The holdings of the Art Department comprise some 4600 items grouped in several interesting collections. Craftsmen’s objects in the Zakopane Style are permanently on display in the Koliba Villa, the Władysław Hasior Gallery houses a collection of the artist’s works, while temporary exhibitions of other items are put on at the Włodzimierz and Jerzy Kulczycki Gallery.
The largest set is undoubtedly that of paintings, prints and drawings featuring Tatra subjects that made their first appearance in Polish art in the first half of the 19th century. The initial fashion favoured evocative landscapes exuding an awe-inspiring, mysterious mood of the mountains. In 1837 Jan Nepomucen Głowacki painted Morskie Oko [‘Marine Eye’, a tarn], the first Tatra landscape in Polish art, which marked the beginning of the history of Polish mountain landscape painting. Jan Kanty Wojnarowski’s c. 1860 watercolour copy of Głowacki’s Morskie Oko is in the Tatra Museum collection. The earliest Tatra landscapes also include Alfred Schouppe’s Mt Łomnica and The Strążyska Valley. The Art Department boasts a fairly large set of watercolours and prints by Walery Eljasz, a popular Cracow painter closely connected with the Tatra Mountains and an activist of the Tatra Society. Of later artists, mention is due primarily to Leon Wyczółkowski, Aleksander Mroczkowski and the less known ones, including. Stefan Filipkiewicz, Maks Haneman, Wanda Gentil Tippenhauer, Rafał Malczewski and Alfred Terlecki. The most numerous in the landscape section are pieces by the Zakopane painter Stanisław Gałek (1876–1961), a student of Jan Stanisławski’s (thirty items).
Another large set embraces portraits in various techniques of sitters well known in Zakopane: artists, politicians and sportsmen, in addition to Tatra people types. Those celebrated in them include the Tatra Museum patron Dr Tytus Chałubiński, Stanisław Witkiewicz (painted by Jacek Malczewski among other artists), Jan Krzeptowski Sabała the famous Tatra story-teller and musician, and the local guides, including Wojciech Roj painted by Stanisław Witkiewicz. There are also portraits in pastel by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy) of the customers of his famous ‘Portrait Firm’.