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December 22, 2010 - May 29, 2011
The Art Gallery in Koziniec
ul. Koziniec 8, Zakopane
The display of Oriental carpets and textiles collected by Włodzimierz and Jerzy Kulczycki between 1906 and 1965. The collection was donated to the Tatra Museum by Anna Piotrowicz-Kulczycka, Jerzy Kulczycki's widow, and has been periodically shown since 1981 at the Gallery of Art in Koziniec, dedicated to the Kulczyckis.


The collection of Oriental carpets was started by Włodzimierz Kulczycki (1862 – 1936), eminent scholar of the Veterinary University in Lwow, who twice held the post of its president and was awarded with an honoris causa doctorate for his services to the University. At the same time, he had developed a passion for Oriental carpets after purchasing his first Persian carpet. After a few months, the Professor bought another carpet and yet another one. At the outbreak of World War I, he owned 30 carpets and in the 1930s - around 300, which constituted the largest Polish collection at that time.

The Professor's idea was to gather a representative collection of carpets. His son Jerzy (1898-1974), a doctor of philosophy, inherited his father's passion and collection.

Three exhibitions of the carpets were organized before World War II; in Warsaw (1926), Lwow (1928) and Krakow (1934). Włodzimierz and Jerzy Kulczycki's collection experienced changing fortunes, sometimes very dramatic, especially during and after WWII. In 1951 it found its place in Jerzy Kulczycki's small flat in Warsaw. In 1964, J. Kulczycki decided to divide the collection; luxury and palace carpets went to Wawel Castle and the other part of the collection (carpets from the 17th to the first half of the 19th centuries) went to the Tatra Museum in Zakopane in 1977, after Jerzy Kulczycki's death, thanks to the efforts of his widow Anna Piotrowicz-Kulczycka.

The carpets not only adorned interiors but some of them constituted an interior by themselves. Symbols, which were put on a carpet, were supposed to provide good luck and scare the misfortune off. They were woven in primitive home ateliers by nimble fingers, sometimes children's.

The Tatra Museum has the honour to own this collection of richly designed, colourful carpets, each of which has an interesting texture and a story hidden behind them, and to display periodically these unique specimens of the applied arts.

Julita Opalach

On an improvised loom, visitors to the exhibition can try various weaving techniques.


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