Collection of the Institute of Art History
ul. Grodzka 53
31-001 Kraków

The collection of the Institute of Art History of the Jagiellonian University and its history date back to 1882 from the beginnings of the Faculty of Art History at the Jagiellonian University. At that time, on the initiative of Prof. Marian Sokołowski various types of reproductions of works of art began to be collected. They were to serve as illustrative materials for lectures and tutorials, as well as serving as research tools. The establishment of the Art History Cabinet in 1884, which was the oldest institution of its kind in Poland, and one of the oldest in Europe, was of key importance for the collection. It amassed plaster casts, albums containing pictures, books and photographic collections. The former collection of plaster casts is currently in the care of the Museum of the Jagiellonian University, while the university’s Photographic Library of the Institute of Art History is located in the Collegium Iuridicum building thus continuing the traditions of the Art History Cabinet. The Photographic Library collection consists of nearly 68,000 photographs (prints, negatives and slides). It is one of the oldest and largest photographic archives, of both a historical and artistic nature, in Poland. Most of the objects, which date from before the Second World War, were obtained through purchases or donations. The documentation concerning the inventory work carried out by the Institute, as well as the presentation of works of art from former and present Polish lands by some of the most outstanding photographers, including Ignacy Krieger, Józef Jaworski, Jan Bułhak and Stanisław Kolowca, is particularly noteworthy. The seat of the Institute of Art History is in Collegium Iuridicum, one of the oldest university buildings. The building delights the eye with its mediaeval and early modern stonework, i.e. the portals and window openings, as well as its splendid ceilings. One of the most interesting ones is in room 43 – it is lined with paper wall covering ornamented with woodblock prints.