Miracle of Light. Medieval Stained Glass in Poland

Saturday, May 16, 2020 - Monday, October 26, 2020

  • Saturday, May 16, 2020 - Monday, October 26, 2020


Thanks to the artistry and technical skill of former masters, medieval stained-glass windows enchant us until the present day. Unfortunately not all have been preserved, since many of the artworks by Romanesque and Gothic craftsmen have been destroyed by time and by changing fashions which dictated that many were removed from churches. Dating back to medieval times, the art of dazzling interiors with colourful light was gradually forgotten. The exhibition at the Main Building of the National Museum in Krakow, titled Miracle of Light. Medieval Stained Glass in Poland, reminds us of the important role of stained-glass windows during the era and introduces many forgotten symbolisms. Stained glass from museum and private collections, churches and monasteries in Poland will be presented alongside panel painting, embroidery, gilding, documents, drawings and sketches from the period. An important element of the exhibition will be St Mary’s Church in Kraków, where surviving medieval stained-glass windows are juxtaposed with artworks by 19th-century artists Józef Mehoffer and Stanisław Wyspiański who were fascinated by the style. (Dorota Dziunikowska, “Karnet” monthly)


The Main Building

al. 3 Maja 1

The central phenomena of the Polish art of the 20th century, the history of Polish weaponry and uniforms, a gallery of crafts, and a dozen major temporary exhibitions each year.

The quickly expanding collection of the National Museum, set up in 1879, soon needed space that Kraków did not have at that time. That is why the idea to erect a new building that at the same time would commemorate the many years of efforts to regain Poland’s independence was born early in the 20th century. Immediately after the end of the First World War, already in free Poland, funds for the construction of an appropriate seat began to be raised. The construction of the building by the imposing Aleje Trzech Wieszczów, staked out just two decades earlier, began in 1934. Today, the National Museum in Kraków boasts several branches, with no fewer than three permanent galleries in the Main Building alone. Deposited on the ground floor are the collections of militaria: the exhibition Arms and Uniforms in Poland presents the history of the Polish military from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. The Gallery of Decorative Arts boasts collections of fabrics, goldsmithry, glass, ceramics, furniture, musical instruments, and Judaica that let the visitor trace changes in style from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century. The Gallery of 20th-Century Polish Art presents the chronology and key tendencies in painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography as created by the Polish artists of the previous century (gallery closed until further notice). The largest temporary exhibitions of the National Museum in Kraków are organised in specially designed halls.

Tickets to permanent galleries: normal PLN 15, concessions PLN 10, family PLN 25, admission free to permanent exhibitions on Sunday

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