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The Chopin Museum in The Fryderyk Chopin National Institute

The Chopin Museum in The Fryderyk Chopin National Institute

THE FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM

a museum that will inform your attitude and worldview and influence your life
a composition of objects, sounds, scents, lights, ideas and technologies
an open landscape in which one wanders through Chopin's life
The exhibition is titled ‘Experiencing Chopin' - each visitor can experience it in his or her own way. We give only the tools to go deeper.

THE DISPLAY

The new permanent display at the Fryderyk Chopin Museum was designed to a scenario prepared by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute and opened on the bicentenary of the composer's birth, 1 March 2010. The design, which won an international competition, was the work of the Italian studio Migliore + Servetto Architects. The display consists of eleven thematic ‘islands' devoted to particular aspects and periods in the life of Fryderyk Chopin: Żelazowa Wola and Youthful Peregrinations, Warsaw, Mikołaj Chopin's Salon, The Paris Salon, Nohant, Women, Travels around Europe, Chopin, The Person, Death, The Pianist and The Composer. The display is aimed at inspiring visitors to reflect on the composer's work, personality and legacy. Visitors choose their own way around the museum, and the display becomes an individually shaped tale about Fryderyk Chopin and his times.

THE MUSEUM IN NUMBERS

The Fryderyk Chopin Museum's new permanent display comprises a surface area of approximately 890 m2, 5 floors, 430 items selected from a total collection of over 7000 objects, 8 languages, 105 display cases, 12 virtual book stands with interactive projection and sound, 70 multimodal stations, 1 ‘listening room', 5 projections, 1 interactive musical twister, 14 audio stands, 39 video installations and a five-channel video installation, 4 historical grand pianos and 1 period upright piano, 85 music manuscripts and editions, 9 soundscapes in 11 rooms and a continually expanding audiovisual programme consisting mainly of concerts and appearances by artists and Chopin scholars.

AWARDS

The Fryderyk Chopin Museum has won the prestigious Red Dot Award (2011) and the main prize in the ‘tourist site' category of the competition ‘Beautiful Poland - 7 Wonders of European Funds' (2013); it was also nominated for the German Design Award (2013).

ACTIVITIES

The Fryderyk Chopin Museum is an academic and research facility. It acquires for its collection Chopin-related items that appear on the market all the time, safeguards and conserves those resources and applies comprehensive academic research to all the objects in its possession. It pursues a rich programme of exhibition work (information on current exhibitions can be found on our website), educational work (museum lessons offered by specialists on all levels and meetings with visitors) and concert work (an hour-long piano recital every Thursday at 6 p.m. as part of the Young Talents cycle). In addition, as an attractive new venue, the Museum's beautiful concert hall attracts a range of intellectual and artistic activities.

 

BRANCHES

Żelazowa Wola and the Chopins' Drawing-room in Warsaw are branches of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum. For decades now, the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin and Park in Żelazowa Wola, situated in the Sochaczew district, 54 km from Warsaw, has been a mecca for Chopin ‘pilgrims', visited by legions of tourists and music lovers from all over the world. The Chopins' Drawing-room in Czapski/Krasiński Palace (now the building of the Academy of Fine Arts) is the composer's last Warsaw apartment and the place where his early works were first performed in public. The Chopins lived here in 1827-36/37, and Fryderyk until his departure from Poland.

 

THE COLLECTION

The Fryderyk Chopin Museum holds the largest collection of Chopin-related items in the world - a great variety of souvenirs connected with the composer's life and work, numbering over 7000 items. The collection contains music manuscripts, editions of Chopin's works, correspondence, iconography and personal effects, documents relating to biographic studies, critical commentaries on his works and reception as broadly understood. In 1999, part of the collection was placed on UNESCO's ‘Memory of the World' list, comprising objects requiring particular protection on account of their unique cultural value.

 

The collection was first systematically gathered by Jane Stirling and the composer's family, then institutionally expanded from 1899 by the Warsaw Music Society, as part of the work of the Society's Chopin Section, founded by Jan Karłowicz. In 1934, those duties were taken over by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, which in 1953 transferred them to the Fryderyk Chopin Society. Since 2005, the collection has been under the care of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute.

 

The most valuable group in the collection comprises Chopin autographs - musical sketches and fragments of works showing the fascinating creative process, as well as complete works, notes, letters, drawings and manuscript copies of works prepared by Julian Fontana, Auguste Franchomme, Thomas Tellefsen and others. Among the most precious iconographic objects are portraits made during the composer's lifetime - his first known likenesses by Eliza Radziwiłł, high-quality portraits such as drawings by Franz-Xaver Winterhalter and Luigi Calamatta, and also works by Teofil Kwiatkowski and George Sand depicting Chopin in private settings. Also among the most valuable souvenirs are Chopin's last grand piano from his flat on Place Vendôme, a gold watch presented to him by Angelica Catalani, notebooks from the years 1834, 1848 and 1849, a small pencil, a little charm, elegant tiepins, a sweet tin, handkerchiefs embroidered by George Sand, a lock of Fryderyk Chopin's hair and flowers from his death-bed. The collection also includes pianos from Chopin's day, produced by the firms of Pleyel, Erard, Buchholtz and Leszczyński. Some of them are concert instruments, enabling us to summon up the historical sound of the first half of the nineteenth century. A crucial role in the collection is also played by objects illustrating the reception of Chopin and his works - from paintings, drawings, sculptures and medals to stamps, postcards and posters.

