Museum of the History of Polish Jews – Warsaw

In April last year we visited the then newly constructed Museum of the History of Polish Jews located on Willy Brandt Square, proper address Anielewicza 6, Warsaw or even more precisely here – 52°14’58.56″N, 20°59’35.99″E

Whilst the building itself was finished the exhibitions were only just started and were still seeking funding. The core exhibitions are planned to open sometime this year, 2014. Original dates were around April/May, we think the grand opening is planned for September with Obama and other dignitaries flying in but it is hard to find exact dates anywhere.

Words taken from the museum website explain better than I can. The pictures are mine.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews opened its doors to the public in April 2013. It currently functions as a cultural and educational center with a rich cultural program, including temporary exhibitions, films, debates, workshops, performances, concerts, lectures and much more. The opening of the Core Exhibition, presenting the thousand-year history of Polish Jews, is scheduled for autumn of 2014.

Formally founded in 2005 by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, the City of Warsaw and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Museum is an unique and unprecedented initiative, spanning many fields of research and drawing on the expertise of scholars and museum professionals from around the world. We also work with the community at large to create a vibrant place of exchange and dialogue where all have the opportunity to express their views, ask questions and grow.

Occupying around 4 000 sq m (ca. 43 000 sq ft), the Museum’s Core Exhibition will immerse visitors in the world of Polish Jews, from their arrival in Po-lin as traveling merchants in medieval times until today. The exhibition was developed by an international team of more than 120 scholars, working under the direction of Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett from New York University. It is being produced by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland thanks to the support of donors from all over the world. Each of the eight galleries will present a different chapter of the story of Polish Jews, enabling visitors to come into intimate contact with those who lived that story through images, artifacts, first-person accounts and interactive multimedia.

The Museum stands in what was once the heart of Jewish Warsaw – an area which the Nazis turned into the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. This significant location, coupled with the Museum’s proximity to the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, demanded extreme thoughtfulness on the part of the building’s designers, who carefully crafted a structure that has become a symbol of the new face of Warsaw. The design by the Finnish studio Lahdelma & Mahlamäki was selected in an international competition. In 2008, with the building still under construction, it received the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award (2008).

Come join us for a memorable, transformative and thought-provoking experience!

The Core Exhibition will be the heart of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Eight galleries, occupying more than 4,000 m² of space, will present the thousand year history of Polish Jews – once the largest Jewish community in the world. The exhibition will show their presence in Poland in a wholly novel way, employing artifacts, quotations, photographs, illustrations, sounds and interactive multimedia.

The world of Polish Jews will be brought to life in eight galleries: Forest, First Encounters (the Middle Ages), Paradisus Iudaeorum (15th and 16th centuries), Into the Country (17th and 18th centuries), Encounters with Modernity (19th century), The Street, Holocaust, and Postwar.

The exhibition was developed by an international team of scholars and museum professionals from Poland, the United States and Israel as well as the Museum’s curatorial team under the direction of Prof. Barbara Kirshenblatt–Gimblett. The design was developed by the award-winning British firm Event Communications, which specializes in high-impact, narrative, multimedia exhibitions. The exhibition is currently being produced by the Polish firm Nizio Design, under the supervision of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, which is responsible for its implementation and financing.

There is a good video with more details especially about the building itself – HERE.

The main entrance

The main entrance

Looking out through entrance from the bridge

Looking out through entrance from the bridge

Detail

Detail

Sticks

Sticks

Looking toward the entrance

Looking toward the entrance

Entrance hall

Entrance hall

Inside - waves

Inside – waves

In the lecture room looking out toward the ghetto heroes monument

In the lecture room looking out toward the ghetto heroes monument

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5 thoughts on “Museum of the History of Polish Jews – Warsaw

  1. I know you are not on facebook ;)

    I’m the long time ‘stalker’ guest. I read your blog since the beginning and you mentioned 2-3yrs ago that you won’t use facebook and co. if i remember right. I came to your blog from your old pbase site.

    I am also not really on facebook. I use it only to read other pages. Esp. all the Polish-Jewish ‘old Warsaw’ stuff is very interesting. Things like that http://www.jhi.pl/en/institute/searching_for_bunds_archive Too bad you can’t read it on facebook.

  2. Well Happy New Year to my long term stalker guest! The old pBase days were quite a few years ago now so congratulations for staying the course.

    I checked out the Bund searching page, interesting, might even pop over and take a look if it’s not all behind fences because that whole park is being renovated right now if I remember correctly.

    I did try Facebook one more time about a year ago but I could never find a way to switch EVERYTHING off so it ended up just more trouble than it was worth. I was also a pretty useless contributor as if I’ve got anything remotely interesting to say it becomes more than just a superficial Facebook post and so should go here. In fact it was like this, if I posted a picture of my cat farting it got 10,000 likes, if I posted about anything more “serious” than that it was ignored.

  3. I think you can set up to receive only from people you select and choose to communicate with on FB. and not receive feeds from everyone else…not sure with the ads though. They are fed into feeds and look like a post.

    The building is very interesting. Not quite sure I entirely like the design. I find it interesting that a building so square on the out side looks like folds of cloth draping. A for content inside has lots to offer.

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