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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.

Fan with a court scene

The fan is made of a hand-painted fabric. In the fan’s folds, richly decorated fields with various floral patterns featuring a palette of blues and pinks, coloured using paint gouache, arranged vertically, are clearly visible. Through the floral compositions, there diamond-shaped ornaments, sewn in using golden thread, with the addition of sequins and beads at the corners. Along the fan, runs a strip of alternating brown and azure-blue panels, with white and pink flowers running respectively, in various compositions.

Alms pouch

A small pouch made of a long piece of fabric sewn in half, reinforced on the sides with a silk tape, with a binding in the top part and a hole for a string used to tighten and loosen the pouch. At the bottom, there are decorative elements (tassels) consisting of gold circles made of thread and long single tassels. The whole pouch is embroidered with split stitch, long and short stitch and fishbone stitch. On one side, there are four human figures among thin trees with palmate leaves resembling oak leaves. On the other side, the same young woman is being led up a hill by the old man. Although interpretation of the scenes on the alms pouch is not certain, it is most likely they depict episodes from the story of Tristan and Iseult. The tale of unhappy love of brave Tristan to beautiful Iseult, the wife of king Mark of Cornwall, was written down for the first time in the 12th century and has been reappearing since then in many countries and language versions. Scenes embroidered on the pouch, enrooted in the Arthurian tradition, depict the clash of a sophisticated world of courtly ways (young and beautiful lovers) with wild forces of nature (the old men). There are only several alms pouches with similar decorations preserved until now.

An embroidered jerkin – a prop from the School of Fine Arts

A jerkin embroidered with silver (?) and golden (?) threads, with a large cut-out at the front, adorned with baubles decorated with red coral (eight baubles on each side), geometric ornamentation prevails.

Fragment of a decorative fabric – a prop from the School of Fine Arts

A fragment of decorative fabric was used as a prop in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków – at the school of historical painting of Jan Matejko.

Parochet — curtain that covers the Torah Ark

Beautiful curtain that covers the Torah Ark altar in the synagogue, produced in New York shortly before the outbreak of World War II and brought to Poland by Mr. Zvi, son Johoszua Lehr.

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.

Rationale of Kraków bishops

The rationale consist of two wide ribbons that form the shoulder pieces, joined at the chest and at the back with large circular shields, to each of which, a pair of slightly narrower ribbons that go diagonally outwards is connected. All parts are covered with small pearls which serve as a background for decorations embroidered with gold thread. In the middle of each shield, inside four concentric circles, there is a standing figure of the Lamb of God with a halo round his head and a vexillum on a crossed flagpole. long the ribbons, separated by narrow strips, there are capitalised inscriptions.The ends of the hanging ribbons are sectioned with couples of strips and include shields with the emblems of the Kingdom of Poland (White Eagle) and the Kingdom of Hungary (Anjou). They are placed in such a way that whether you see the rationale from the front or the back, the Eagle is on the left and the Anjou coat of arms is on the right ribbon. All edges of the rationale are trimmed with a narrow stripe, while the edges of the ribbons are trimmed with long gold tassels. Threaded pearls decorating the rationale were fixed in strings to a linen base reinforced underneath with a thick stiffening. The lining was made of red damask. Several types of yellow thread was used for the embroidery: drawn cored wires – smooth, twisted into ropes, lamellae (plates) and the so called bullion. All stripes, letters, vignettes and the Lamb of God are embroidered on a relief base made of thread. Red-and-gold as well as blue-and-gold lamé was used for the background in the coats of arms.

Women's cropped jacket

A few kinds of cropped jackets were used around Kraków, though the most popular and liked ones were those worn by Kraków women in the Young Poland time. Cropped jackets emerged as a popular piece of women's attire in the 1960s and 1970s, though their history dates back to as far as the 19th century.

Sheepskin coat (lachowski)

An outfit was one of the ways of proving your wealth in one village of the Lendians (Lachowie). In winter, on holidays, Sundays, and fair days, the wealthiest farmers wore Hungarian sheepskin coats made from white tanned leather. Coats were long, with a fold at the waist, and a large semi-circular collar made from black lambskin falling down the back, with which they wrapped their heads during blizzards.

Star of the Order of Saint Stanislaus

The order was established by Stanisław August Poniatowski on 7 May 1765. Until the end of the sovereign Republic of Poland, it was not divided into classes, and it was awarded in a uniform shape.

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.

Wedding scarf from Pogórze

In the past wedded women were not supposed to show themselves with an uncovered head. They usually wore small percale scarves or flowery scarves made of tybet fabric (Polish fabric made of Tibetan sheep wool); while on holidays and during various ceremonies, they made a wedding headscarf from a tulle scarf. Such a wedding scarf was worn by a bride during the unveiling and capping ceremony, which was an important moment at every wedding.

Russian headdress piece – a prop from the School of Fine Arts

A headdress piece stiffened with wires, made of strips forming a diagonal chequered pattern. It is embroidered with imitation pearls and laced with metal threads, forming a convex plant ornament. The crown is placed at the back. The whole piece was covered with fabric, and straps were sewn into it at the head for fastening. The object was used as a prop in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.

Coif scarf from the region of Gorlice

The tulle shawl, richly decorated with white, hand-made embroidery, is a characteristic element of women's costumes from Podgórze Gorlickie (the Gorlice Foothills).

Wedding scarf

The head scarf was the most important and most valuable covering of married women; it was an indispensable element of women’s folk costume in Kraków. It was put on women for the first time during the traditional wedding ceremony called Oczepiny, to indicate the change in her marital status. Scarves were worn by married women throughout their entire future life.

Wedding scarf for Kraków costume

A White headscarf tied into a bonnet for the Kraków costume, decorated with flat and punch embroidery. Two sides of the scarf are cut in an openwork teeth style with small holes, the other two sides are more richly decorated. Above the openwork teeth there is a frieze composed of hemstitched and punched cone motifs. Moreover, in the spaces between the cones, there are six-petal punched flowers and embroidered small branches with leaves.

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.

Wedding scarf from Raciborowice

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