2013 | 14(1) |
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FACES OF ART: The museum which no longer exists

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After the First World War, part of Upper Silesia was included as a region of Poland. A new administrative body was set up: its aim was to kindle a sense of national belonging. Accordingly, a range of educational, social and cultural policies were introduced. One of these policies was to establish the Silesian Museum which aim was to prove, in a scientific manner, the Polish character of these lands. The head of this institution, Tadeusz Dobrowolski, exhibited a range of items from ethnography, nature, gothic art, nineteenth century Polish paintings and the history of the Silesian risings. In 1936, Karol Schayera’s project to build the edifice of the museum began. This modern building was a steel-construction, thanks to which one could flexibly shape the exposition space. The plan was to equip it with the latest technological inventions: moving stairway, a system of automatic window screens and air-conditioning. The institution had to implement the latest museum management’s scheme, which apart from assembling and presenting exhibits, had an educational mission. Building and purchasing goods for the exhibition, thanks to the funds from the budget of Silesian voivodship, proceeded rapidly. The first opening was planned for the spring of 1940. However, these plans fell apart after an explosion destroyed the museum during the Second World War. The Silesian museum could have been the most modern of its kind in Poland.
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