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The History of Zakopane's Former Lace-making School




April 26 – August 31, 2008
The Museum of Zakopane Style at "Koliba" villa
ul. Kościeliska 18, Zakopane

The exhibition dedicated to the Lace-making School in Zakopane is open from April 26 to June 8 at the Museum of Zakopane Style at "Koliba" villa. The exhibition shows bobbin laces from the end of the 19th century until the 1990s and also the celebrated teachers and history of the Zakopane Lace-making School, which opened in 1883.


The famous Polish actress Helena Modrzejewska-Chłapowska (known internationally as Helena Modjeska) established a foundation for a lace-making school in Zakopane on her return from the United States . The foundation's first sum of money was raised from the successful performance of Henrik Ibsen's play Nora at Krakow's Teatr Stary [Old Theatre]. Modrzejewska was a major donor to the lace-making school, and the celebrated doctor Tytus Chałubiński was the advocate of its foundation and the author of its statute, and later its protector and guardian. The school was set up by Helena Modrzejewska, Countess Róża Krasińska, Franciszek Neużil, Leopold Czubernat and the priest Józef Stolarczyk.

The Lace-making School opened on May 1, 1883, and was one of the first vocational schools for girls in Poland. Józefa Stelcer, who graduated from the Industrial School in Lwów, became its first headmistress.

The History of Zakopane's Former Lace-making School is a retrospective exhibition which showcases bobbin laces from the end of the 19th century until the 1990s. The handicraft masterworks illustrate stylistic changes in design which gradually evolved from Viennese patterns into native motifs promoted by the legendary Zakopane-style artist Stanisław Witkiewicz.

The exhibition also presents the School's teachers: Jadwiga Galleth, Mieczysław Szopiński, Karol Kłosowski, Maria Bujak, Maria Teper, who were known for their high artistic standards at the School, which is reflected in the quality of the laces on display and confirmed by the numerous distinctions and awards the School obtained.

The exhibits on display come from the archives of the present Vocational School Complex no 2 in Zakopane, which is dedicated to Helena Modrzejewska.

The exhibition curator wishes to express her thanks to Ms Maria Teper and Ms Magdalena Bujak-Lenczowska, without whose assistance the exhibition' s completion would not have been possible.

Teresa Maria Lisek

bobbin laces
(beginning of the 20th century)

from the school's archives

how the lace is being made
(Photo: W. Werner)


bobbin laces
(beginning of the 20th century)

from the school's archives

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Translated & edited by: Joanna Holzman, Adrian Smith, Anna Wende-Surmiak