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.
This consists of 72 yellowed pages, bound in a hard, greenish leather-like cover. The notebook of Karol Wojtyła's colleague contains fifteen entries, dated from 2 February 1936 to 19 November 1963. There is also a collective record of 21 May 1988, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the high school final examinations. On page 71, there are a few verses...
Umarła klasa [The Dead Class], a play produced by Kantor in 1976, was called a drama séance by him during which the figures of Witkacy and Bruno Schulz, two great fascinations of Kantor, were summoned. The performance was kept in the convention of a nightmare, in which you go back to your school days and experience the trauma associated with this period. In response to a signal given by Kantor, who is the conductor of the entire situation, a procession of figures begins – a procession of old men carrying children on their backs who are grown into a part of their bodies.
The first signs of interest in the culture of the highlanders emerged before Stanisław Witkiewicz’s arrival in Zakopane. The first Woodcarving School had functioned in this town since 1876. It was later renamed, the Imperial and Royal Professional School for Wood Industry (k.k. Fachschule für Holzbearbeitung in Zakopane), in which professional craftsmen were trained. The school operated under the rule of the Austrian occupier, and its curriculum propagated Tirol styles. Despite this, it was this school's pupils who created the first works inspired by the art of Podhale.
“Children at their desk” from Umarła klasa [The Dead Class] is an art work (installation) by Tadeusz Kantor created in the spring of 1989 in the Cricoteka facilities on Kanonicza Street. It is one of several examples of works by this artist, drawing upon the idea of the Umarła klasa [The Dead Class] performance (version of “A boy at his desk from The Dead Class”, “School Class — Closed Work”, various kinds of drawings, sketches and paintings from the years 1975–1990) that was specially prepared for the future Museum of the Cricot 2 Theatre.
This is a secondary school leaving certificate, issued in Wadowice, on 14 May 1938. It has been copied onto two black and white sheets. On the first page, there is a photo of Karol Wojtyła, with the round stamp of High School Certificate No. 38, signed by the Chairman and Members of the State Examination Commission.
Emanuel Edmund Herncisz (1858–1885) studied at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków under Władysław Łuszczkiewicz, Leopold Loeffler and Jan Matejko during the period 1874–1882. Thanks to the scholarship of the Austrian government, during the period 1882–1883, after completing his education in Kraków, Herncisz went on to study at the Munich academy. In 1883, the artist made a trip to Italy, where he planned to return with Seweryn Bieszczad to take up painting studies. The artist’s plans were scuppered by tuberculosis, which would lead to his death two years later.
The present study of a male nude comes from a time when Ferdynand Bryll studied at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków. The perfectly captured proportions of the model, along with the correct chiaroscuro modelling, are evidence of the solid fundamental skills possessed by the aspiring artist.
Ferdynand Bryll, painter, portraitist, conservator and illustrator, was born in 1863, in Kraków. In the years 1876–1884, he studied at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków. In the course of his studies, in 1882, at the request of Jan Matejko, he assisted Henryk Rodakowski during his work on the frieze in the parliamentary chamber in Lviv.
Intimate conversation One of the major institutions in Zakopane was the School of Wood Industry. It was founded upon the initiative of the Tatra Society in 1876 as a wood carving school “to support the poor highland population and local industry”, over time it became an important point on the cultural map of Zakopane because it educated many artists who made great contributions to its art.