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Stained Glass Museum

Stained Glass Museum

al. Krasińskiego 23
31-111 Kraków

Public visiting hours:
Guided tours from Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00 to 18:00.

- Tour in English: 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00 i 18:00

- Tour in Polish: 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30 i 17:30

The Stained Glass Museum can only be visited with a Museum’s guide. The hours of guided tours may change weekly, they are regularly published on museum's website in the VISITING MUSEUM section.

For groups of minimum 5 people museum can organize exclusive tours in one of 8 languages (Polish, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian), at any time, upon prior reservation by telephone or mail.

kom.: (48) 512 937 979

www.muzeumwitrazu.pl
info@muzeumwitrazu.pl
In the only stained glass museum in Poland, apart from the items of the permanent exhibition, the process of making stained glass, unchanged for hundreds of years, can be observed. The tenement in which the museum is presently located was built specifically for the needs of the Stained Glass Workshop in 1906 according to Ludwik Wojtyczka and Stanisław Gabriel Żeleński’s design. The tour is organised in a “live museum” convention, and all the interiors and the equipment of the workshop have retained their original character.

The most important thing in the process of creating stained glass is, apart from the design itself, the contact of the artist with the workshop. The ability to cooperate with the craftsmen and with the workshop in which the piece is created is necessary to successfully realise the artist’s vision. The most renowned Polish designers, such as Wyspiański, Mehoffer, Bukowski and Frycz, on more than one occasion stressed the importance of cooperation between the artist and the craftsman in a properly equipped workshop, which not only helps in achieving the effect intended by the designer, but also allows him to alter the initial design during the course of creation of the piece, even if it means the exchange of half the glass pieces for new ones . . . Stanisław Gabriel Żeleński shared this view of a workshop when he decided to build a tenement to house his workshop on the outskirts of the city in 1906. Stanisław Wyspiański, who with utmost care worked on completion of his projects, spent a lot of time in this place, overseeing nearly every step of the process.

The Krakow Workshop was designed as a large, complex enterprise intended not only to produce stained glass, but also to train craftsmen, designers and stained glass creators, by showing them the potential of this technique. Huge commercial and artistic successes allowed for the rapid and brilliant development of the workshop, which for many years fulfilled an important, culture-forming role, receiving awards for the highest quality at local and international expositions. The most prominent Polish artists of the early 20th century cooperated with the workshop. It was here that the greatest of the Polish stained glass pieces were created. “The pride of the workshop is the collection of works by Wyspiański, made here (Medical House Society, Franciscans’ Church in Krakow, famous blessed Salomea) and the works of Mehoffer, who publicly thanked the workshop for the artistic recreation of his project for Wawel Cathedral. a whole range of great stained glass windows designed by master Mehoffer for Wawel Cathedral shall be made at Mr Żeleński’s workshop.”

Besides art, the idea of reviving this craftsmanship had its supporters, particularly among artists, who had already raised some crafts into the rank of arts. The best example of a certain integration of arts was Wyspiański, a poet and painter, creator of wonderful stained glass windows and moving dramas, architectonic visions and stage designs, but also of furniture, tapestries, wrought iron decorations, whole interiors, polychromes and book illustrations. An ever-growing circle of artists, university graduates, was interested in applied art. In 1901 the “Society for Polish Applied Art”, which propagated its ideas in its own periodical, “Applied Art”, launched its activity. It consisted of painters, sculptors, architects, ethnographers and art historians, as well as admirers and patrons of craftsmanship. What they all had in common was a certain style, deriving from folk art. Therefore, next to the obvious influence of the art of the Secession, some concepts were born in Krakow that became an important contribution to its output. Also there appeared some characteristic elements that differentiate Krakow stained glass form general trends. From this perspective, the establishment and rapid development of the S.G. Żeleński Krakow Stained Glass Workshop should be regarded as avery characteristic phenomenon of that age. An artistic workshop integrated with a craftsmanship workshop – everything according to the expectations of ideologists of applied art.

In 2002 Piotr Ostrowski became the owner and the host of the workshop. Thanks to his efforts, after forty-eight years of pause, the workshop regained its original name S.G. Żeleński Krakow Stained Glass Workshop. In November 1999 the inheritors of the Żeleński family legacy unanimously agreed on returning to the old logo and name. Their consent was on the condition “that the business entity to be established, active in the sphere of stained glass making, will ensure high professional and artistic level of the output, in order to sustain the tradition of the renowned S.G. Żeleński Krakow Stained Glass Workshop, and that the business entity shall, apart from production and preservation activity, organise exhibitions of the workshop’s output.”

In 2002, the 100th anniversary of the workshop’s establishment, a Stained Glass Gallery was established in its premises. Based on that gallery, in 2005 Ostrowski established a Stained Glass Museum with the charter negotiated with the Minister of Culture. The museum, established in a tenement built in 1906, comprises exhibition rooms and an operating workshop, giving a lifelike impression.

In 2000–2008 many prestigious pieces, and preservation works, were created in the workshop, confirming the highest quality and the return to the best traditions of the oldest Polish stained glass workshop. The most interesting items include: a set of stained glass windows in the lifts of the office buildings Herbewo in Krakow, stained glass in a church in Dobczyce-Kornatka, adaptations of Józef Mehoffer designs, and the making of eight stained glass windows for a church in Turek. However, the most demanding and prestigious was the finalisation of the project for Wawel Cathedral, which was a combined effort of Ostrowski and Andrzej Wajda in 2002– 2007, and was based on previously unrealised Stanisław Wyspiański designs. These stained glass windows are presented in the Expositional–Informational Pavilion “Wyspiański 2000” in Krakow.
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  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013