The latest permanent exhibition of the National Museum in Wrocław presents three collections: the art of the Near and the Far East, artistic crafts and material culture, and ceramics and contemporary glass.
An elaborate suit of armour worn by a Japanese samurai, a sundial clock with a compass, a Louis Vuitton travelling trunk, a blue silk dress, designer crystal glasses and the 1950s Polish Szarotka radio. These and a few hundred other artifacts are featured in the an exhibition showing the world as made by human hands, as created by the human imagination, and then perfectly materialized in utilitarian objects.
The first part of this exhibition, dedicated to the art of distant Asiatic cultures, centres on the European fascination with these lands, on their colonisation and study. The objects range from devotional art, like carved images of deities and guardian demons, to beautiful everyday utensils: the inlaid boxes for writing implements, wonderfully decorated lacquerware, colourful porcelain dishes and many others. The second part of the exhibition returns to Europe and tells the story of people embellishing the world surrounding them. From the primeval urge to satiate hunger, to communicate, through clothing and decorating homes, to activities focused on work and play. The exhibits there include dishes, furniture, clothing, clocks, stained glass, toiletry sets, work tools and weapons.
The last, third part of Miracle-Workers features a selection of contemporary glass and ceramics from the collection of the National Museum in Wrocław, one of the largest specialist collections of this kind in Poland. It showcases the work of the prominent Polish ceramics artists: the post-war innovators (Julia Kotarbińska and Rufin Kominek), the Wrocław paragons of artistic discipline (Krystyna Cybińska, Irena Lipska-Zworska, Anna Malicka-Zamorska, Bożena Sacharczuk), and the artists linked with other centres of art like Gdańsk and Warsaw. The visitors can admire the works by the extraordinary experimental artist and visionary of the glass form, Henryk Albin Tomaszewski, as well as of other prominent artists like Ludwik Kiczura, Henryk Wilkowski, Małgorzata Dajewska, Kazimierz Pawlak, Beata Stankiewicz-Szczerbik, and also those working in other countries: Czesław Zuber, Marvin Lipofsky, Pavel Hlava and René Roubiček. The part dedicated to postwar design features the decorative and utilitarian dishes like those designed by Zbigniew Horbowy, Stefan Sadowski, Józef Podlasek, the pressed glass designed by Eryka and Jan Drost, the crystal glass by Aleksander and Regina Puchała, and also the Włocławek faience, the Polish “New look” porcelain from the 1960s and the Bolesławiec ironstone.