Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology

Written by  //  20 March 2013  //  Culture  //  Comments Off

In 1920, Feliks Jasienski— Polish critic, writer and collector of art, whose penname was “Manngha”—donated his collection of Japanese artworks to the National Museum in Krakow. After his death it was exhibited only once during the German occupation. There was no space for a permanent exhibition of 6500 objects. Young Andrzej Wajda saw this exhibition and became fascinated by Japanese art. Many years later, when he was a famous director, after receiving a film award in Kyoto he provided funding to the National Museum in Krakow in order to make the Japanese exhibition possible.

Formed in 1994 as a division of National Museum in Krakow, it was also a place where the Kyoto-Krakow Foundation actively promoted the culture, art and technology of Japan. In 2005, by a decision of the Minister of Culture, the Manggha Centre started operating on its own as an autonomous cultural institution. On 1st September 2007 the Centre was turned into museum.

The building was designed by a celebrated Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. In a 2006 architectural competition, the Centre was chosen as one of twenty most interesting examples of architecture in Poland built after 1989.

The Manggha Museum is unique not only in Poland, but also in Europe. Ever since the beginning of its existence, it has combined two functions: that of a museum and also that of a centre of culture.
In addition to exhibitions on art and technology, the museum is a venue for theatre performances, film showings, workshops, lectures, and scholarly conferences. In its wide and varied range of activities promoting Japanese culture in Poland, its main emphasis has been on education and the dissemination of art.