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The permanent exhibition in the Józef Czapski Pavilion, whose layout was designed by Krystyna Zachwatowicz and her husband Andrzej Wajda, occupies the second floor.
The exhibition constitutes a sort of a timeline which follows the extraordinary life of the writer and painter, but also the series of the 20th-century nightmares. The display features electronic versions of Czapski's diaries as well as photos and documents unknown to wider public, including those from the time of Nazi occupation and Czapski's captivity.
One part of the exhibition presents a reconstructed room of the painter from the house of the Literary Institute in Maison-Laffitte. It was in that building that Czapski eventually settled after years of exile, and it was there that he co-founded 'Kultura' ['Culture'] together with Jerzy Giedroyc and the Hertzes. Visitors can see a 1: 1 reconstruction of the room – along with the furnishings and mementoes – where Czapski painted and wrote for nearly forty years, until his death in 1993. The reconstruction was made using original elements donated to the NMK by various benefactors including Stowarzyszenie Instytut Literacki Kultura ['Culture' Literary Institute Association], which remains to be the curator of the archives near Paris. State-of-the-art equipment and technologies were used to present the works, photographs and documents.
For the next few months after the opening of the Pavilion, the first floor of the building – reserved for temporary exhibitions – will offer the visitors an opportunity to see Czapski's numerous paintings and sketches from the holdings of the National Museum in Krakow, which constitute deposits or donations – including several works from the collection of Richard Aeschlimann, Czapski's longtime friend and Swiss art dealer, which were donated to the NMK by him and his wife Barbara on the occasion of the opening of the pavilion.