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“Cymatoceras patens” nautilida

Cymatoceras patens nautilida is one of the representatives of an extinct group of cephalopods living in the sea of the Upper Cretaceous, which covered the area of present day Poland 100.5 to 66 million years ago.

Sphalerite from “Pomorzany” Coalmine

Delusive, sneaky, deceptive, uncertain ... What makes sphalerite deserved such adjectives? For a very long time, geologists couldn’t identify this mineral. Finally, the study confirmed that it is a zinc ore.

“Fish” — a drawing by Andrzej Wajda

In Japan, carps are a symbol identified with boys, who wish to become as strong and persistent as those fish. Each year, during Japanese Children's Day, which formerly was solely Boys' Day, parents hang kites on flagpoles located near their houses resembling wind socks that indicate the strength and direction of the wind. They are in the shape of carps, and the colour of each carp is related to the person it symbolises: the black carp is for the father, the red one — for mother, other colours are for children. According to old beliefs, flags are hung high in order to attract the attention of protective gods that are high in the sky.

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.).

Piotr Lutyński, “Bird column”

The work The Bird Column was created in 2003 in the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery and functioned as an exhibition in the process. The titular Bird Column, called by Lutyński “an animated sculpture” and “a large nest full of birds”, took the form of an installation: it was a developed construction, inside which there were paintings and objects made of wood and the birds, whose singing was heard throughout the Gallery from microphones placed nearby. In the next room, there was a goat with its kids. The whole exhibition was accompanied by texts referring to the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, the patron of animals, ornithologists, and bird breeders.

Enamelled vase

A large vase with a hemispherical goblet coated with cloisonné enamel. According to its donor, the vase comes from the Summer Palace of Beijing from the era of the Chinese emperors of the Qing dynasty. It was destroyed in 1860, and then again in 1900.

Two small vases ornamented with cranes in flight, placed against a dark blue background

The crane is one of the most important symbols of longevity in many Asian countries. When it is depicted in combination with other symbols, it takes on an additional, slightly different meaning, which is often deeper than the original one. This majestic bird with its beautiful body and feathers has become one of the most important symbols of the culture of Japan, as the Japanese are a people who observe the surrounding nature carefully and draw a lot of inspiration from nature.

Jagiellonian tapestry “Stork and Rabbits”

Portrayals of animals (both European and exotic) in verdures were modelled on engravings from zoological atlases, which began to appear around the mid-16th century. Artists tried to depict specimens of a given species as accurately as possible, appending written descriptions to their prints. Such prints were very popular at that time, and cartoon painters used them to draw models for the animals that appear in the Wawel tapestries.

Woodcut “Bright Weather after the Snow Storm in Kameyama” by Utagawa Hiroshige

Utagawa Hiroshige occupied a special place in the collection by Feliks Jasieński: the collection gathered more than 2,000 woodcut boards by this artist. The abundantly represented landscape genre helps us appreciate Hiroshige as an artist who was considered to be the master of recreating the mood created by snow, rain and fog.

Karolina Kowalska, “A window onto the winter”

The motifs of urban everyday life as an illusory sign of economic prosperity prevail in Karolina Kowalska’s works. Streets, blocks of flats, and office buildings appear next to intimate apartment interiors and impersonal infrastructure. The architectural and media indicators of capitalism determine the area of human activity, rendering the world of nature a luxurious addition. The artist manipulates their images, pushing them into everyday realities and, with a hint of irony, transforming them. Thus, her photographs, films, installations, and objects reveal in a nuanced, jocular manner, the influence of urban cityscape on individuals and relationships and propose slightly improved variants. The projects realized by the artists combine music, visual art, and text at times.

