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Krakow National Museum

Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie - National Museum in Krakow - is Poland's biggest museum. It's also the oldest of the nation's national museums - it was founded in 1879. The museum can boast 11 branches, 11 galleries, 21 departments, two libraries, and 12 conservation workshops. Its diverse collections total about 800,000 items - from art to handicrafts to historical costumes to rare books to manuscripts to old coins and weapons - libraries and deposits inclusive. 

Departments of the National Museum in Krakow

Possessions of the museum have been grouped into 21 sections organized according to both the character and the age of items and called departments.

1st Department /Dzial I/. The Polish Painting and Sculpture before 1764
Paintings and sculptures created on Polish soil from the Middle Ages through the 18th century.

2nd Department /Dzial II/. The Modern Polish Painting and Sculpture
Works by the outstanding Polish artists of the late 18th century and the 19th century.

3rd Department /Dzial III/. Prints, Drawings and Watercolours.

4th Department /Dzial IV/. Decorative Art and Material Culture
Artifacts of the Polish as well as foreign origin, the latter often associated with Poland.

5th Department /Dzial V/. Military Collections
Some 11,000 items, mostly various types of weapons and armor.

6th Department /Dzial VI/. Oriental Art.

7th Department /Dzial VII/. Numismatics Collection
Coins, including a fine collection of antique Greek, Roman and Byzantine coinage, as well as medals and banknotes, Polish and foreign.

8th Department /Dzial VIII/. Old Prints and Manuscripts
Superb collection of 26,000-plus volumes.

9th Department /Dzial IX/. Jan Matejko's Collections. 
Objects exhibited and stored in the Jan Matejko House at 41 Florianska street, a branch of the National Museum in Krakow devoted to the life and works of the 19th-century Polish painter Jan Matejko.

10th Department /Dzial X/. Collections of the Karol Szymanowski Museum in Villa Atma in Zakopane. 
Holdings of the Krakow National Museum’s branch in Zakopane devoted to the life and works of Karol Szymanowski, Poland’s outstanding composer of classical music of the first half of the 20th century. They include his manuscripts, a collection of book, letters, and documents as well as period furniture, etc.

11th Department /Dzial XI/. Ancient Art.
Collections of antiquities, mostly of the Egyptian, classical Greek, Etruscan, and Roman origin.

12th Department /Dzial XII/. European Painting and Sculpture
Western European art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

13th Department /Dzial XIII/. European Decorative Art
Collections of the Western European finest handicrafts, furniture, china, etc.

14th Department /Dzial XIV/. The Armory
Collections of ancient weapons and armor, Polish and other European as well as oriental, including items once owned by Poland’s kings and famous military commanders.

15th Department /Dzial XV/. Graphic Art Room
Prints, drawings, architectural designs, and printing plates in the collection of The Czartoryskis Museum.

16th Department /Dzial XVI/. The Czartoryskis Library
225,000-plus volumes from incunabula to ancient prints to old maps.

17th Department /Dzial XVII/. The Czartoryskis Archives and Collection of Manuscripts
Some 13,000 original documents and manuscripts of historical figures concerning Poland and other European countries, also the USA.

18th Department /Dzial XVIII/. Orthodox Church Art
Old icons and other church art of the Orthodox Church, mostly from the southeastern part of Poland, the rest from Russia and the Balkans.

19th Department /Dzial XIX/. Textiles
Over 20,000 pieces of clothing and fabric, including a superb collection of chasubles and other church vestments from the early 14th century on.

20th Department /Dzial XX/. Old Photography
Collection of Polish and foreign photos from years 1850 to 1945 consists mostly of prints – also on such materials as leather and oilcloth – plus plates and daguerreotypes and totals over 80,000 items,

21st Department /Dzial XXI/. Studio of the Iconography of Krakow. 
9,000-plus views of Krakow – panoramas of the city, its streets, squares, landmarks, exteriors and interiors of buildings. 

