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Wooden toy — “A cart pulled by horses”

A cart pulled by wheeled horses or rocking horses used to be one of the most favourite toys for children. Nowadays, it is coming back to store shelves in a fashionable and ecological design. This wooden cart is part of a larger collection of toys from the museum in Myślenice and the object used to present the history of folk toy manufacturing in general. Folk toys are more than merely usable items as all of them have their own history and all members of a family were engaged in the production process. They were made mainly by peasants in the winter time, when they were able to carve toys because of less agricultural work.

Wooden bike

This small bike made by a peasant boy for his younger brother has no pedals or brakes – it is suitable only for downhill riding... We should pay attention to its construction – an indication of creativity and imagination. A two-wheeled bike with a frame of two wooden slats and handlebars made from a debarked stick.

Tube gramophone

The mechanism of the gramophone is placed in a box made of oak wood in a natural colour. The casing is modestly decorated with simple mills, the front wall bears a metal brass secession plate depicting the muse, Erato.

Toy “Wooden locomotive”

This wooden steam train was made by Tadeusz Matusiak in the German prison camp, Luckenwalde (Stalag III-A), in 1944. Tadeusz Matusiak, who was born in Kęty in 1907, was a house painter by profession; from an early age, he painted pictures and carved in wood with great passion. He was a very talented artist.

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.

The “Mercury” Stereoscope viewer by Underwood & Underwood

The “Mercury” Stereoscope is a Holmes system stereoscopic viewer for stereoscopic photographs, with a single 7 x 7 cm image, produced in 1900–1920 by Underwood & Underwood from New York (USA). One of the simplest designs of stereoscopic viewers was the “open” viewer system, invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1861. This was an extremely simple design, equipped with an eyepiece with lenses, including an appropriately curved wooden or metal sun visor. The Underwood & Underwood Company sold millions of stereoscopic photos, thanks to this very cheap production model of the viewer.

Statuette of a Singing Monkey of the “Monkey Orchestra” series

Monkeys were the subject matter of an iconographic genre called Singerie and so were a popular depiction in the 18th century. The genre was based on the art of Jean Berain which was published in 1711. Scenes of dancing, playing and hunting monkeys wearing fashionable clothes decorated the interiors of royal palaces in Marly, Anet or Chantilly. Realistic looking monkeys were often modelled by Kändler.

Statuette of a Monkey Playing the Horn of the “Monkey Orchestra” series

Monkeys were the subject matter of an iconographic genre called Singerie and so were a popular depiction in the 18th century. The genre was based on the art of Jean Berain which was published in 1711. Scenes of dancing, playing and hunting monkeys wearing fashionable clothes decorated the interiors of royal palaces in Marly, Anet or Chantilly. Realistic looking monkeys were often modelled by Kändler.

Sculpture “Young Centaur (Smiling Centaur)”

The Centaur sculpture is a copy of one of two marble sculptures found in Rome in 1736, during excavation works in Hadrian's Villa, but substantially reduced in size. At present, the Furietti Centaurs, named after their discoverer, Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti, can be found in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Sculpture “Bacchante” by Teodor Rygier

A young woman, clearly amused, seems to be walking towards the viewer with a dance-like step. Her shapely figure has been captured in a lively pose, and the body is covered only with a fabric carelessly wrapped around the hips. The girl is raising a goblet with a vigorous gesture of her right hand. The Dionysian character of sculpture, marked in the title, is emphasized by a vine twig gripped in the left hand.

Ring — film projector produced in Germany

The Ring is an amateur cinematographic projector for 35 mm wide tape, made in 1900–1919 in Germany (Bavaria). The construction of the cinematograph constructed by the Lumière brothers in 1895 and the rapid development of film art ...

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»!”.

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

A funny puppet representing Jacek Malczewski in a caricatural character of Jacek Symbolewski was purchased for the collection of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków in 1962. It makes a valuable reminder related with the Young Poland cabaret called Zielony Balonik [Green Balloon] operating in the period from 1905 to 1912 on Floriańska Street in Kraków in the Cukiernia Lwowska [Lviv Confectionery] opened by Jan Apolinary Michalik and hence called Jama Michalika [Michalik’s Den].

Painting “Caricature of Stanislaw Witkiewicz” by Kazimierz Sichulski

A well-known Polish proverb says that laughter is good for you. Hence, ancient theatre already knew comedies and the art of caricature. Artur Schrőder wrote that the caricature "must recreate the real, true features of the model, exaggerated and accentuated in a specific, comical way, but in a way that the audience could easily recognise. A caricaturist must be an excellent psychologist."

Painting “Caricature of Jacek Malczewski” by Kazimierz Sichulski

Zakopane, located at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, surrounded by a picturesque landscape, used to be a paradise for all kinds of artists. Besides inspirations they could come across at every turn, they could also experience true creative and intellectual freedom there.

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.

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.

Mikiphone pocket phonograph

The phonograph has a spring drive mechanism and is designed to play discs that have a diameter of 10 to 25 cm at 33 rpm. It is sometimes described as the walkman of the Victorian era and the great-grandfather of the iPod. It is an example of one of the first pocket-size and movable devices for playing music.

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.