The Night of the Museums at the National Museum in Wrocław
and its branches
20 May 2017, Saturday
4 PM - Midnight
We invite you to join us this year for the Night of the Museums! The main building of the National Museum in Wrocław and the branches: Four Domes Pavilion and Ethnographic Museum will be open from 4 PM until Midnight.
The key themes for the night at the Natonal Museum in Wrocław are mysteries, ghosts and night creatures. The exhibitions available to visit are the following: Silesian Art 17th-19th c., Polish Art 16th-19th c., European Art 15th-early 20th c.
The Four Domes Pavilion invites you to see the collection of Polish contemporary art and to join a happening commemorating Magdalena Abakanowicz.
In the Ethnographic Museum, visitors will be able to take part in an evening with gypsy culture and music and see the permanent exhibition and the temporary one, dedicated to the Roma culture, which will have its opening during the Night of the Museums.
On Sunday 21 May, the day after the Night of the Musems, our museums will be open from noon (12 AM).
Lost portrait miniature returns to the Museum's collection
A miniature by Aimée Zoe Lizinka de Mirbel „Portrait of a Lady” (1833), lost during the II World War, has been regained thanks to the cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the FBI. On the 17th March 2017 the painting was returned to the collection of the National Museum in Wrocław.
The artist, Aimée Zoe Lizinka de Mirbel, was one of the most acknowledged miniature painters of her time and worked for the court of Louis XVIII in France. Her works can be found in the collections of Louvre in Paris or the Wallace Collection in London.
The returned miniature portrait of a young lady was given to the Silesian Museum of Crafts and Antiquities in 1900. In 1942 it was moved to a repository in order to protect it, together with other pieces from the museum's collection, from the dangers of war.
Considered to be lost forever in fire of the repository, the miniature was surprisingly found online in 2013. Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage got in touch with a private collector who refused to give back the painting. In 2016 FBI got engaged in the negotiations and the work has been succesfully returned the work to the National Museum in Wroclaw.
Upcoming exhibitions in 2017!
2017 in exhibitions: we're going to explore Wrocław Cathedral treasury, admire decortive arts from East and West and study the Cranach era. And that's only the beginning! Full programme of the most important exhibitions in 2017 in the National Museum in Wrocław and our branches is available HERE.
The photo of our Museum goes viral!
"It's the most beautiful building every season and every day", "The museum always looks magical, but now it's gone too far :-)","An indescribable impression" - these are some examples of comments we get for the photo of our main building, submitted recently on our Facebook fanpage. In just a few days the photo reached 800 thousand people and got over 32 thousand likes on Facebook! It was also published on the famous Bored Panda. On their fanpage, it got over 80 thousand likes. We're beyond happy because of the popularity of the picture. If you don't believe the colours in the photo, we officially confirm it's all true! This autumn our Museum looks exceptionally amazing. Visit us and see it yourself!
Photo by Anna Kowalów, The National Museum in Wrocław
The Wrocław Europe exhibition officially open
Bartholomaeus Strobel, Daniel and King Cyrus in Front of Baal, 1636-1637
The National Museum in Warsaw
The Wrocław Europe exhibition at the National Museum in Wrocław is the first ever to showcase the art of Bartholomaeus Strobel, a great 17th-century painter active in Wrocław (Silesia) and Pomerania (Poland), somewhat forgotten today, and of his gifted followers, like Johann Lichtenstein or Martin Lauterbach. Another focal figure is Strobel’s contemporary, Polish royal prince and Bishop of Wrocław Charles Ferdinand Vasa, brother of King Władysław IV of Poland. Charles Ferdinand was a generous patron of the arts, music in particular. He commissioned the Jesuit Church in Nysa and many precious decorative objects to furnish churches and monasteries in Silesia and Poland.
The exhibition will showcase some 100 works from Polish and international collections. The riza (revetment) made for the venerated icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa, set with rubies and jewels from King Władysław’s crown, will take pride of place, a truly unique opportunity to see it outside of the sanctuary at Jasna Góra. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will feature topical essays on the painting, silverwork, fashion, literature, and music of the turbulent period of the Thirty Years’ War which defined the political and religious context of the lives and activities of Strobel and Charles Ferdinand.
The exhibition of Silesian stone sculpture 12th-16th century
open in a new arrangement
The National Museum in Wrocław houses one of the most precious collections of medieval stone sculpture in Poland. From September 2016 we present it in a completely new arrangement on the 1st floor of the Museum.
