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   In the year 2011, we commemorated 105th foundation anniversary of the Diocesan Museum, attached to Wawel Cathedral. In order to found the Museum, the chapter purchased two tenement houses from Mansionaries. In 1904 Cardinal Jan Puzyna appealed to the priests of Cracow Archdiocese for help in the restoration of rooms destined to house of the exhibition. The appeal gained warm response.

   Works were supervised by Mr. Zygmunt Hendel, local architect, who made real efforts to prepare 6 rooms for the Museum. In 1906 Czesław Wądolny, the Prelate and Canon of the Metropolitan Chapter at Wawel Cathedral, was appointed as a director of the Museum.

   The Cardinal Puzyna appealed again to the clergy for financial support in organising the Museum and restoring several works of art. Following the opportunity, Cardinal Puzyna addressed the letter to parish priests, asking them to check through the vestments, pictures and sculpture, which due to poor condition had not been served in the cult purposes and might be handed over to the Museum. In this way the Museum started to gather the sacral pieces, which were stored throughout more than 100 years in a number of places, until in 1994 they were open to the public in the premises in 19 and 21 Kanonicza Street.

   Today, the Archdiocesan Museum in Cracow is under the direct authority of the metropolitan bishop of Cracow, currently Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. It is located in Kanonicza Street, one of the oldest and most picturesque streets of Cracow, in tenement houses No. 19 and 21. Both buildings date back to the 2nd half of the 14th century. On 5 May 1994, after the complete repair and preservation works and after adapting the buildings to serve for the museum functions, cardinal Franciszek Macharski presided over the opening ceremony of the museum. However, the museum had been called to existence almost 100 hundred years earlier, but with no permanent seat.

   The Archdiocesan Museum displays a collection of sacral works of art, often withdrawn from worship, from the 14th to the 18th century in the following sections: painting, artistic craft (chalices, monstrances, ciboria, etc.), sculpture, canonicals (chasubles, capes, etc.). The museum’s objective is to hold on permanent display and make visitors familiar with the artistic legacy of the Cracow bishopric.

    On 5 May 2000, a great jubilee exhibition “Wawel 2000. Treasures of Kraków Diocese”, was opened. It showed sacral works of art from the Cracow bishopric encompassing 1000 years of its history. The exhibition was shown to the end of September 2000.

   Apart from the permanent exhibitions, museum organise temporary exhibitions presenting the artistic output of contemporary artists within the scope of sacral art, as well as one-man exhibitions. Up to this day, in the Archdiocesan Museum in Cracow were presented works of: Zofia Torley, Darina Gladisova, Simon Andras, Fratel Venzo, Lorenzo D’Andrea, Nanni Tedeschi, Gaetano Callocchia and many other artists.

   Visitors should also be aware that from 1952 to 1967 in both of the present museum houses, lived Professor Father Karol Wojtyła (future Pope John Paul II), in those days acting as suffragan bishop of Cracow and later as metropolitan archbishop. The museum collects and displays pieces related to His Holiness Pope John Paul II since he started to dwell in the houses. In 2005 Museum received name of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła.

   The whole exhibition is arranged in rooms furnished with baroque and the 19th century furniture. Worth to notice is the furniture set dated from 1905 and manufactured according to the design of Mr. Karol Tichy. It has been the property of the Bishop Stanisław Rospond.

   The exhibition encompasses a total of approx. 600 works of art housed in 16 historic rooms. Preparing the new exhibition we tried to create suitable conditions for pedagogical activity, which is carried out by the Museum in particular among the pupils.




Copyright © 2006 Muzeum Archidiecezjalne Kardynała Karola Wojtyły w Krakowie.