There Stood a Manor House

Temporary exhibitions

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  • Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 5:00 PM - Sunday, February 12, 2023

The exhibition is the project of the Podgórze Museum, branch of the Museum of Krakow. It aims to introduce the history of four estates: Prokocim, Wola Duchacka, Bieżanów and Piaski Wielkie.

Why were these particular sites chosen? “The manor houses in question still exist and serve very different functions. The Palace in Prokocim is the seat of an order, the manor in Bieżanów serves as a cultural institution, one building of the manor in Wola Duchacka is a public nursery, the other one is falling into disrepair, and the manor in Piaski Wielkie is still privately owned,” explains the exhibition curator Melania Tutak. “An important factor for us was the role of the sites we selected in the social space of the districts: the impact of their history on the contemporary life of the district, their presence in the awareness of the inhabitants, the architectural condition of the facilities, and who currently owns them,” she adds.

Social organisations and local heritage activists were invited to co-create the exhibition. The exhibition is an expression of gratitude for their activity and an invaluable contribution to nurturing and exploring local history.

The exhibition is divided into sections, each dealing with a different aspect of the life of a manor house and suburban palace.  In addition, each object was assigned a colour, which accompanies the photographs, stories, and spaces devoted to it. The exhibition was designed to make its guests feel like guests of the manor houses.

The section entitled “Made of wood, but underpinned” summarises the history and architecture of the buildings. The “Gardens” present the beauty of the adjacent land, and the “Ballroom” provides information about the owners and residents. The “Charity” section presents the charitable activities of the residents and owners of the estates. The “Off of the manor” section shows the post-war history of the estates. The exhibition ends with the “Meeting” space, arranged with the participation of activists and associations working in the former manor areas in Podgórze. The entire narrative is accompanied by family heirlooms “scattered” throughout the exhibition, resembling artifacts of somebody’s life packed in a rush and lost on the run. 

The exhibition was created during the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The final stages of work on the exhibition coincided with the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which forced millions of Ukrainians to flee war. All of a sudden, they had to pack their lives, past, and achievements of generations into a single suitcase. These events have added an extremely topical dimension to the exhibition, warning us that history constantly and mercilessly repeats itself.



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