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Wojciech Doroszuk, “Reisefieber”

A project by Wojciech Doroszuk called Reisefieber concerns the problem of economic migration. During his stay in Berlin, the artist played the role of a newcomer from the East and was employed in the service sectors which are usually entrusted to emigrants. Based on his experience, five films and photography have been created, that form a multi-layered story of everyday, ordinary life in a foreign country, including both paid work and leisure activities, for example, participation in mass events organized in the city space. In each situation, the hero is shown as a stereotypical stranger, deprived of the will and the possibility of joining indigenous members of the community.

Janek Simon, “Ryugyong Hotel”

Janek Simon’s interests include theories and models as well as scientific disciplines, such as geography and economics, which are subject to evolution along with civilizational changes. His works have an experimental and anarchic character, reflecting the clash of scientific theories with the reality of everyday life. His works are prototypes, models, and complicated electronic systems, created according to the principle Do It Yourself by the artists himself. He incessantly seeks extra-systemic solutions, which allow him to break away from contemporary art of a capitalist character.

Hubert Gromny, Xavery Wolski, “Crystal Skulls Are Modern Fakes? Adventure Movie”

Historical conspiracy theories – the Muhlenberg legend, spectral time hypothesis, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – have occupied the minds of a large group of scholars and lovers of the past for centuries, being also one of the most controversial and, at the same time, interesting elements of contemporary culture. For Hubert Gromny and Xavery Wolski, they became an inspiration to create the installation Crystal skulls are modern fakes? Adventure Movie. Starting from the eclectic nature of conspiracy theories, drawing randomly from historical science, pop culture, and futurology, the creators tested their typical determinants and created a new conspiracy narrative. It questions the official theories referring to the origins of the Slavic peoples. In this attempt to mediate conspiracy theories, the artists created the character of Janusz “Johnny” Bzibziak PhD – a Polish Indiana Jones – associated with the Archaeological Museum of Kraków. The protagonist is a specialist in the field of research on nomadic peoples and a proponent of a theory postulating links between the ancestors of Slavs, Cimmerians, and Scythians.

Lidia Krawczyk, Wojciech Kubiak, from the series “Genderqueer: M.”

The project Genderqueer was implemented by Lidia Krawczyk and Wojciech Kubiak in the period 2006–2008. The first comprehensive presentation of a series of paintings, photographs, films, and sculptures was the exhibition, Becoming, in Bunkier Sztuki Gallery (2008), which, at the same time, was the crowning touch for all the activities related to it. The themes of the exhibition focused on the topic of the constant need to declare one’s identity and sexuality. The subject of interest to the artists was an attempt to show the ambiguity of the relations formed between what is feminine and masculine. People who expressed their willingness to share their experiences, related to expressing their own gender identity that deviates from socially expected conventions and the traditional division of gender roles, have become the protagonists of images and photography.

Tibetan medicine set

A part of the Ethnographic Museum's collection, the so-called Tibetan medicine set is one of a few complete 19th/20th-century descriptions of Tibetan medicine in the world, including a set of medicines and a description of their application. It consists of two medical manuscripts and almost 300 medicines, or actually products to prepare them such as seeds, plants, fruit and minerals, mostly labelled in the Tibetan language.

Icon “St. Michael Archangel”

The icon was originally located in an Orthodox church in Szczawnik, a village situated to the north of Muszyna. Its central part is filled with a whole-figure depiction of St. Michael the Archangel, shown en face, who is holding a sword up in his right hand; in his left hand, he is holding a scabbard. The figure is dressed as an armed warrior, with a short tunic, armour and a tied above his left shoulder.

Pyx

The pyx was purchased for the collection in 1998. Probably it is from an unknown village in the Gorlice region. After the war, she was kept at the family of a priest from a local village, as a unused. A pyx (Latin: ciborium, pyxis) is a container used to carry the consecrated host. It takes the form of a cup with a matching lid.

Altar cross (napriestolnyj) with the scene “Crucifixion” and “Resurrection”

The cross comes from an Orthodox church in Bogusza, a village located to the south-east of Nowy Sącz. It is one of the five Lemko napierstolny crosses [altar crosses], which can be found in the Museum in Nowy Sącz. Due to its decorative form, it is displayed in the permanent exhibition of the Orthodox church art.

