Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts
pl. J. Matejki 13
Tel. (12) 299 20 29
Free admission. The museum is open during academy working hours. Separate schedules are drawn up for temporary exhibitions.
Director: Małgorzata Sokołowska MA
Deputy Director: Magdalena Szymańska PhD
The museum is inextricably linked with the activities of the oldest school of art in Poland which was established at the Jagiellonian University in 1818. It was part of the Academy of Fine Arts for nearly two hundred years. In 2003 it was finally approved as an inter-departmental unit of the academy by its rector, Prof. Jan Pamuła. The museum’s seat is officially located on the first floor of the academy’s Main Building – a magnificent edifice with an intricate layout made up of corridors and rooms, built in 1879 to a design by Maciej Moraczewski. Because space is limited, the museum does not have a permanent exhibition; however there are many important exhibits on display in the academy’s main rooms: the Senate Hall contains a collection of 18th- and 19th-century paintings and sculpted busts of professors; in the rector’s office there is a collection, initiated in the 1930s, of self-portraits and portraits of the academy’s rectors, while the corridors are lined with 19th-century plaster copies of ancient sculptures. Design pieces constitute a separate
category – furniture and elements of interior design, made according to designs of artists associated with the Warsztaty Krakowskie (Kraków Workshops) established in 1913, as well as memorabilia of artistprofessors, such as painter cassettes, paints, brushes, easels and other accessories. The exceptional exhibits include original items from Jan
Matejko’s school of historical painting. The museum’s exhibition hall is used for temporary exhibitions. The collections, consisting of approx. 6,000 objects, include art collections: paintings, drawings, artistic fabrics, sculptures, design forms – including works by the most outstanding students, professors and rectors of the academy, from Jan Matejko, Jacek Malczewski, Stanisław Wyspiański, Józef Mehoffer, Wojciech Weiss, Konstanty Laszczka, Xawery Dunikowski,
through Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Wróblewski, outstanding artists of the last thirty years – Czesław Rzepiński, Adam Marczyński, Tadeusz Kantor, Jerzy Nowosielski to the very youngest, such as Marcin Maciejowski, Dariusz Vasina, Michał Zawada and Marcin Kowalik. A unique feature of the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts is that its
collections are acquired mainly thanks to the generosity of artists donating their work. Some of the nest gifts include a drawing by Wojciech Weiss of Jan Matejko (1893), and paintings by Zbigniew Makowski, Teresa Bujnowska, Zbigniew Bajek, Andrzej Bednarczyk, Grzegorz Bednarski, Adam Brincken, Małgorzata Buczek, Zbylut Grzywacz, Adam Hoffmann, Sławomir Karpowicz, Łukasz Konieczko, Andrzej Kreutz-Majewski, Tadeusz Majewski, Tadeusz Łakomski, Leszek Misiak, Jan Pamuła, Stanisław Rodziński, Czesław Rzepiński, Allan Rzepka, Stanisław Tabisz, Paweł Taranczewski, Jacek Waltoś, Tadeusz Wiktor, Adam Wsiołkowski, Lucjan Ząbkowski, and also Stanisław Białogłowicz,
Mieczysław Janikowski, Danuta Leszczyńska-Kluza, Tadeusz Mysłowski, Jerzy Panek, Jacek Sroka, Stanisław Sroka, Stanisław Sacha-Stawiarski, Zygmunt Waliszewski and Ewa Żelewska-Wsiołkowska. Igor Mitoraj (2005) and Toshihiro Hamano (2006), both recipients of honorary doctorates, donated priceless sculptures to the museum. Other authors of sculptures who have given their work to the museum include professors Stefan Borzęcki, Ewa Janus, Jerzy Nowakowski, Krystyna Nowakowska, Antoni Porczak, Zofia Puget, and Józef Sękowski. The museum also has the donated works of its students on display among the other exhibits. The historical part of the collection is related to the establishment of the
School of Fine Arts and its later transformation into an academy. Apart from the earliest series of oil paintings on paper by Philipp Ferdinand de Hamilton (dating from the mid-18th century) acquired for the collection in 1820 and 17th- and 18th-century paintings, it also contains documents, and mementoes of the professors’ ateliers. The museum organizes temporary exhibitions; in recent years, preceding the university’s bicentenary in 2018, important monographic exhibitions of the academy’s professors were organized, including Wojciech Weiss (2010), Władysław Jarocki (2015), Konstanty Laszczka (2016), Jan Stanisławski (2017). During that time the academy purchased a valuable document concerning Jan Matejko and a painting by Władysław Jarocki, while the museum also collaborated in the preparation of extensive publications. The museum also organizes academic sessions, meetings, and conferences and is involved in publishing and educational activities. The museum operates as a separate unit within the university’s overall structure in accordance with the statute of the Academy of Fine Arts. The rules and regulations of the museum’s operations are in the process of being drawn up.