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The grand opening of the new permanent exhibition at Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace 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 new exhibition tells about the Chopin family in Żelazowa Wola, as well as their relationship with the property’s owners – the Skarbek family. The other main theme of the script is the history of the establishment of the museum dedicated to Fryderyk Chopin.

It is worth recalling that the new exhibition at Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace in Żelazowa Wola is only the third permanent exhibition since post-war times in Poland. The first exhibition was carried out in the spirit of a Polish aristocratic manor house. It opened in 1949 – on the 100th anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin’s death. The next one, prepared in 2010 in honor of Chopin’s 200th birthday, was on display until Fall 2014. It was characterized by a simple and economical stylistic language. 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 visit Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace in a different arrangement. The new exhibition will open to the public on the last day of May 2015.

In the 19th century, Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace was an annex to the manor house, serving utility and residential purposes. It was divided into two parts: on the right were the residents’ rooms and the kitchen; on the left, the servants’ quarters and the bakery. This division, resulting from the function of the building’s rooms, became the inspiration for the new exhibition’s script, the narrative of which focuses on two equally important stories, namely those of the Chopin and Skarbek families, as well as the story of the creation of the museum devoted to Fryderyk Chopin by generations of admirers of the composer’s œuvre. The culminating moment of the entire process was the purchase and renovation of the historical annex, giving it the characteristics of a  Polish manor house via the addition of a columned front porch, as well as the establishment of the surrounding Modernist monument park.

The new exhibition attempts to meet the expectations of various groups of visitors – from those more emotionally oriented, to those with exploratory and critical inclinations. The exhibition’s foundational element is reconstructed period interiors filled with historical objects, mementos of the Chopin family presented for the first time in such great numbers in the interiors of Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace.


 31 May 2015, opening of new exhibition at Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace in Żelazowa Wola

Exhibition curators: Maciej Janicki, Mariola Wojtkiewicz