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“Camera/Mr Daguerre’s invention” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

Kantor observed some analogy between photography and shooting, between a group posing for a photograph and a group of recruits lined up in a row. This field of association was used in one of the images from Wielopole, Wielopole, a performance that continued the themes/motifs from Umarła klasa [The Dead Class].

Painting “Memento Mori”

The painting was purchased for the museum in 1945. It was created in the second half of the 18th century in one of the guilds in Stary Sącz. It is a very interesting and symbolic work of art which refers to the theme of death and transience so popular in Baroque art. The painting is divided into three parts: two of them are in the shape of a standing rectangle in the upper part and one is of an oblong shape in the lower part.

Painting “Adoration of the Child” by Lorenzo Lotto

A joyful scene of the adoration of the Child (with saints: John the Baptist, Francis of Assisi, Joseph and Catherine of Alexandria) is a hidden allusion to Christ’s future fate. The Child’s deep sleep may be associated with the Redeemer’s martyr death through ancient references — Sleep (Hypnos) in the Greek mythology is the brother of Death (Thanatos).

“Turoń” (the type of horned creature) from Stary Sącz

Turoń (horned creature), or actually the head of one, i.e. a head of an animal with ears and horns made of several hefty pieces of wood nailed together and mounted on a stick. Originating from Stary Sącz (1908), this Turoń head, just like other similar exhibits from the very beginning of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, has been shown at the permanent exhibition in the form it was used in, i.e. as a part of an animal monster, a disguise of a member of a group of carollers.

Toy “Lajkonik's march” by Jan Oprocha (father)

A toy cart, or actually a platform on wheels with holes to thread a pulling cord through and 31 figurines arranged on it, rocking while the toy is pulled. The whole toy, including the platform and the figurines, is made of polychrome wood. The rectangular platform with its bevelled corners and wheels are painted green. The edges are coated with white, yellow and pink paint, and the spokes are marked with yellow, blue and red.

Icon “The Mother of God” (“Pokrow”)

The icon comes from an Orthodox church in Maciejowa, a village located between Nowy Sącz and Krynica. This type of presentation named Pokrov depicts the Mother of God, who is extending a veil over the world, which is hanging from her outstretched arms over figures clustered at her feet. Two legends are the sources of this theme.

“Door” (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

Door are a key element of the play Let the Artists Die of Cricot 2 Theater. The premiere was held at the Alte Giesserei in Nuremberg June 2, 1985 year. Place of action is CEMETERY WAREHOUSE the door opens DOORMAN (ONCE UPON A TIME, HAD THE NAME OF CHARON, CARRIER OF THE DEAD). Composition, referring explicitly to the earlier of five years play Wielopole, Wielopole, turns into a room where lasts, constantly renewed, short daily activities.

Portable small altar

According to tradition, it is associated with the Relief of Vienna. When, after the victory over the Turks, the army of King Jan Sobieski was returning to Poland, several soldiers stopped in Biecz. In gratitude for defeating the pagans and ending the war unscathed, the soldiers left this small portable altar in the church in Biecz.

“Infanta’s Portrait” (“Today is My Birthday”, 1990)

Infanta’s Portrait was one of the elements of the “Poor Room of Imagination”, arranged on the stage by Tadeusz Kantor (see The artist’s table). It was on the right side of the stage, next to the artist’s table. The Infanta’s presence in the painting is based on rhythmic departures and returns. As Kantor wrote, “standing or sitting in the frame, she poses herself in the painting and presents/ all her charms, or moves outside of the frame for various reasons: she is thrown, falls out or leaves herself. This ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ somehow sets the rhythm of her functioning in the performance.”

“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.

“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.

“Mechanical cradle” (“The Dead Class”, 1975)

The Mechanical cradle is an exhibit from Tadeusz Kantor’s performance, Umarła klasa [The Dead Class]. The premiere took place in the Krzysztofory Gallery in Kraków in November 1975. It comprises a wooden chest on a metal support frame, which resembles a child’s cradle. It was designed to enable the rocking movement of the chest. This movement could be triggered with a pedal, or with an installed electrical engine. Inside the exhibit, there were two wooden balls that caused a hollow rattle when they hit the chest walls during the rocking movement...

The “Christ on the Cross” icon

Helena Dąbczańska is a famous Lviv collector of incunabula, engravings, books, drawings, fabrics and furniture; the owner of a private museum organized in her own villa and the hostess on artistic Sunday mornings for representatives of the Lviv elite at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Kraków’s bed

Kraków’s bed made from soft wood has signature 1 in the collection of the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków. It was the first object, which started museum’s collection.

“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.

Procession float, obverse: “Heart of Our Lady”, reverse: “Heart of Jesus”

Set on a profiled base with bar holes is a picture painted on both sides of a board, presented in a simple frame, flanked with a wavy ribbon on the sides and topped with a decoratively cut peak with a cross. The structure of the procession float is painted with oil based cobalt paint.

“Dummy of Bedel” — image of Kazimierz Mikulski (“The Dead Class”, 1975)

Dummy of Bedel on a Chair is an object from Tadeusz Kantor’s performance Umarła klasa [The Dead Class]. The premiere took place in the Krzysztofory Gallery in Kraków in November 1975.

Nativity scene from Wieliczka

A model of a puppet nativity scene, symmetrical, with two storeys and five towers, provided with carrying handles on its sides. The entire structure is made of wood, the base and the upper floor of boards, and the frame from strips of wood. The walls are made of cardboard; the ground floor is covered with red paper with “bricks” painted with black ink and the walls of the upper floor and towers are covered with paper cut-outs in the shape of windows and star ornaments. The floors are separated with a decoration of horizontal, multicoloured stripes with silver teeth on the sides.

Staff with a hatchet

The staff of beech wood, of hexagonal intersection, slightly flattened, even along its entire length. It is equipped with a brass handle, in the shape of a hatchet with a slightly rounded blade. On the top of the axe there is the so-called cone a brass, oval shaped inscription inscribed in a rectangle, fastened with four nails.