Thursday, June 24, 2010

homo erotic exhibition at the warsaw national museum of art

The Homo Eroticus exhibition at the Warsaw National Museum of Art (Muzeum Narodowe) is surprisingly good and lacking a vulgar shock factor. Rather the shock (or surprise) is that such an exhibition is being held at the National Museum of Art which, of recent, has been categorized as having classic works of art and being relatively boring and having a lack of anything fresh. The exhibition manages to chronicle homosexuality from many centuries back by showing paintings and graphic prints (i.e. featuring homosexuality in Greek Mythology) to modern photography, videos and paintings. There is also some criticism of the 'hidden' homosexuality in the Catholic church.

folklore dream at the ethnographic museum

The Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw may not have a lot of money but with the space they have, they put together a fantastic collection of Polish traditional artisanal folk crafts and costumes. I absolutely was astonished by the breadth of their collection-- they have everything from original tools, old photos and lithographs depicting folk costumes and traditions to traditional folk art like religious naive paintings on glass, craved wooden sculptures in a vast array of styles ( from kitschy to almost a danish modern clean cut look), cut outs and items made out of natural materials for special holiday events. I very much enjoyed seeing all the costumes for special events, especially the giant costumes made out of straw and, also, the beautiful paper flowers. Lastly, I would like to note that this museum has a great cafe and bookstore in the lobby. I really love their idea to have a motif and print in solid white of the Polish cut outs but, since it is only in white, it is looks incredibly modern. It is a very interesting tactic to draw new crowds into the museum and to have Poles come to fully appreciate their cultural folk traditions.

made in poland

Ego & Eco is a Polish design shop in Nowy Swiat. It features beautiful items made from Polish linen, very original Polish jewelry, Polish modern ceramics and Polish teas. I really love their linens bags and scarves, some of their jewelry and their ceramic pieces like the Polish milk bar inspired cups by MAMSAM and the 'broken' vases and cups.

Winnie the Pooh Street

Chopin Museum

The Chopin Museum is the bane of my touristic experience here in Warsaw. I have tried numerous times to come to this museum but they are always sold out of tickets or run out of tickets on free entry day. So I have yet to visit it so this isn't a plug just yet..
However, a good tip is that they offer return bus trips to Zelazowa Wola, Chopin's birth place and home, every day departing at 10 am and noon (during the week, they mostly just depart at noon) for 30 zloty. This is a good deal because the train takes you to the biggest town near Zelazowa Wola and costs over 15 zloty one way plus the extra waiting time and cost to get to the actual museum (please note that at the museum they did not have information about the buses to Zelazowa Wola in English so please inquire at the guest desk).

window barriers