Revamping National Museum in Warsaw

Polish Art

Polish Art

The National Museum in Warsaw has been successfully shaking off its erstwhile image of an old-fashioned, unappealing, aloof, stale and lacklustre institution. It is now becoming a place which can be fun to visit regardless of your age or your knowledge of art, somewhere you might want to go of your own accord as an enjoyable leisure activity rather than a compulsory, possibly edifying but not particularly enthralling, point to tick off in the programme of an excursion to the Polish capital. It was established in 1862 as the Museum of Fine Arts. After Poland regained independence, the building designed to house the main collection of the museum was constructed in 1927-1938. The collection comprises about 830,000 exhibits representing Polish and world art of various periods, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, coins and items of applied arts. In 2012, as part of the celebrations of its 150th anniversary, the museum embarked on a comprehensive modernisation programme. The project is still under way, but the results are already appreciable. Two sections of the permanent exhibition have been thoroughly rearranged much to the advantage of the collection on display. The revamped gallery of medieval art opened in December 2013 and the new Faras gallery in October 2014. There is a varied programme of thematic and seasonal events, including activities for children, lectures for the general public, concerts and film screenings. Also temporary exhibitions, like the recent Freemasonry. Pro publico bono, come accompanied by numerous additional events, as well as informational and educational materials. The museum has a well-stocked shop and, importantly, a new website. It is now preparing virtual tours of its collection. Online museum visits are to be made available in 2015.

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