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Józef Czapski’s pavilion is the newest and smallest building, forming part of the Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum complex, department of the National Museum in Cracow. Built in the back of the former garden adjacent to the Łoziński tenement, the pavilion is dedicated to the grandson of the creator of the most valuable numismatic collection in Poland, the eminent Polish intellectual, writer, painter and critic.
The idea of building the pavilion is associated with Józef Czapski’s testament, executed in 1994, in which he posthumously gave his archives, including the invaluable diaries, personal mementos and books, as well as documents of his sister Maria Czapska (1894-1981) and other Czapski family members, to the National Museum in Krakow.
The most important part of Jozef Czapski’s Pavilion is a permanent exhibition relating his life and work, prepared by Krystyna Zachwatowicz. One may trace back not only the biography of the artist, but almost all Polish and, to a lesser extent, European history in the twentieth century, whose participant, and later a witness was Czapski. Selected texts of his works provide commentary for the events in which he participated. The exhibition combines a traditional display where authentic objects are crucial, and in case of writers and painters - their works, with the use of modern multimedia equipment that allows, among others, to get acquainted with archival materials.
On the first floor there is a room for temporary exhibitions, which will be inaugurated with a presentation of a choice of Józef Czapski’s extraordinary diaries and paintings from the collection of Richard Aeschlimann, his longtime friend and Swiss art dealer who, with his wife Barbara, donated them to the National Museum in Cracow on the occasion of the opening of the pavilion. These twelve paintings are complemented by the works on loan from the Palace Museum in Kurozwęki and from private individuals. On the same floor there is a small room for film screenings and educational purposes.
On the ground floor there is a reading room with a reference library containing books thematically related with the artist and multimedia stands where one may get familiar with the digitalized archives, as well as a French-style decorated cafe where lectures on painting, Polish literature in the country - and abroad after world war II - and meetings devoted to outstanding figures of Polish literature and politics will be organized.
Open to the public is also a terrace, which offers an extraordinary view of the entire Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum and the inside-quarter gardens of neighboring houses.
Support for the construction of the Pavilion provided by the Norwegian funds and funds of the EEA from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as national resources.
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