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Forever Young! Poland and It's Art Around 1900 26.09.2012-04.01.2015 Forever Young! Poland and It's Art Around 1900

What makes it still attractive, interesting and liked despite the passage of time? Simply - eternally young? This question is asked by an exhibition presenting the best of around-1900 Polish Art in the renovated interiors of the Szołayski Tenement House - a Branch of the National Museum in Kraków, in the capital city of art at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century.

The National Museum in Kraków invites you to the great exhibition entitled Forever Young! Poland and it's art around 1900, where we display around 300 works: paintings, prints, sculptures and crafts selected mostly from the Museum's own collection. The title of the exhibition alludes to the unwaning popularity of the art of that era, despite the fact, that, as it may seem, everything has already been said about it. It was not an accident that the Szołayski Tenement House was chosen for the venue of the exhibition. It was there that Feliks Mangghi Jasieński's (Young Poland's art collector) collections were housed and until recently the Museum of the most distinguished artist of that time - Stanisław Wyspiański was located there.

At the exhibition, in the first room, the Young Poland climate is evoked by the Green Balloon cabaret associated with personalities such as: Leon Schiller, Kazimierz Sichulski, Witold Wojtkiewicz, Adolf Nowaczyński and Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński. The irreverent and refreshing character of these nocturnal happenings is documented by drawings commenting on the Galician reality, prints from Teka Melpomeny with caricatures of Kraków actors in their most famous roles.

In the adjacent room, we will see self-portraits of authors whose works are presented in the further part of the exhibition, including: Olga Boznańska, Julian Fałat, Jacek Malczewski, Józef Mehoffer, Leon Wyczółkowski, Stanisław Wyspiański.

The slogan important for modernism - the city myth - will be illustrated with images of the Market Square, the Planty Park, Kraków churches or the Wawel Castle, all filled with melancholy, suggestively materializingg in the painting Planty o świcie (Planty Park at dawn) by Stanisław Wyspiański.

Another thread is devoted to the images of Young Poland's nature where the Galician artists sought refuge and inspiration when fatigued with their nocturnal Bohemian lifestyle. Apart from the famous impressionist paintings by Aleksander Gierymski, Władysław Podkowiński and Józef Pankiewicz, we will also present works by eminent Kraków artists – Stanisław Wyspiański, Leona Wyczółkowski, Jan Stanisławski. Expressive images showing the Tatra Mountains in pastel colours are certainly noteworthy. The theme of pristine nature will return again in the further part of the exhibition in the theme of rural folklore in the works by: Włodzimierz Tetmajer, Kazimierz Sichulski, Władysław Jarocki and Wacław Szymanowski.

The atmosphere of a Young Poland study will be recalled by presenting cosy children's portraits and official portraits of various personalities, as well as nudes, including Czerwona wstążka (Red Ribbon) by Weiss borrowed from the National Museum in Poznań.

Maeterlinck's quotation in the next room: the smallest phenomenon, the smallest accident [...] are full of mysterious meaning – reminds of the exploration of subconsciousness and the interest in the world of dreams, phantasies and religious mysticism which can be captured in the art of that time. Next to fauns from Jacek Malczewski's paintings, Wojciech Weiss's temptresses, works by Witold Wojtkiewicz, Franciszek Siedlecki, Wacław Szymanowski and others will also appear.

Outside the study and the legendary Kraków cafés, the Bohemian social life focused in Young Poland's drawing rooms. Their climate will be reproduced in another room presenting, among other things, portraits by Teodor Axentowicz, Ignacy Pieńkowski, Jacek Malczewski, still natures by Olga Boznańska and Józef Pankiewicz.

In the next rooms, on the other hand, we wish to remind of outstanding, not frequently displayed fine and functional arts - examples of works representing other disciplines which blossomed so impressively at the turn of the 19th century in spite of the difficult material and political conditions. They will include, among other things functional graphics, refined Young Poland prints, crafts inspired by folk art from the circels of the Polish Applied Art Society, the Technical and Industrial Museum in Kraków as well as Kraków Workshops and Young Poland posters which achieved full artistic independence and the European level at that time.

Kurator: Krystyna Kulig-Janarek
Coordinator: Bogusław Ruśnica
Design: Teren Prywatny

Patron of the National Museum in Krakow:

MNK The Szołayski

pl. Szczepański 9, 31-011 Kraków
  • Wednesday - Sunday: 10.00-16.00
  • Monday: closed
  • Tuesday: 10.00-18.00
Wacław Szymanowski, Hutsul courtship (Idyll), 1892
Forever Young! Poland and its Art around 1900
Marian Wawrzeniecki, Impression
Forever Young! Poland and its Art around 1900
Teodor Axentowicz, 2nd exhibition of the polish artists society "Art", 1898
Forever Young! Poland and its Art around 1900
Vlastimil Hofman, Spring, 1918
Forever Young! Poland and its Art around 1900
Jacek Malczewski, Madonna and children, 1897
Forever Young! Poland and its Art around 1900
Jacek Malczewski, Self-portrait, 1901
Forever Young! Poland and its Art around 1900
Konstanty Laszczka, Portrait of Helena Sulima, 1901
Forever Young! Poland and its Art around 1900

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