Exhibition: Forgotten Collection of the Niedzielski Family

The exhibition presents a part of art collection that was located at the Niedzielski family manor house in Śledziejowice near Kraków at the end of the 19th century.

Jan Matejko, Portret Ostafiego Daszkiewicza. MŚThe collection features paintings of renowned Polish painters Jan Matejko and Artur Grottger, an authentic hussar armour from the 17th century or a votive statue in honour of Aphrodite. Paintings by Jasper van der Laanen and Walery Eliasz-Radzikowski are also worth attention, along with the first Polish golden coin cast during the reign of Vladislaus the Elbow-High. The only preserved specimen of the coin was purchased by the well-known collector and numismatic expert, Count Emeryk Hutten-Czapski, in 1896 from Stanisław Niedzielski. The token that refers to the tragic faith of Poles in Irkutsk is a chalice with a lid adorned with realistic reliefs of insects and reptiles. Another interesting exhibit is a trilateral chalice with carved Masonic emblems. Photographs from the 1930s present the atmosphere of the manor house at the time when it was inhabited by the Niedzielski family.

Kajetan Niedzielski (1782–1839) and Erazm Niedzielski (1820–1882), as well as Stanisław Niedzielski (1853–1938) and Adam Niedzielski were particularly involved in the establishment of the collection. Kajetan collected manuscripts and set up a library, whereas Erazm enhanced the collection with old coins, paintings, military items, fabrics, archaeological finds and artistic handicraft. The actual value of the collection was shown by the List of the Collection prepared by Stanisław Niedzielski in the 1930s. The list provided detailed information about the collected items, their origin, and, in some cases, about their further fate.

Zapomniana kolekcja. Zbiory rodu Niedzielskich (1)The Niedzielski family was interested not only in collecting. Their merits and involvement for the sake of the local community are also worth mentioning. Members of the Niedzielski family were pioneers of technological progress in agriculture, held the function of the marshal of the Wieliczka District during the period of Galician Autonomy, supported development of education and culture. During the January Uprising, Erazm Niedzielski provided weapons to the units of Marian Langiewicz stationed in Goszcza and after their defeat offered shelter to the insurgents in his property, whereas Stanisław Niedzielski was a member of the National Sejm in Lviv (1889–1895). The exhibition is presented in the Saltwork Castle until 18 June 2017.


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