University of Warsaw Museum
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 32
Tel. (22) 552 01 07
Mondays – Fridays: 10 am – 4 pm
Guided tours available by appointment only.
Director: Hubert Kowalski PhD
Staff: Janusz Rudziński PhD, Przemysław Deles PhD, Krzysztof Mordyński PhD, Monika Dunajko MA, Aleksandra Stępień-Dąbrowska MA, Łukasz Kamiński MA
The University of Warsaw Museum was established in 1980 and operates as an autonomous unit within the university in accordance with the charter of Warsaw University and the museum’s regulations. The seat of the museum is in the historic Tyszkiewicz-Potocki family palace located on Krakowskie Przedmieście, which comprises part of the university’s historical campus. The museum is a continuation of a tradition which began at the very outset of the university’s establishment when cabinets were set up in which scientific instruments and art collections were amassed. The museum also contains items which were on loan to the National Museum in Warsaw during the Second World War.
The museum has eight employees, and a collection of several thousand exhibits, the majority of which date from the 20th century. These consist largely of photographs. The museum’s most valuable collections include seal dies used in the first half of the 19th century, a 19th-century collection of plaster busts from the Cabinet of Plaster Casts, and 20thcentury insignia and ceremonial dress, student transcripts and diplomas. The most valuable paintings in the museum’s collection are those depicting the rectors of the university as well as two portraits of Henryk Sienkiewicz by Kazimierz Mordasewicz. The main exhibition space is located in the historic Dining Room on the first floor of the Tyszkiewicz-Potocki Palace. Together with the adjacent Billiards Room it contains an exhibition entitled Orzeł i pięć gwiazd Uniwersytetu (The Eagle and the Five Stars of the University) which is dedicated to the establishment and early days of the university’s existence, the first members of the teaching staff, the scientific cabinets and art collections. In the 105 sq. metres of exhibiting space provided by the two splendid rooms, it has been possible to present in a modern and concise way the origins and development of the University of Warsaw. The exhibition is illustrated with exhibits spanning back 200 years. Temporary exhibitions are presented in the hallway of the former seat of the University Library, located in the very heart of the historical campus. The museum also holds open-air exhibitions on Krakowskie Przedmieście, near the entrance to the building, and in the immediate vicinity of the main gates leading to the university. The museum is also responsible for the exhibitions presented in the Column Hall located in the former museum building. An exhibition entitled ‛Michelangelo at the University of Warsaw’ was organized in this monumental, historic interior in collaboration with the Royal Łazienki Museum and the university’s Faculty of History. The exhibition presents plaster casts of the Italian masters’ statues (including Pieta and Moses), which before the war had belonged to the university’s collections.
The museum is open to all visitors, but above all, it serves the Warsaw university community, both students and staff. It has an important role in creating the university’s image, and actively participates in the promotion of the university. Guests attending conferences, symposia and other meetings held at the university are given the opportunity to learn
more about the University of Warsaw, the largest in Poland. The museum’s location, in a splendid building along the Royal Route, a very popular tourist spot, enables the museum to reach a far wider, international audience.
Hubert Kowalski PhD, Krzysztof Mordyński PhD