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"The Gallery of 20th Century Polish Art" National Museum Tip by mightywease

National Museum, Krakow: 11 reviews and 16 photos

  Steve outside the National Museum
by mightywease

The recently reopened and renovated Gallery of 20th Century Polish Art in Krakow's National Museum is a wide-ranging and eclectic exhibition showcasing Polish Artists and the different influences and styles of art that have emerged or been reinterpreted since the beginning of the last century.

The gallery is composed of a series of interconnecting rooms each with a heading - such as "Avant Garde", "Colourism " and "This is what Poland is Like" - under which the art in that room is grouped. Within some of the rooms are dividers which, I assume, are to allow more space to hang exhibits, but which also provide the viewer with pleasant little nooks and crannies to explore. It also helps to break the galleries into smaller, bite size pieces and avoid the overwhelming sensation that sometimes comes when walking into a huge rectangular room brimming with paintings. Particularly important as this is a large exhibition with a lot to see.

Some of the early 20th Century pictures, particularly those of a Romantic, Symbolic and Impressionist nature, have one foot in the 19th Century and it is interesting to compare these with the paintings held at the Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in the Sukiennice. Indeed the artist Jacek Malczewski has pieces in both galleries. However there is also a large body of work covering such styles as Cubism and Modernism as well as art forms such as Animation, Graphic Art and - on video - Performances Art.

As well as Malczewski?s wonderful symbolist - and other - paintings there are also works by Wyspianski, the designs for stained glass to be used in Krakow Cathedral are amazing, Tadeusz Makowski - we particulary .liked his "The Musicians" - and the very evocative and effecting "Execution" by Andrzej Wroblewski.

It is a fascinating exhibition, provocative and challenging at times, very traditional at others. With so much on shown in terms of both the number of exhibits and the different art styles and forms, one which appeals to a broad range of tastes.

Address: National Museum, Al. 3 Maja 1
Phone: 633 53 31

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 22, 2006
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