New Exhibit at the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin
small, New Exhibit at the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin, The Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin, photo: Marek Dusza, fo_chopin_zelazowa_wola_muzeum_2010_md_01_42276.jpg
The grand opening of the new permanent exhibition at Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace was held on 31 May at 12:00 PM.The exhibition was officially opened by Małgorzata Omilanowska – Minister of Culture and National Heritage, together with Artur Szklener – Director of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute.
The exhibit at the birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin emphasizes the link between two families from Żelazowa Wola: the Skarbeks, the owners of the mansion, and the Chopins. The museum has many original items, such as books from the library of Mikołaj Chopin, the composer’s father, and images and sculptures of Fryderyk Chopin.
The new exhibition at the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin in Żelazowa Wola is only the third permanent exhibition at the manor in post-war Poland. The first exhibition opened in 1949 – on the 100th anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin’s death. The next one, which opened in 2010 in honor of Chopin’s 200th birthday, was on display until Fall 2014.
The concept of a large number of items on exhibit was dispensed with, and what became the exhibition’s essential element was a story leading the visitor (via audio tour guide) through the monument park and the manor house interiors. Soon, fans of Fryderyk Chopin will be able to view his birthplace in a different light. The new exhibit opened on 31 May 2015.
The new exhibit tells a story of the Chopin family that many people may not know. At the beginning of his life, Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace was a residential annex, and he did not live in the manor itself. The annex was divided into two sections: the residential area with the kitchen, and the servant’s quarters with the bakery. This divide inspired the story told by the new exhibit: the story of the relationship between the two families, as well as the story of how the museum came to be. This project was made possible through the purchase and renovation of the annex, which was integrated with the rest of the manor with the creation of a columned façade and monument park
The exhibit aims to make the story of Chopin’s life accessible to all visitors, between those who already know a lot about the composer, to those who have more of a fleeting relationship with his work. The purpose of the exhibit is to tell more about his life story through the numerous artifacts of the Chopin family.
"We must make it clear that Chopin was not born in the manor itself, but rather in the annex, in which his parents may have lived in three of the rooms, or maybe just one,” stated Mariola Wojtkiewicz, one of the curators of the exhibit.
Wojtkiewicz also pointed out that the mementos are original: The include books from the library of Mikołaj Chopin, images and busts of the composer, wedding gifts that Fryderyk Skarbek gave Louise Chopin, who was married on the estate. There are also original compositions from the first eight years of Chopin’s work, including the Polonaise in G minor, which was dedicated to Wiktoria Skarbekowna in 1817.
The opening of the exhibit coincides with the Children’s Day celebration, which was celebrated for the sixth year in the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin in Żelazowa Wola.
Source: PAP, ed. Agata Dudek-Woyke, 01/06/2015.