Maurycy Gomulicki, “Beast”

In traditional culture, serpents represent a threatening and powerful symbol of the primal cosmic forces; they are representatives of chaos and death. They were often also the object of worship: for ancient Egyptians they symbolized the power of wielding life and death, decorating the crown of the pharaohs; the Greeks considered them to be the embodiment of the chthonic gods, and because of their annual skin moulting, they added them as an attribute to Asclepios, as a symbol of life, health, and rebirth. The Romans bred snakes in their homes, seeing them as the guardians of their home and family; The Aztecs made a feathered serpent — Quetzalcoatl — a co-creator of the world, the god of wind and earth. The primal cult of serpents also flourished in regions closer to us: for example, in the Krakowiak tribe from the right bank of the Wisła. The Judeo-Christian culture judged serpents rather negatively: in the story of Adam and Eve, they became cursed creatures; the Old Testament God sent them as a punishment to the Israelites, and then, through Moses, sent a serpent to their rescue, but one made of copper.

“The album of plants and animals”

The preserved collection of paintings, called, The album of plants and animals, is identified as the representations of plants and animals which are known from a source text and were purchased for the School of Drawing and Painting by the painter Józef Peszka. A document has been preserved in the archives of the Jagiellonian University, in which Peszka enumerates the items purchased for the school in 1920. In the list, under number 7, he wrote: “A collection of oil-painted animals and birds and flowers on a thick folio paper 30 pieces PLN 540”.

An album of woodcuts “One hundred views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai”, the 2nd volume

In the collection of the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology, there is an edition of the work 100 views of Mount Fuji by Katsushiki Hokusai. Hokusai was one of the most famous Japanese artists and he created old ukiyo-e woodcuts (Japanese: a view of the world that passes away).

“Vaca Muerta” meteorite

In the classification of meteorites, Vaca Muerta belongs to a small group of iron and stone meteorites known as mesosiderites. Mesosiderites are meteorites containing both stone and iron parts. Metal does not constitute a consolidated and unbroken structure, but appears in the form of larger or smaller fragments of meteorite iron melted into a mass of silicate minerals.

“Imilac” meteorite

W klasyfikacji meteorytów, Imilac należy do niewielkiej grupy zwanej pallasytami. Są one meteorytami pośrednimi pomiędzy kamiennymi a żelaznymi. Metal nie stanowi tu połączonej i nieprzerwanej struktury, lecz występuje w postaci większych i mniejszych fragmentów żelaza meteorytowego wtopionych w masę minerałów krzemianowych, głównie oliwinów.

“Grzempy” stone meteorite (H5 chondrite)

A certain Bydołek, a farmer from the village of Grzempy, while working in his homestead, suddenly saw a »fiery sphere« falling to the ground. While falling, the sphere broke off some branches of a nearby tree and became stuck in the ground. At the same time, a fierce, thunder-like clatter could be heard, and »fumes resembling burnt sulphur were present«...

Sphalerite

Presented specimen is unique because of the locus of occurrence holomorphic zinc and lead ores. It takes the form of fine-grained, dense masses, which, after surface polishing, are very effective - as in the case of our sphalerite.

“Paradoxides Bohemicus” trilobite

Trilobites were sea animals. Their oval and flattened body was covered with a chitinous carapace on the dorsal side. A trilobites' carapace consisted of three segments and visible body parts: a head, trunk and tail. Each of these parts could have thorns.

“Still Life” by Tomasz Lisiewicz

The objects shown in the painting are props from Jan Matejko’s School of Historical Painting. Among the props painted by Lisiewicz, one can recognize the gilded mace presented on our website, which is still in the collection of the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (Rz A 107).

Jagiellonian tapestry “Dragon Fighting with a Panther”

Imaginary animals are not predominant in tapestry presentations but sometimes appear there. Their presence usually has a symbolic meaning. In the tapestry Dragon Fighting with a Panther, this is derived from Physiologus, which is an ancient treatise on animals containing, aside from their description, an allegorical interpretation of animals, plants and minerals. According to it, the panther is loved by all animals, with the exception of the dragon. Such a presentation was interpreted as an allegory of Christ's struggle against Satan. Here, the dragon symbolises the forces of evil, and the panther the forces of good.