The visitors can admire the most distinguished works, such as romanesque relics of the Benedictine Abbey in Ołbin, the sarcophagus of Henry IV Probus (latin for Righteous) and tomb slab of prince Henry II the Pious. For the first time we present a figure of Madonna with Child from the facade of St. Mary Magdalene Chruch in Wrocław. The sculpture was seriously damaged in 1945 and split into two pieces. They've been now joined together after the conservation works this year. The new arrangement of the exhibition includes multimedia posts with information about the monuments. In addition to the sculpture collection, we present 15th century stained-glass.
Permanent exhibition of Polish contemporary art
in The Four Domes Pavilion. Museum of Contemporary Art
25th June 2016 – ceremonial opening; 26th June 2016 – opening to a wide audience
In late June 2016, the Four Domes Pavilion. Museum of Contemporary Art opened as a new branch of the National Museum in Wrocław, at the newly restored Four Domes Pavilion, part of the historic Exhibition Grounds with the world-famous Centennial Hall. The permanent exhibition features works by Poland’s leading contemporary artists: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jerzy Bereś, Włodzimierz Borowski, Władysław Hasior, Jan Lebenstein, Tadeusz Kantor, Alina Szapocznikow, Henryk Stażewski, Jerzy Tchórzewski.
Designed in 1912 by Hans Poelzig, one of Europe’s leading architects in the early 20th century, the Four Domes Pavilion has been restored to its original function of an exhibition venue. As the Museum of Contemporary Art, a new branch of the National Museum in Wrocław, the modernized building houses the Museum’s collection of Polish contemporary art, one of nation’s best and most comprehensive. The exhibition features works by distinguished Polish artists, illuminating the richness and diversity of Polish art after 1945 until present: from the works inspired by the Modern Movement and the avant-garde of the interwar period to a wide range of trends and tendencies informing the art of the later 20th century with its diverse aesthetic, political, social and philosophical concerns (Matterism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, Body Art etc.). The selection of works from the collection numbering some 20 thousand pieces showcases various disciplines and media explored by contemporary artists, from traditional to modern: painting, sculpture, installation, video art, graphic arts, photography, performance documentation.
16 April 2015
WHOLE AGAIN -
A precious Gothic sculpture returns to Wrocław
Wrocław is getting back the splendid Gothic stone statue of the Virgin and Child that once graced St Mary Magdalene’s Church. The sculpture was seriously damaged in 1945, during the final months of World War II. It had broken into two pieces which subsequently became separated. Now, 70 years later, the sculpture’s integrity is restored and it becomes whole again.
„Museum of Dreams” – a literary and musical journey in an art galery
Combining painting, literature, music and theatre, the project “Museum of Dreams” offers a new perspective on the work of old masters. Nine chamber plays, directed by Jacqueline Kornmüller and inspired by, among others, Wassil Kandinsky’s “Evening” and Władysław Podkowiński’s “Meeting”, will be on in the Wrocław National Museum from January 16.
The Austrian director along with a group of actors and dancers she invited will create a series of shows that will be staged in front of selected works. They feature such prominent individuals as the writers Jacek Dehnel and Joanna Bator, and the actresses Joanna Szczepkowska and Hanna Konarowska. Spectators, walking around the exhibition rooms with a map of the museum and a folding chair, will watch many scenes combining painting, literature, music and theatre. The actors will perform their roles simultaneously, a few times in a row, so that the spectator will have a chance to see all the plays during one night. More information on the project can be found on the website www.muzeummarzen.pl.
It is not the director Jacqueline Kornmüller and the producer Peter Wolf’s first project
of this kind in the National Museum of Wroclaw. There, in 2013, they presented a series of shows entitled “Ganymed Goes Europe”, which critics of theatre have appreciated for its innovative formula combining a few different arts. One of the texts chosen for staging was a piece written by the Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek.
It’s not the end of surprises that the National Museum has prepared for the year celebrating the European Capital of Culture Wrocław: on June 25, Museum of Contemporary Art will be opened in the newly renovated Pavilion of Four Domes. As a new division of the National Museum, it will present the masterpieces of the Polish contemporary art: for example, the works of Magdalena Abakanowicz. September 19, on the other hand, will mark the opening
of a temporary exhibition called “Wrocławska Europa” (“The Wrocław Europe”), which includes the oeuvre of the outstanding painter Bartholomeus Strobel.
8 April 2015
The Metamorphoses of Książ CastleSigning the agreement concerning the collaboration of the National Museum in Wrocław
and Książ Castle in Wałbrzych.
After several decades, the paintings from the former collection of John Henry XV von Hochberg and his wife Princess Daisy will return to Książ Castle as long-term loans of the National Museum in Wrocław, their current owner. The Metamorphoses of Książ Castle exhibition, scheduled to open in July, will also feature other pieces from the Museum’s collection. Today the two institutions signed the topical agreement.
