Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Stanisław Wyspianski Handicraft and Art Cooperative

The Stanislaw Wyspianski Handicraft and Art Cooperative
Krakow dolls in various sizes, from their website.

The Stanislaw Wyspianski Handcraft and Art Cooperative was established in 1945. Many of the dolls I have in this blog are from there, especially the historical ones. It is named after a famous Cracovian artist and playwright. (see below)
This cooperative was created by artists and for many years was directed by lecturers of Academy of Art in Krakow.
From the beginning of it’s existence it was involved in preserving folk art and traditions. 
Today the company prides itself on producing dolls in folk attire, national regional costumes, banners, kilims and tapestries.
Whole production is based on designs developed by artists and ethnographers and is approved by the National Commission of Artistic and Ethnographic Validation "Cepelia" on all designs. The Cooperative is established in Krakow and has won numerous awards in excellence and is the leading Polish doll makers for both Poland and export. These dolls have been sold in the ‘Cepelia’ folk souvenir stores for many, many years.

The regional dolls they make range from sizes of 12 to 50 centimeters (5 to 20 inches). Not only all Polish regions are represented (over 60), but they also make Polish historical dolls, village scenery showing rural customs and other European folk costumes in small sizes and doll ‘art’ cards.


Stanislaw Wyspianski (1869–1907) was a Polish playwright, painter and poet, as well as interior and furniture designer. A patriotic writer, he created a series of symbolic, national dramas within the artistic philosophy of the Young Poland Movement. He was one of the most outstanding artists of his time in Europe. He studied, lived and died in Krakow, a national hero.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Polish Cultural Institute and Polish Fest in Minnesota

Polish Cultural Institute of Winona, Minnesota
   This month of August was vacation time and my husband and I drove down to Minnesota, USA. For two important reasons: Polish Festival in Minneapolis and also a Polish museum in Winona, which is a two hour drive south of Twin Cities.
    This museum's collection is largely objects, books, and photographs people brought with them when they immigrated from Poland. In the years from 1850-1900, hundreds of thousands of Poles, facing economic, social and cultural persecution, left the Kashubian region. Winona became a home for one of the largest concentration of Kashubian Poles in the U.S. (Another one was Wilno in Ontario, Canada).
 
  Many wonderful artifacts were collected and are showcased in a refurnished warehouse type building, which was brought in 1976 and restored into a museum. Family heirlooms, religious articles, photographs and Kaszubian cultural objects and such are on display. Logging and farming were the main occupations in the early years and much of those old tools, objects and even a wagon are on display.
Polish folk art and costumes were also on display, also there was a large collection of POLISH DOLLS!

From top to bottom: A Cracovian lady and Goral musician,
 little ceramic ones, large Cracovian married and Rozbarski-Slask.

Polish dolls come in sizes of 5 to 12 inches.

Cracovian dolls with a Kashubian one in middle (green skirt).


A Green Kurpian couple on left,  two Goral musicians on right.


Twin Cities Polish Festival
  During the weekend in August of 11 and 12 was Polish Festival. I have never been to this one, only the one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before. This one was smaller than the Milwaukee one, but still big enough and well organized. Many things going on here. Polka stage and cultural stage (with Dolina Polish Folk Dancers of Minneapolis and Polonia Polish Folk Ensemble of Regina, Saskatchewan). 
 Many Polish food and beer vendors, various retails, artists and folk art, cultural displays, vodka tasting, Chopin piano concerts and Polish films showing in a nearby theater. We had an awesome time there!
So many food and retail vendors with long line ups.
Many vendors selling Polish souvenirs, T-shirts, books, CD's, amber jewellery, pottery, etc.
There was a display of Polish regional folk costumes in one of the side buildings.
Polish folk dancers kept performing.
Here is a children's group in Lowicz and Opoczno costumes.  So cute!
Dinner: Pierogi, kielbasa with sauerkraut in a bun and a pączek for dessert.  Mmmm.