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For the first time in its 134-years history, the National Museum in Krakow is opening a separate permanent exhibition of European art. The exhibition is placed in a new branch of the Museum: EUROPEUM - European Culture Center in the Old Granary at the Sikorski Square 6.
Europe in the Old Granary! Once, seed for sowing was stored here. Now we want to “sow” the knowledge of the culture of Europe that we have belonged to for centuries. Fine arts, literature, philosophy, poetry, music will become the resources gathered in the granary, in the eleventh branch of the National Museum in Kraków. We would like to invite you to a renovated, restored 17th-century building, in which - for the first time in its history - the National Museum in Kraków presents its own collection of the Western European art., says Zofia Gołubiew the Director of the National Museum in Kraków.
The historic, 17th-century granary, placed next to the monastery of the Capuchin Friars Minor order, in close proximity of the Main Square, was rebuilt many times. The building has become the property of the National Museum in Kraków after the II World War. In 1969 a furniture storehouse was organized there. In 2008-2013 the granary underwent a general renovation. Construction and restoration works included: insulation of the foundations, conservation of the facades, roof replacement, laying new floors. New electrical installation, central heating, water supply and sewage-disposal system, air conditioning and ventilation systems were installed. New burglary and fire alarm systems were installed as well. Also, the granary premises were taken care of - old barracks were disassembled, a new pavement was laid; a lapidarium was created at the backyard, containing a few hundred architectural details from old buildings in Kraków. The cost of the renovation was PLN 9m.
The exposition in the granary presents seven centuries of the history of European art, using over 100 paintings and sculptures. This collection was gathered since the foundation of the Museum in 1879, mainly as gifts, and initially was not covered with a specific policy, as the Museum (as indicated by its name) was focusing mainly on the Polish works of art. The situation changed after the II World War, when the Museum acquired outstanding Western European paintings and sculptures, such as: The Crucifixion by Paolo Veneziano, Lorenzo Lotto’s Adoration of the Child, Pieter Breughel the Younger’s The Sermon of St. John the Baptist, a French 14th-century sculpture Madonna with the Child or The Bishop’s Bust, created ca 1500 in the Netherlands.
Until 2010 European art collection was displayed with the Czartoryski collection at the Princes Czartoryski Museum (a branch of National Museum in Kraków). The gallery at the Princes Czartoryski Museum was closed in 2010 due to renovation. The Board of the Princes Czartoryski Foundation decided that after the renovation only the Czartoryski collection will be displayed there. Therefore, the National Museum’s in Kraków Management decided to set up an independent exhibition of European art in the old granary building.
Apart from the works mentioned above, other magnificent works of art: Catalan medieval Madonnas, Man of Sorrows by Jan Gossaert (Jan Mabuse), Luca Giordano’s The Flight into Egypt, The Portrait of a Boy with a Bow and a Dog by Nicolaes Maes, Portrait of Antonio Canova by Antonio d’Este, François-Xavier Fabre’s Portrait of Michał Bogoria Skotnicki or Bertel Thorvaldsen’s Mercury.
EUROPEUM - European Culture Center will also fulfill educational functions. It’s role is to inform the 21st-century audience on lasting centuries belonging of our culture and art to Europe. Exhibitions, events, concerts, lectures regarding the European culture will take place in EUROPEUM.
The granary also holds a museum shop and a cafe - Tribeca Spichlerz ('Tribeca Granary').
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