13 February 2015
The masterpiece lost during World War II returns to Wrocław
After six years of intense legal and diplomatic work, St Ivo Caring for the Poor by Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) returns to Poland. Alongside Rubens and Van Dyck, Jordaens was the leading exponent of the Golden Age of Flemish painting. His precious work will become a jewel of the collection of the National Museum in Wrocław.
Before World War II, the painting was part of the holdings of the local Museum of Fine Arts. In 1942, it was evacuated to the storage facility at Kamieniec Ząbkowicki and then disappeared. In 2008, it resurfaced at an action at Sotheby’s in London from which it was subsequently withdrawn on the request of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Close examination revealed the markings of the Museum of Fine Arts in Wrocław. Following several years of negotiations and diplomatic efforts, the painting now returns to Wrocław.
We are so happy because yet another art treasure which had seemed irretrievably lost during the war has been located and restored to the city’s artistic heritage– says Piotr Oszczanowski, Director of the National Museum in Wrocław. Jacob Jordaen’s St Ivo Caring for the Poor will certainly become one of the centrepieces of our permanent gallery of European Art of the 15th-20th c. I wish to thank all the individuals and institutions who have contributed to locating and reclaiming the piece for the Wrocław collection. Its story exemplifies both the challenges and awards of the task of finding lost art treasures.
CONSERVATION OF 86 STAINED GLASS WINDOW PANELS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM IN WROCŁAW
The National Museum in Wrocław can boast the largest and most precious museum collection of stained glass in Poland. Until now, it could not have been displayed because of the poor state of preservation of many pieces. The grant of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has made it possible to conserve all stained glass panels in the Museum’s collection. It is the first and largest comprehensive conservation program of this kind ever implemented in Poland.
The National Museum in Wrocław has in its collection 86 individual stained glass panels and sets of panels dating to the period from the Middle Ages through the early 20th century. The most precious among them are Renaissance panels made in Wrocław and Silesian workshops. The group comprises: panels with coat-of-arms of prominent burgher families from St Christopher’s in Wrocław (1586), panels with coat-of-arms of Silesian noble families (1615), and votive and guild stained glass panels. The panel with the emblem of the clothier’ guild in Wrocław (1551) is the largest Renaissance stained glass panel preserved in Poland. ‘In Polish museum collections, Renaissance stained glass panels are great rarity – says Keeper of Glass Elżbieta Gajewska-Prorok – which makes those in our collection all the more precious, especially that they were locally made in Silesia and decorated local monuments of architecture.’ The earliest specimens in the Museum’s collection date to the Middle Ages and depict the Annunciation and figures of saints. They were made in Austria and were acquired by a Silesian aristocratic collector in the 19th century for his residence at Grodzieć near Złotoryja. We also have a number of so-called ‘cabinet’ stained glass panels – small, circular, oval or square glass panels painted with religious and genre scenes, heraldic motifs, and figures of saints – which impress with their artistry and precision. They were made over the period of some four hundred years from the 15th century through the 19th century in the Netherlands, Rhineland, and Switzerland.
Provenance of the collection
Many panels come from the collection of the former Museum of Silesian Antiquities (Museum Schlesischer Altertümer). A number of specimens were transferred by the Conservator of the Historic Monuments of the Province of Silesia to the then Silesian (today National) Museum in Wrocław in the 1960s and 1970s.
The state of preservation of the stained glass panels, both those from the former museum collections and those transferred from various locations in Silesia in the 1960s and 1970s, was generally rather poor. The comprehensive conservation program, aimed at preventing any further damage and restoring the pieces to their former glory, has been preceded by years of research and preparations and made possible by the grant from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (PLN 130 000). Work was done by the experts from the specialist studio Witraże. Beata Oleszczuk in Wrocław from March through November 2013.
‘This is a model conservation program, unique in terms of its complexity, comprehensiveness and the quality of the collection’ – Gajewska-Prorok says. In fact, it has comprised a number of individual projects, like the reconstruction of the medieval panels from the residence at Grodziec and stained glass windows from Domanice Castle. All panels have been disassembled, cleaned, repaired, and remounted. Likewise, the metal and wooden frames from the 18th and 19th c. have been conserved.
The collection after conservation will be showcased at the exhibition The Masters of Light (3 November – 31 December 2014). It will be accompanied by the collection catalogue: ‘The Masters of Light. Stained Glass and Églomisé Panels in the Collection of the National Museum in Wrocław.’