Note: Only part of the Krakow National Museum's collections is permanently displayed in any of its ten branches, some are available only to scholars, some are exhibited from time to time, and many of the museum's possessions have never been shown to the public. 

Branches of the Krakow National Museum

The Main Building / Gmach Glowny 

at 1 Al. 3 Maja street and Mickiewicza avenue. 
Postal address:
al. 3 Maja 1, 30-062 Krakow, Poland. Phone (+48) 122955600, email sekretariat@muz-nar.krakow.pl or dyrekcja@muz-nar.krakow.pl  

The Main Building is the Krakow National Museum's official seat and its principal venue for temporary art shows. Also, it contains three permanent exhibitions 

  • Arms and Colours in Poland 

  • Gallery of Decorative Art 

  • The 20th-Century Polish Art

Krakow National Museum, Gallery of the 20th-century Art

The main building of the National Museum in Krakow is closed on Mondays. Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Free admission on Sundays.

 

The Princes Czartoryski Museum / Muzeum Czartoryskich 

at 19 Sw. Jana street and Pijarska street. 
Postal address: ul. sw. Jana 19, 31-017 Krakow, Poland. Phone (+48) 124225566 or 124212956, fax: (+48) 122926464, email muz-czart@muzeum.krakow.pl

Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci

The museum holds four permanent exhibitions 

  • Gallery of European Painting

  • European Decorative Arts and Pulawy Memorabilia

  • Armoury

  • Gallery of Antiquities

Temporary exhibitions take place in the nearby building of the 16th-century Arsenal at 8 Pijarska street. 

The Princes Czartoryski Museum undergoes remodeling in the years 2010 through 2014. After reopening it's expected to be organized along new lines. 

Gallery of Antique Art in the Arsenal at 8 Pijarska street is open every day except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Palace of Bishop Erasmus Ciolek / Palac Biskupa Erazma Ciolka 

at 17 Kanonicza street. 

Postal address: ul. Kanonicza 17, Krakow, Poland. Phone (+48) 124291558 and 12424937. 

The museum consists of two permanent exhibitions

  • Art of Old Poland (the 12th century through 18th century) 

  • Orthodox Art of the Old Polish-Lithuanian Republic

Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays.  

Free admission on Sundays.

The museum's both permanent exhibitions stay closed till February 28, 2015 due to conservation works.

 

Gallery of the 19th-cetury Polish Art / Galeria Sztuki Polskiej XIX wieku. 

in the Cloth Hall amid the Grand Square  

Postal address: Sukiennice, Rynek Glowny 1, 31-011 Krakow, Poland. Phone (+48) 124244600.  

National Museum in Krakow - Gallery of the 19th-Century Art in the Cloth Hall on Rynek Glowny central square

Situated on the upper floors the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), in the middle of the Old Town’s central square, the newly refurbished cradle of the National Museum in Krakow retains the precious nineteen-century atmosphere besides modern facilities. Its collection consists of the best paintings of Poland’s top artists of the late 18th century till the end of the 19th century, i.e. from the enlightenment to the romanticism to realism to impressionism and symbolism. 

Closed on Mondays. Opening hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Roof terrace is accessible every day between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. 

 

The Szolaysky House / Kamienica Szolayskich

at 9 Plac Szczepanski square and Szczepanska street. 

Postal address: Plac Szczepanski 9, 31-011 Krakow, Poland. Phone (+48) 122928183 ext. 84 or 85, also (+48) 124227021, fax (+48) 122928189, e-mail szolayscy@muzeum.krakow.pl 

Stanislaw Wyspianski's self-portrait with wife in peasant costume

Exhibition Forever Young. Polish Art ca. 1900 shows paintings and sculpture by Poland's best artists from the last decades of the 19th century and the early 20th century. 

Closed on Mondays. Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Free admission on Sundays. 

 

EUROPEUM Center of European Culture / Osrodek Kultury Europejskiej EUROPEUM

at 6 Plac Sikorskiego square.  

