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27 October 2017

“The Things of Warsaw” released in the Museum of Warsaw

Category: New publications, Editorial notes, Albums and photos, Editorial note, News, history of Polish culture, Memory studies, Cultural history, Economic history, Social history

The re-open Museum of Warsaw released a book accompanying the core exhibition. As all featured objects of each of the rooms described in it, the publication is a thing of beauty itself. A perfect reference work both before and after the visit, it can be purchased at the entrance to the museum.

Three parts of the museum exhibition (The Things of Warsaw, The Warsaw Data, and The History of Tenement Houses) comprise twenty one thematic rooms that showcase witnesses and participants of the town’s history (Things). They are a starting point for telling the stories of their owners and creators, as well as for presenting the events and processes that formed Warsaw as we know it today.

All 300,000 items stored in the collection of the Museum of Warsaw have been carefully reviewed and 7,352 of them were selected to be exhibited. Among them there are both works of art and objects of everyday use. There isn’t a single replica, all of the exhibits are original.

From Prof. Maria Porzęcka’s cover note:

A sugar cube left behind by a convict in a prison cell of the Tenth Pavilion at the Warsaw Citadel, preserved by the family as a relic.; smashed bottles from the Royal Pharmacy, which owe their rainbowy shine of ancient glassware to the flames of fires; magnificent silver tableware from wealthy Warsaw houses; linen identification tag embroidered by a mother for her child during the siege of Warsaw; views of the city preserved by artists, a city both beautiful and unsightly, ruined and proudly commemorating its reconstruction – hundreds of objects, each carrying in itself a chapter from the history of Warsaw. Grand History as well as microstories, they are innumerable and still alive: private, family, handed down in memories and stories. Only when woven together do they create a multi-layered, dense and tangled historic tissue of the city.
Things of Warsaw – those unforgettable, such as the famous image by an insurgent photographer that shows the explosion of a missile hitting the Prudential edifice on 28 August 1944, and those forgotten, such as crochet hooks used to lace women’s corsets. They do not offer us a single story of the city’s past. They refer to emotions, memory, imagination, which can sometimes be activated by a seemingly trivial splinter of the bygone eras. Thus, everyone can build their own history of the extraordinary city of Warsaw, and feel part of that history.

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