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How to dress the Child

  • During Advent and Christmas, we pay particular attention to the depictions of the Madonna and Baby Jesus. In most of them, the Infant is naked. The National Museum in Krakow boasts a fine collection of baby garments. So why don't we imagine that the Child is dressed? Text by: Joanna Regina Kowalska – historian and art historian, specializes in the history of 19th and 20th-century fashion.

  • The Blessed Virgin Mary with the Child from a church in Krużlowa Wyżna, c. 1410

    The Blessed Virgin Mary with the Child from a church in Krużlowa Wyżna, c. 1410

  • Knitted baby bonnet

    Knitted baby bonnet The decoration technique using glass beads, and a pattern of blue flowers are characteristic of the Biedermeier period.
    Poland, c. 1825, donated by Edward Goldstein, 1909.

  • Flannel slippers

    Flannel slippers Tarnów, 1921, donated by Anna Pawłowska.

  • Cambric baby bonnet decorated with lace

    Cambric baby bonnet decorated with lace Poland, early 20th century, donated by Leszek Wajda, 2009

  • Dress for a baby carried in one's arms, made of cambric and decorated with English embroidery

    Dress for a baby carried in one's arms, made of cambric and decorated with English embroidery Dresses covering the feet were considered very practical up until World War II.
    Poland, c. 1860

  • Christening set for a baby

    Christening set for a baby Shirt, bonnet and a swaddling wrap made of tulle, decorated with ribbons. Poland, early 20th century

  • Umbilical stump band

    Umbilical stump band This traditionally produced linen band was used to wrap the umbilical stump. It was the last relic of swaddling wraps – long pieces of cloth which in the early 19th century were still used to tightly wrap babies along with their arms.
    Tarnów, early 1920s. Donated by Anna Pawłowska

  • Knitted baby hat

    Knitted baby hat Tarnów, 1921. Donated by Anna Pawłowska

  • Knitted baby bonnet

    Knitted baby bonnet Poland, early 20th century.

  • Knitted baby bonnet

    Knitted baby bonnet Poland, early 20th century

  • Linen shirt

    Linen shirt Boy's shirt decorated with machine-made English embroidery and pink ribbons. Poland, early 20th century.

  • Crocheted shirt and bonnet made of filoselle with ribbon tassels

    Crocheted shirt and bonnet made of filoselle with ribbon tassels Pink – as a variety of red – was once considered suitable for boys. Poland, early 20th century.

  • Shirt crocheted over pink linen

    Shirt crocheted over pink linen In the 19th century, knitwear was considered ideal for infants.
    Poland, second half of the 19th century.

  • Crocheted jerkin

    Crocheted jerkin Poland, second half of the 19th century

  • Crocheted baby bonnet

    Crocheted baby bonnet Poland, second half of the 19th century.

  • Bonnet decorated with metal lace, golden and silver galloons and glass beads

    Bonnet decorated with metal lace, golden and silver galloons and glass beads Headgear was the most important part of children's clothing.
    Poland, c. 1800. Donated by Gustaw Steingraber, 1908.

  • Baby bonnet made of machine-produced lace

    Baby bonnet made of machine-produced lace Poland, early 20th century.

  • Christening dress for a girl, woollen fabric with lace

    Christening dress for a girl, woollen fabric with lace Tarnów, 1921. Donated by Anna Pawłowska.

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