebellions, the partitioning of Poland, the unsuccessful national liberation uprisings and the revival of the Polish statehood.