Gallery of Old Masters. European and Old Polish Decorative Arts, Painting and Sculpture 15th–18th Century

written by Grażyna Bastek, Ryszard Bobrow, Monika Janisz, Aleksandra Janiszewska, Aleksandra Kasprzak, Joanna Kilian Michieletti, Karolina Kurant, Ewa Martyna, Stefan Mieleszkiewicz, Ewa Orlińska-Mianowska, Katarzyna Świetlicka, Wanda Załęska, Antoni Ziemba, translated by Karolina Koriat


This guide to the Gallery of Old Masters, which was opened in December 2016, is constructed so as best to accompany the visitor. The Gallery brings together diverse art forms. In this way, we move away from the traditional discourse of art history where the “high” pictorial art — painting, sculpture, drawing and graphic arts — were separated from decorative arts understood exclusively in utilitarian terms. Yet such division did not exist in the past. Decorative arts shared with painting and sculpture their purpose and functions, but also spaces where they were collected and exhibited. These “social spaces” have provided the key to the division of the gallery: 1. palace, villa, court; 2. church, chapel and domestic altar; 3. the city.