Europeum center in Krakow

Collection of the western European art from the Middle Ages through the 19th century. 

Closed on Mondays. Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

Free admission on Sundays.

House of Jan Matejko / Dom Jana Matejki  

at 41 Florianska street. 

Postal address: ul. Florianska 41, 31-019 Krakow, Poland. Phone (+ 48) 124225926 or 124230408, fax (+48) 122921005, email dommatejki@muz-nar.krakow.pl

picture by Jan Matejko in the Krakow National Museum

Biographical museum of the 19th-century Polish great painter Jan Matejko. 

Closed on Mondays. Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Free admission on Sundays.

House and Garden of Jozef Mehoffer / Dom i Ogrod Jozefa Mehoffera

at 26 Krupnicza street. 

Postal address: ul. Krupnicza 26, 31-123 Krakow, Poland. Phone (+48) 4335840 or 124335841

Biographical museum of the noted Polish painter, born 1869, in the house he bought in the 1930s and where he lived till death in 1946. 

Closed on Mondays. Otherwise open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Free admission on Sundays. 

 

Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum / Muzeum Emeryka Hutten-Czapskiego 

at 12 Pilsudskiego street. 

Postal address: ul. Pi≥sudskiego 12, 31-109 Krakow, Poland. Phone (+48) 122926440 or 122926441 or 124222733. 

The museum holds collections of coins, banknotes, and medals, old prints, manuscripts, Polish memorabilia, and works of decorative arts, the bulk of them amassed by collector Emeryk Hutten-Czapski in the second half of the 19th century.

Closed on Mondays. Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Free admission on Sundays. Otherwise a regular admission fee is 9 zloties (PLN)

 

 

Karol Szymanowski Museum in the Villa Atma in Zakopane / Muzeum im. Karola Szymanowskiego w Willi 'Atma' w Zakopanem 

at 19 Kasprusie street in the town of Zakopane, 120 kilometers south of Krakow. 

Postal address: ul. Kasprusie 19, 34-500 Zakopane, Poland. Phone/fax (+48) 182013493, email atmamuzeum@wp.pl 

Biographical museum dedicated to life and music of composer Karol Szymanowski. 

Closed on Mondays. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays. 

Free admission on Sundays.

 

The Czartoryski Library / Biblioteka Czartoryskich 

at 17 Sw. Marka street. 

Postal address: ul. sw. Marka 17, 31-018 Krakow, Poland. Phone (+48) 124221172 or 124224079, e-mail bczart@poczta.onet.pl (Department of Manuscripts) and bczart@tlen.pl (Department of Prints). 

Open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. plus on Saturdays from a.m. to 1:45 p.m. 

 

History of the National Museum in Krakow 

National Museum was founded by the City Council in Krakow in 1879 as Poland's first national institution dedicated to collecting and exhibiting fine arts. Initially it was situated in the upper rooms of the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) standing in the middle of Krakow’s Rynek Glowny central square. Now the same building houses the Gallery of the 19th-cetury Polish Art, a branch of the Krakow National Museum. 

In the ensuing decades the National Museum in Krakow grew into the country’s by far biggest museum, mostly thanks to generous donations of wealthy Poles who often gave it entire collections and sometimes buildings to hold them. At first the museum concentrated on gathering the then contemporary Polish art but as early as the early 20th century it adopted a wide scope of activity including handcrafts, foreign art, antiquities, historical memorabilia, books, and coins. 

In 1950 the Krakow National Museum incorporated the Princes Czartoryski Museum together with its superb collections and the Czartoryski Library and Archives. In 1991 they were formally handed over to a charity founded by Adam Karol Czartoryski, the heir of their former owners, but by mutual arrangement the National Museum in Krakow has remained their curator and guardian. 

Taking photos and videotaping in the Krakow National Museum. 

Visitors may photograph and videotape free of charge at every exhibition but the use of flash is prohibited.      

 

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