Czapski Acquisitions. Norwid in Diaries

Friday, February 3, 2023 - Sunday, June 18, 2023

  • Friday, February 3, 2023 - Sunday, June 18, 2023

The collection of artistic works by Józef Czapski at the National Museum in Krakow currently amounts to 27 oil paintings, 3 etchings, and 15 drawings (loose, not collated in folios). In the years 2019–2022, the NMK received as gifts or otherwise acquired 4 oil paintings, an ink drawing, and Czapski’s table from the collection of Renata and Marek Szypulski and the Polish Humanitarian Fund in France, as well as etchings from the collection of Barbara and Richard Aeschlimann.

Cyprian Kamil Norwid was – along with Simone Weil, Stanisław Brzozowski, and Marcel Proust – the most important spiritual guide for Czapski. Research in the Józef and Maria Czapski archives, which are also part of the NMK collections, have allowed us to recreate the remarkable stories of these acquisitions (one of the paintings, for instance, belonged to Zbigniew and Katarzyna Herbert) and to fill in gaps in knowledge of the artist’s  technique (such as the method used to create the etchings, a subject which was introduced to the artist by Norwid). (Agnieszka Kosińska, curator)

The Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum

ul. Piłsudskiego 12

History is recorded here in numismatics, old prints and maps, while the life of a Polish artist is intertwined with the most important moments of 20th-century Europe.

The 19th-century mansion of the Czapski family houses an exhibition, research, and educational centre devoted to numismatics. The permanent exhibition includes over 2500 precious coins, medals, and banknotes complemented by temporary presentations of old prints and maps. The history of the museum is connected with the person of a collector, Count Emeryk Hutten-Czapski (1828–96) – a bibliophile, collector of prints, works of arts, and Polish mementoes, yet, primarily the man behind the most precious Polish collection of numismatics ever. After his death, a private museum was opened in a pavilion attached to the mansion, which the family later decided to entrust to the National Museum. The mansion (also known as a palace) is surrounded by a beautiful garden, where the modern Józef Czapski Pavilion devoted to the collector’s grandson, an eminent intellectual connected with the Kultura journal published in Paris, writer, painter, and art critic. The permanent multimedia exhibition presented here, albeit small, goes far beyond the story of the life of an individual as it witnesses the dramatic history of Europe in the 20th century.

Tickets: normal PLN 18, concessions PLN 14, family PLN 36, admission free on Tuesday

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