Independence. Around Józef Piłsudski’s Historical Thought

Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 6:00 PM - Sunday, January 27, 2019

  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 6:00 PM - Sunday, January 27, 2019

Social and independence activist, legend of the Polish Legions, commander of the Polish Army and head of state from November 1918, First Marshal of Poland, leader of the Sanation government in the wake of the coup d’état of May 1926 and two-time holder of the Prime Minister’s office: Józef Piłsudski is familiar to all Poles, regardless how they see his role in the history of the Second Polish Republic. But do we really know a lot about him? As part of its celebrations of the centenary of Poland’s independence, the National Museum in Krakow uses artworks and historical memorabilia to reveal the ties between Piłsudski’s ideas (his press articles, historical essays, speeches, lectures, commands and interviews comprising eleven volumes of Collected Works) and the mood of the era preceding the outbreak of the Great War, the spirit of the Legions and the atmosphere of the first two years of newly independent Poland. The exhibition Independence. Around Józef Piłsudski’s Historical Thought at the Main Building of the National Museum in Krakow presents works by Jacek Malczewski, Józef Mehoffer, Leon Wyczółkowski, Leopold Gottlieb, Wojciech and Jerzy Kossak and Artur Grottger. (dd)

The Main Building

al. 3 Maja 1

The central phenomena of the Polish art of the 20th century, the history of Polish weaponry and uniforms, a gallery of crafts, and a dozen major temporary exhibitions each year.

The quickly expanding collection of the National Museum, set up in 1879, soon needed space that Kraków did not have at that time. That is why the idea to erect a new building that at the same time would commemorate the many years of efforts to regain Poland’s independence was born early in the 20th century. Immediately after the end of the First World War, already in free Poland, funds for the construction of an appropriate seat began to be raised. The construction of the building by the imposing Aleje Trzech Wieszczów, staked out just two decades earlier, began in 1934. Today, the National Museum in Kraków boasts several branches, with no fewer than three permanent galleries in the Main Building alone. Deposited on the ground floor are the collections of militaria: the exhibition Arms and Uniforms in Poland presents the history of the Polish military from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. The Gallery of Decorative Arts boasts collections of fabrics, goldsmithry, glass, ceramics, furniture, musical instruments, and Judaica that let the visitor trace changes in style from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century. The Gallery of 20th-Century Polish Art presents the chronology and key tendencies in painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography as created by the Polish artists of the previous century (gallery closed until further notice). The largest temporary exhibitions of the National Museum in Kraków are organised in specially designed halls.

Tickets to permanent galleries: normal PLN 10, concessions PLN 5, family PLN 20, admission free to permanent exhibitions on Sunday

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