‘Manggha’ Museum of Japanese Art and Technology

Polski propagator sztuki japońskiej - Feliks Jasieński

It was Feliks ’Manggha’ Jasieński, the greatest Polish collector, promoter, and lover of Japanese art, who introduced the culture of Japan to Poles. He showed his unique collections in the years 1901–1913 in Warsaw, Kraków, and Lviv. With undying zeal, he sought all kinds of ’Japanese trinkets’ through Paris, Munich, and Vienna, and assembled a collection numbering more than 12,000 items! In 1920, he donated his collection to the National Museum in Kraków (in addition to art from the Far East, it also included works by Polish and European artists). The period of the Second World War was a great test for the collection. There was a real danger that the occupying force would plunder it partially or entirely. Indeed, several hundred woodcuts were looted. In 1944, in the Cloth Hall ('Sukiennice') rooms, an exhibition of Japanese objects, based primarily on Jasieński's collection, was prepared with the permission of German authorities. After the war, despite several exhibitions, the collection was known only to a small audience. Only the opening of the ‘Manggha’ Museum – the ‘Japanese house’ allowed Feliks Jasieński's priceless collection to be rediscovered.

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