The National Center for Culture (NCK)
The National Center for Culture (NCK) initiates and launches activities aimed at developing and promoting Polish culture. It conducts educational, research and training programs. One of the events organized by the NCK is the Eastern Culture Festival the purpose of which is fostering cultural cooperation between the cities of eastern Poland and the countries of the Eastern Partnership. Another event organized by the NCK is the International Music Festival of Central-Eastern Europe Eufonie inspired by traditions of regional community and presenting music from various periods and different styles.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute (IAM)
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute (IAM) specializes in promoting Polish culture abroad by initiating international exchange between Polish and foreign cultural institutions, supporting coproduction of art events, organizing study visits and ensuring the presence of Polish artists on the international scene. Due to its cooperation with prestigious foreign institutions, the Institute succeeded in reaching out to an audience of 60 million people abroad.
The Institute’s culture.pl portal offers a daily information service covering key events related to Polish culture around the world. The site is available in Polish, English and Russian and, moreover, it offers editorials in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
The International Cultural Centre in Cracow (MCK)
The International Cultural Centre in Cracow (MCK) focuses on history, art and architecture history, the phenomenon of memory and preservation of the cultural heritage. It participates in the international debate about heritage and its role in the contemporary world and due to the international contacts it is nurturing, the MCK is reinforcing Poland’s position as an important player in the international community and a serious partner in cultural and intellectual cooperation.
The MCK implements the Thesaurus Poloniae fellowship program. The program is addressed to non-residents of Poland who conduct their research on culture, history and multicultural heritage of the Republic of Poland as well as on Central Europe.
The library of the MCK offers a rich collection of scientific literature on cultural heritage.
The National Museum in Warsaw collects, stores, preserves and provides access to Polish and foreign cultural assets in the field of history of art, archeology, history and numismatics. The museum collaborates on a number of scientific projects with several museums, galleries and institutions in Poland and all over the world. Among those ICOM and CODART – the Amsterdam-based world organization of curators and art curators specializing in Dutch and Flemish art. In the framework of its international activity the museum, together with Louvre-Lens, a branch of the Musee du Louvre, organized an exhibition called Polska. The power of a painting
The National Museum in Cracow (MNK) is the oldest Polish museum. The Main Building features the newly renovated upper Gallery of the Twentieth Century Polish Art, one of the largest galleries of painting and sculpture from the late 19th century on in Poland and also, works by artists of the interwar and postwar periods: the Polish cubists, expressionists, colorists, the avant-garde of the 1930s, and representatives of New Directions from the 1960s.
The Main Building has a vast display of militaria ranging from 12th to 20th century, including Polish armor from 16th and 17th centuries, Polish sabers, firearms, saddles and caparisons, military uniforms from 18th to 20th century, military orders, medals, and distinctions. The Museum holdings also include a collection of Western and Eastern European weapons.
Decorative arts and crafts are exhibited in the Decorative Arts and Crafts Gallery, with gold, silver and precious stone artifacts ranging from twelfth to eighteenth century; copper, pewter and iron objects, such as bowls and wrought iron chests; old furniture, musical instruments, clocks, ceramics and glass, notably stained glass from the churches of Kraków. The Museum has one of Poland’s largest collections of Polish and Oriental antique rugs and carpets, as well as a collection of sixteenth to twentieth century costumes.
The National Museum in Kielce (MNKi) implements its mission by preserving the cultural heritage, the rareness and appeal of the exhibitions and by promoting education and scientific and publishing activities. The museum boasts one of Poland’s richest collections of Old Polish portraits, Poland’s largest collection of Szermentowski’s paintings and Cmiel ceramics and, last but not least, a unique record with the recorded voice of Zeromski. The museum was the first one in Poland to organize an interdisciplinary conference on art therapy in museums.
The National Museum in Poznan. The museum’s collections are on display in seven thematic exhibition galleries that explore major art trends and disciplines: the Gallery of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, Polish Art from the 16th to 18th century, and, in the new wing, the Gallery of Polish art from the period of foreign partitions until the end of World War II, the Gallery of European Art (or Foreign Painting), the Gallery of Modern Art, and the Poster and Graphic Design Gallery. The museum awards the Jan Lenica Prize to prominent graphic artists who represent a similar take on art as Lenica’s that is an approach that reaches beyond the narrowly conceived framework of applied graphics.
The National Museum in Wroclaw (MNWr) collects museum pieces, iconographic, photographic and documentary materials on art in Silesia, on Polish art, art in the eastern borderlands, European art, art in the Near and Far East, arts and crafts and on technical culture and ethnography. The museum houses one of Poland’s largest collections of contemporary art dating back to the 60s of the 20th century. The museum co-organized the international project Ganymed goes Europe combining three art genres: painting, literature and theater.