 

THE BUILDING

Gniński Palace (usually known as Ostrogski Castle or Palace) is the north annexe of a large planned complex designed by Tylman van Gameren, an architect of Dutch origins working in Warsaw. Rebuilt in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the palace had several owners and fulfilled various functions: from 1859 it was home to the Institute of Music, which continued the work of the Main School of Music disbanded in 1831 (Chopin attended the Main School in 1826-29), and during the inter-war years a music conservatory and drama school were housed here. Following war-time devastation, the palace was rebuilt in 1949-54 by Mieczysław Kuzma, who returned to the design of Tylman van Gameren, although modifying the interior design. After the war, the building became the seat of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, and soon afterwards of its successors, the Fryderyk Chopin Society and the new Fryderyk Chopin Institute, with the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, which has remained here ever since. Chopin probably never set foot in this building, but he would certainly have seen such a beautiful residence, which stood out in the panorama of the capital.  

THE FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM IN WARSAW

Ostrogski Palace
ul. Okólnik 1, 00-368 Warszawa

 

Ticket office, including group bookings
Tuesday-Sunday 11.00-20.00
+48 22 44 16 251 (252, 272)
bilety.muzeum@nifc.pl

 

Collection
+48 22 44 16 268
kolekcja.muzeum@nifc.pl

 

General business (secretary's office)
Monday-Friday 8.30-16.30
+48 22 44 16 274
biuro.muzeum@nifc.pl

 

Education
Monday-Friday 12.00-17.00
+48 22 44 16 263
booking lessons: edukacja.muzeum@nifc.pl

 

Promotions
Monday-Friday 9.00-17.00
+48 22 44 191
promocja.muzeum@nifc.pl

 

FRYDERYK CHOPIN'S BIRTHPLACE AND PARK IN ŻELAZOWA WOLA

A branch of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw
Żelazowa Wola 15
96-503 Sochaczew
+48 46 863 33 00
+48 46 863 40 76
zelazowawola@nifc.pl

 

THE CHOPINS' DRAWING-ROOM

Academy of Fine Arts, second floor
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 5
00-068 Warszawa
+48 22 320 02 75
biuro.muzeum@nifc.pl


 

Manuscripts kept in the library:

Mazurka E major op. 6 nr 3; Presentation autograph
Mazurka F minor op. 7 nr 3; Presentation autograph
Trio in g minor op. 8; Public autograph
Etudes Op. 10 (part of the opus; No. 1-3, 5-6, 8-10); Stichvorlage autograph
Etude C-sharp minor op. 10 nr 4; Working autograph
Concerto F minor op. 21; Sketch
Prelude G major op. 28 nr 3; Copy (Julian Fontana)
Impromptu A-flat major op. 29; Stichvorlage autograph
Sonata B-flat minor op. 35; Presentation autograph
Impromptu F-sharp major op. 36; Sketch
Tarantella in A flat major op. 43; Complete autograph
Nocturnes Op. 48; Stichvorlage copy (Julian Fontana)
Mazurka G major op. 50 nr 1; Incipit
Berceuse D-flat major op. 57; Sketch
Sonata B minor op. 58; Sketch
Barkarola F-sharp major op. 60; Sketch
Polonaise-Fantasie A flat major op. 61; Sketch
Sonata g minor Op. 65 (set of pages part 1); Sketch
Sonata G minor op. 65; Sketch
Fantaisie-Impromptu [op. 66]; Presentation autograph
Fantaisie-Impromptu [op. 66]; Copy (August Franchomme)
Mazurka A minor [op. 67 nr 4]; Copy (Thomas Tellefsen)
Mazurka F minor [op. 68 nr 4]; Copy (August Franchomme)
Waltz F minor [op. 70 nr 2]; Presentation autograph
Polonaise D minor [op. 71 nr 1]; Copy
Polonaise B-flat major [op. 71 nr 2]; Copy (Ludwika Jędrzejewiczowa)
Polonaise F minor [op. 71 nr 3]; Presentation autograph
Funeral March in c minor [op. 72]; Copy (Thomas Tellefsen)
Before the battle (words S. Witwicki) [op. 74 nr 10]; Presentation autograph
The Ring (words S. Witwicki) [op. 74 nr 14]; Sketch
Remembrance (words A. Mickiewicz) [op. 74 nr 6]; Sketch
Nocturne C minor [op. posth.]; Sketch
Waltz A-flat major [op. posth.]; Incipit
Etude in F minor from Trois Nouvelles Études (No 1) ; Working autograph

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