The exhibition in the former Cracovia Hotel tells a story of Witold Cęckiewicz’s architecture against the political and social background of the two decades following the 1956 Thaw.
After the events of October 1956, architects abandoned socialist realism and turned to modern forms. This breakthrough is the starting point of an exhibition organized in the building of the former Cracovia Hotel (now the Branch of the National Museum in Kraków). The main axis of the show will be the oeuvre of Witold Cęckiewicz – one of the most important architects of Polish post-war modernism. In 1965, Cęckiewicz designed the Cracovia Hotel that – along with the adjacent Kijów (Kiev) Cinema – count among the leading achievements of Polish architecture in the 1960s. The complex of buildings constitutes an architectural parallel to the most notable works of Polish culture of that period – the culture that flourished on the wave of political Thaw. The exhibition in Cracovia is a multifaceted narrative, showing architecture in the context of the People’s Republic of Poland reality in the 1950s and 1960s. The purpose of the show is to illustrate the contradictions of the post-Thaw breakthrough – on the one hand, producing peak achievements of Polish culture, and on the other, determined by Władysław Gomułka’s political leadership.
THE THAW 56 – CRACOVIA 65. EXHIBITION OF WITOLD CĘCKIEWICZ’S ARCHITECTURE
In the former Cracovia Hotel, branch of the National Museum in Kraków, al. Focha 1, Kraków
Curators: Instytut Architektury (Institute of Architecture): Dorota Jędruch, Marta Karpińska, Dorota Leśniak-Rychlak, Michał Wiśniewski
Cooperation: Kacper Kępiński, Agata Wiśniewska
Organised by: Instytut Architektury (Institute of Architecture)
Co-organised by: Muzeum Inżynierii Miejskiej (Museum of Municipal Engineering)
Main Partner: Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie (National Museum in Kraków)
Partners: Fundacja Sztuk Wizualnych (Foundation for Visual Arts), kwartalnik „Przekrój” (‘Przekrój’ quarterly), Muzeum Historii Fotografii (Museum of History of Photography), Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Krakowa (Historical Museum of the City of Kraków), Wydział Architektury Politechniki Krakowskiej (Cracow University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture), Forum Designu
Exhibition layout: Pracownia Macieja Siudy (Maciej Siuda’s Studio)
Graphic design of the exhibition: Wojciech Kwiecień-Janikowski, Kuba Sowiński
Production: Małgorzata Dziedzic, Izabela Wałek
Instytut Architektury: www.instytutarchitektury.o
Project co-financed by the Municipality of Kraków