The National Museum in Gdansk (MNG) collects museum pieces, iconographic, photographic and documentary materials on ancient, contemporary and modern Polish and foreign art, on the ethnography of Pomerania and European and non-European cultures. The flagship of the museum’s collection is Judgment Day, the masterpiece of Dutch Renaissance painter, Hans Memling.
National Museum in Szczecin (MNS) offers permanent exhibitions, organizes temporary exhibitions, sundry art events, scientific conferences and it is involved in educational and publishing activities. It is a custodian of remembrance but also a dynamic cultural institution that participates in the shaping of historical consciousness and social attitudes. The Museum builds a regional, national and European identity of West Pomerania and its inhabitants. The international project Common Heritage, Common Future is a case in point.
The Museum-Castle in Lancut is one of the most beautiful aristocratic residences in Poland, famous for its wonderful interiors and most interesting collection of horse-drawn carriages. The palace complex is surrounded by an old, picturesque English-style park filled with pavillons and farm buildings, all part of the once daily life of the residence. Every year the castle hosts the famous Lancut Music Festival.
The Classicist monuments and the beautiful gardens make up the Lazienki Park or Royal Baths Park in Warsaw. The main mission of the Museum is to present Polish history and culture and to emphasize the ties with the history and culture of the world. The museum features King Stanisław August’s collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, as well as coins and medals, made by both European and Polish artists. For many years now, the Museum has been running a project called The exhibition of one Painting enabling the presentation of prominent works from world famous art collections.
The Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów is considered to be one of the oldest in the country and the repository of the country’s royal and artistic heritage. The collection consists of valuables collected by subsequent owners of the Wilanów Palace, the Kings of Poland – John III Sobieski and Augustus II, as well as by representatives of nobility and namely the Potocki, and Lubomirski families. The Museum regularly organizes temporary exhibitions, conferences and seminars, conducts research, publishes books and organizes educational activities.
The Royal Castle in Warsaw is a royal residence that formerly served throughout the centuries as the official home of Polish monarchs and the seat of the Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It features one of the most valuable art collections in Poland including paintings by Rembrandt, Canaletto, Bacciarelli and Matejko. The splendidly decorated interior transpose visitors to the times of the Jagiellon, Vasa and Saxon dynasties and King Stanislaw August. The institution organizes international museum projects.
Wawel Royal Castle is located in the former capital of Poland, Cracow. For centuries it has been the residence of Polish kings and a symbol of Polish statehood. The museum encompasses ten curatorial departments responsible for collections of paintings, including an important collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, prints, sculpture, textiles, among them the Sigismund II Augustus tapestry collection, goldsmith’s work, arms and armor, ceramics, Meissen porcelain, and period furniture. The collections are part of permanent exhibitions at the castle and also outdoor exhibitions. The Castle organizes exhibitions, supports educational and art conservation. It participates in a multi-annual program that deals with research and restoring of a common heritage of the eastern borderlands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The National Museum of Technology in Warsaw (NMT) is the largest museum of its kind in Poland. The mission of the museum is to preserve for future generations the material testimony documenting the development of Polish technology, to describe faithfully and impartially the events accompanying technological progress and to present the achievements and the development of Polish technological ideas. Among the valuable showpieces, photographic documentation plans of construction of machines and devices one will find the Enigma encryption machine and Marshal Jozef Pilsudski’s Cadillac car. The museum organizes workshops called Meeting the history of technology.
The Alf Kowalski Miedzyrzecze Region Museum presents Poland’s largest collection of coffin portraits, inscription tables and coats of arms from the XVII and XVIII centuries. The main mission of the museum is collection and researching of artifacts and documentation materials related to techniques, art and archaeology of the Miedzyrzecze Region. The museum organizes international workshops in the framework of the Comenius project dedicated to the multicultural aspect of the Greater Poland, Silesia and Brandenburg borderlandsץ
For the website
The Lodz Art Museum (MSL) focuses on presenting the works of its art collection in various contexts, promoting progressive art events and strengthening the role of art as an important component of social life. The main mission of the museum is the collection, preservation and processing of its collections. Due to the close bond between the history of the museum and that of avant-garde the museum cooperates with authors of progressive art events and promotes the latter. In the framework of international cooperation the museum implemented a project called Creative archives: Lodz-London aimed at joining the debate about modern methods of facilitating access to archives.
Zacheta – The National Art Gallery is tasked with disseminating knowledge about contemporary art as an important component of cultural and societal life. The Gallery organizes numerous temporary exhibitions. It shows works by prominent Polish and foreign artists such as marlene Dumas, Zbigniew Libera, Tadeusz Kantor, Yayoi Kusama and Wilhelm Sasnal. It is the task of Zacheta to organize the exhibition in the Polish Pavillon in Venice at the Art and Architecture Biennale – one of the most important art festivals in the world.
The Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art is a place where art is created and presented as a tool to explore contemporary reality. It is a space for creative experiments. The transdisciplinary program of the CCCA stimulates creation at the intersection of visual art, performing art, movies, music, literature and humanities. The Centre is constantly cooperating with foreign contemporary art institutions and it offers an extensive artist residency program. Every year the Centre invites foreign artists to residency visits with a view to participating in long-term projects and it also seeks out Polish candidates for foreign residency programs. The Centre also organizes visits for other art practitioners such as researchers and curators and arranges their visits in cooperation with international organizations such as the Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany), Points Center for Contemporary Art (China) and the Kyoto Art Center (Japan). Publications by the CCCA are available abroad thanks to contracts with foreign distributors such as Motto and Walter Konig. They were exhibited at the International Art Book Fair in Keresht near Teheran (Iran, 2018) and at Miss Read in Berlin (Germany, 2019).
The main mission of the Centre of Polish Sculpture is to organize exhibitions dealing with sculpture, gathering and preparing collections of contemporary sculptures and supervision of the permanent exhibition in the Józef Brandt Palace. Every year, more than 200 hundred artists – both Polish and foreign – visit for shorter or longer periods of time. The Centre offers space that is most interesting from an architectonic and landscape point of view. The space is made up of the Contemporary Sculpture Museum and galleries situated on the grounds of the landscape park. The Centre conducts various types of educational activities, including for physically challenged people. The institution also deals with documentation in the form of a scientific catalogue and, also in an electronic version, of the activity of Polish artists creating in Poland and abroad. One of the most important exhibitions in recent years was the presentation of works of Henry Moore that was organized in cooperation with the Henry Moore Foundation from Perry Green in Great Britain. The exhibition of works of this prominent artist was accompanied by works of Polish sculptors of the 20th century who were inspired by his work. In 2020, the Centre of Polish Culture organized a Polish-German exhibition called “Don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house” in cooperation with Kunsthaus Wiesbaden.
The Museum of Japanese Art and Technique MANGGHA combines museum work with comprehensive activity aimed at disseminating knowledge about Japan and the Far East. The museum is located in a visitor-friendly building designed by the renowned Japanese architect, Arata Isozaki, and it implements new techniques and forms of activity. It draws on rich experience and contacts and it takes up topics related to, first and foremost, art but also music, literature, philosophy and religion in Japan and the Far East. So far, more than 100 exhibitions have been presented by the museum ranging from traditional Japanese art to graphics, painting, installations and also the most state-of-the-art Japanese technologies.
The Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding
The mission of the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding is to initiate and support projects undertaken in Poland and the Russian Federation aimed at improving dialogue and understanding between the two countries. The Centre implements its mission by means of scientific research, publishing and educational activity, student and youth exchange, public debates and conferences and lectures on Polish-Russian relations and the history and culture of both countries. Countries of the former Soviet Union as well as EU countries participate in the projects. In cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, every year, the Centre organizes conferences In Washington aimed at analysing Polish-Russian relations and their consequences for the euroatlantic region. The Centre publishes a website called www.novayapolsha.pl with information about Polish culture, art, society and economy in Russian.
The Center of Social Archivistics
The Center of Social Archivistics is a culture institution founded in 2020 by the KARTA Center Foundation and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. It is the mission of the Center to support social initiatives aimed at securing and disseminating collections of texts, iconography, movies, phonography etc., to document historical remembrance and national heritage, to develop networks of cooperation of entities involved in the above activity and to strengthen the involvement of citizens in activities promoting the documentation of history including information and popularization activities abroad and in Poland, the construction of an information system, of data bases, internet portals and development of IT tools, educational activity including training, workshops and courses, scholarship programs, exhibition activity or elaboration and publishing of books, periodicals and multimedia publications.
The National Library
The National Library is the central library of the state and one of the most important national culture institutions. It came into being in 1947 and it is one of the oldest national libraries in the world. It fulfils the tasks of the largest scientific and public libraries with a humanities profile and it also constitutes the main treasury of national literature and archive of all publications. The National Library conducts scientific activity and training for other libraries in Poland. It makes its collections available on modern websites such as among others polona.pl – the largest digital library in Poland and one of the most modern ones in Europe. The Library cooperates abroad for example in the form of digitising the manuscripts and photographs of the entirety of the collection of the “Kultura” Literary Institute in Maison-Laffitte which is on the list of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme. The Library extends comprehensive assistance with regard to elaboration and protection of émigré collections in the Russian National Library in Saint Petersburg or the Department of Historical Printed Books at the State Library in Berlin.
The Radziejowice Artist Retreat
Since 1965, the Classicist Radziejowice Palace has served as an artist retreat. The Palace houses exhibition halls and a gallery for temporary exhibitions. The Radziejowice Artist Retreat implements the patronage of the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sports of artist circles and culture personalities. The institution fulfils its mission by creating on its premises conditions conducive to creative, artistic, scientific and educational activity and by organizing concerts, theatre performances, art exhibitions and sundry art events. The institution is also involved in developing extra-academic grooming of young artists, promoting their works and it conducts publishing activity.