What does Krakow have to offer art lovers? Quite a lot, actually. Our focus here will be the incredible number and quality of museum collections in Krakow. We want to share answers to questions about the what some of the most popular museums in Krakow have to offer for visitors in this KrakowGuide to Best Museum Exhibits.
The gallery in the Cloth Hall, located in the very center of the Krakow’s Main Square, is a true encyclopedia of Polish art and the oldest branch of the network of city museums (MNK). The centerpieces of the collection are great works by all the giants of the 19th century Polish artistic scene. The largest and most famous canvases depict epic battle scenes and iconic moments in Polish history.
The main building of MNK is the home of the permanent exhibit of 20th century Polish artists. The collection here presents a comprehensive view of the most important and influential artists of that era and the scale and quality of the collection puts it on a European level to match similar collections anywhere.
Yet another MNK location features a broad selection of European artists. Names like Lorenzo, Breughel and Veneziano grace the walls of the Europeumcenter and make a visit very much worthwhile.
Read more about: Things to do in Krakow – A few ideas for thematic trips
Krakow sightseeing – Get to know artists in their own homes!
Two exhibits in Krakow give visitors a chance to focus on individual masters rather than a broad range of talent. If you’d like to get to know a specific master well, what better way than to see an intimate part of his life up close and move in the same spaces that witnessed some of his work? Krakow sightseeing offers a chance to visit the homes of two of the most accomplished names associated with the city, JozefMehoffer and Jan Matejko.
Both residences offer impressive exhibits that give an insight into the environment that these creative minds were inspired by on a daily basis. Family mementos, sketches and orginal furniture complete the decorations in both homes. These collections share the intimate sides of their artistic nature and let us discover them as private individuals as well as famous painters.
Manggha – The Far East in Krakow
Manggha was the pseudonym of Feliks Jasienski, collector of art and curiosities from around the world and staple of Krakow’s artistic scene. His extensive travels to every corner of the globe fuelled this collection, which was donated to the MNK.
The pieces from Japan formed the foundation of the Manghha Museum of Japanese Art and Design, which is an obligatory stop for anyone interested in the cultural heritage of the Land of the Rising Sun.
The Collection of Ancient Art at the Czartoryski Museum
Currently, the Czartoryski Museum is in the very last stages of an extensive renovation and much of its collection, including Da Vinci’s Lady With Ermine, is still located at Wawel Castle but its Ancient Art gallery is now open and our Krakow guide to museums wouldn’t be complete with a mention of it.
It is, in our humble opinion, the best such collection in Poland with its priceless examples of Egyptian art, Greek ceramics in different styles and pieces from the Etruscans and Romans.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAK)
Now let’s move forward in time all the way to this very day. This recently-established collection provides a unique opportunity to experience a space inspired by Andy Warhol’s New York studio.
MOCAK presents exhibits of contemporary art and a visit lets us see art that frightens, inspires, confuses and provokes. Fans of contemporary art will be thrilled and those who visit not knowing what to expect will discover new experiences.
Krakow tours – where else can you go to get your art fix?
We’ll add a quick mention of the Musuem in the Royal Castle at Wawel since it’s obvious that it should be on the agenda of any art Krakow tours. We could write a whole separate book on the treasures in the castle so we’ll leave a more detailed account for later. Don’t forget that artistic exhibits are not limited to museums – you’ll also find plenty to admire in city spaces as well.
As licensed Krakow guides, we can take you on a tour of Krakow’s street art, fantastic examples of which are found all over the city. Come see the huge, colorful murals that serve as both artistic expression and social commentary as well. Go to http://guide-krakow.com for more ideas and information and start planning your trip today!