Tabernacle (Kiwot)

The object comes from an Orthodox church in Jastrzębik, a village located to the south-west of Krynica. It is one of the two Orthodox tabernacles owned by the Museum in Nowy Sącz. These are extremely rare and valuable exhibits due to the time of their creation and rich painting decoration.

Retable in the shape of the iconostasis

The retable comes from an Orthodox church in Izby, a village located near the Slovakian border, to the east of Krynica. It has a unique form modelled on the arrangement of the Subcarpathian iconostasis, though in an architectural frame typical of the altars of the Roman church. It is an example of westernisation, which involves adapting western patterns to eastern culture.

Icon “Crucifiction”

The exhibit comes from an Orthodox church in Szczawnik, a village situated to the north of Muszyna. In the centre of the depiction there is a cross placed on a rock with a skull of Adam, the symbolic Golgotha.

Fish-shaped besamin box

Besamin boxes [heb. bassamim, psumin-byksy] served as containers for spices and were used during the end of the Sabbath and were usually tower-shaped, whereas the besamin box from Sącz was in the shape of a fish, whose head, connected with a trunk with a hinge could be opened and tilted.

The Babylonian Talmud

The Talmud is the most important compilation of the oral Torah, that was revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. It is a commentary, an explanation, and a discussion. Before the Talmud, there was the Mishnah, to which Talmud is an extension. There are two Talmuds—the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud—whose 1831 edition is presented in our collection. The process of editing the former was completed in the 4th century AD in Palestine, in the academies of Caesarea, Sepphoris, and Tiberias. The latter was completed a little later, at the beginning of the 6th century AD in Babylonia, in the academies of Sura, Nehardea, and Pumbedita. It is far more extensive than the Jerusalem Talmud.

Women's outfit (“laski”)

Kęty and its surrounding areas had been inhabited by the Lendians for centuries. Female costume is one of the few examples of Lendian culture which have survived to the present day, n examples of which are presented at the museum in Kęty. Single examples of such costumes could still be seen on the streets of Kęty in the 1970s.

Hanukkah lamp

Chanukah — the eight-day Jewish festival of lights – in its historical aspect commemorates the victorious Maccabean Revolt against the Greeks under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, whereas in its ethical aspect refers to the salvation of Judaism, the only existing monotheistic religion based on the coherent system of moral values in the 2ndcentury BC.

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”.

Manuscript “Divrei David” of Dawid ben Jakub

The words of David. Commentary on the Jewish calendar. In the introduction the author writes that the knowledge concerning the Jewish calendar is scattered in the papers of Rishonim and Acharonim (medieval and later scholars), and from generation to generation slowly fades away due to the small number of those who could understand and practice in this area.

Bond Committee for the Construction of the New Synagogue in Tarnów

The document was issued by the Committee for the Construction of New Synagogue in Freunds Druckerei in Breslau in the autumn of 1864. The bond amount is 50 Austrian guilders, and it was issued in the name of Zelig Offner. Exactly 44 years separate the date of the bond issuing and the moment when the New Synagogue was opened, which took place on the 18th of September 1908. The grand opening of the magnificent building, which is the pride of the Jews of Tarnów, was preceded by an excruciatingly long period of several decades when the walls were built slowly.

Mezuzah

A mezuzah is a small oblong container made mostly of metal or wood, containing a parchment rolled into a scroll (klaf) on which two passages of the Torah, from the Book of Deuteronomy, are written by hand in Hebrew.

Processional cross with scenes of “Crucifixion” and “Baptism of Christ”

The cross comes from an Orthodox church in Łosie near Krynica. It is one of the nine Orthodox processional crosses in the Museum's collection. Due to the richness of the depictions and its artistic value, it is one of the most valuable among the crosses and is displayed in the permanent exhibition of the Orthodox church art. Like most Lemko processional crosses, it is painted on both sides. On its one side there is a representation of Crucified Christ, on the other – the Baptism of Christ.