Exhibition: "The Splendour of Orders on the 100th Anniversary of Regaining Independence"

Exhibition: "The Splendour of Orders on the 100th Anniversary of Regaining Independence"
Photo by Paweł Czarnecki

Polish orders and distinctions, including the diamond and ruby uniform of the Order of the White Eagle, will be displayed starting from 9 November 2018 at the Royal Łazienki Museum. The exhibition, which features almost a thousand exhibits, including uniforms and documents, has been organized on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the restitution of Poland’s independence.

It is the first exhibition that will provide such a chronological description of the history of Polish orders and decorations from the 18th century up until the present times. The exhibition will be open from 9 November 2018 to 3 February 2019 (Tue-Sun, 10:00-18:00) in the Palace on the Isle, Myślewicki Palace, and the Officer Cadets School. In November, during the "Admission Free November", tours of the exhibition will be free of charge. In subsequent months, entry will be paid: full price ticket – PLN 10, reduced – PLN 5. Guided tours of the exhibition take place on Saturdays at 11:00 (meeting point in front of the Palace of the Isle): 10, 17 and 24 November – free of charge, in subsequent months: 1, 8, 15 and 22 December, 5, 12, 19 and 26 January and 2 February – included in the price of the entry ticket to the exhibition.

Orders, Decorations, Uniforms, Documents

The exhibition features almost a thousand exhibits from Polish and foreign collections, including famous European museums such as Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden, Army Museum and the Legion of Honour Museum in Paris, Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels, Museum of the Polish Army in Warsaw, Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum in London, National Museum in Kraków, and the National Museum in Warsaw. The exhibits include orders and decorations, uniforms, documents, and portraits of eminent Poles, decorated for their service for Poland.

The extraordinary story of the highest honorary award that may be conferred upon the citizen by its homeland starts in the times of Polish King, Saxon Elector, Augustus II, and the distinction which he established – the Order of the White Eagle. The priceless Orders of Saint Stanislaus and Virtuti Militari tell the story of the reign of the last King of the Republic, Stanisław August. Visitors are also going to see how the evolving badge designs and the changing circumstances in which the Orders of the White Eagle and of Virtuti Militari were awarded have documented the complicated history of Poland: from the times of the partitions and fight for independence, through the Second Republic, the activity of the Polish Government in exile, the communist rule imposed on the country, up until the restitution of independence, symbolized by the last President of the Republic of Poland in exile awarding the insignia of the Grand Master of the Order of the White Eagle and the Order of Polonia Restituta to the first democratically elected president of the Republic of Poland.

The exhibition will also acquaint visitors with the history of the respective types of distinctions: crosses, stars of orders, and medals. It also features elements of order costumes, diplomas, certificates, original boxes and cases, as well as photographs and films.

The most precious exhibits displayed on the exhibition are: Orders of the White Eagle leased from Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden, which are part of the diamond and ruby order uniform of Augustus II, with an épée which is part of the ruby uniform; Order of the White Eagle of Józef Wybicki, author of "Mazurek Dąbrowskiego" (Polish National Anthem), from the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw; cross of the Virtuti Militari Order with number "1" inscribed, which was awarded to the city of Lviv by Marshal Józef Piłsudski and has been leased from the National Museum in Wrocław; as well as orders of Marshal Ferdynand Foch from the Army Museum in Paris, and the Order of the White Eagle of Pope John Paul II from the collections of the Centre of Documentation and Research of the Pontificate of John Paul II in Rome.

Educational Programme for Children and Adults

The exhibition is accompanied by a rich educational programme intended for all types of visitors, including the Sunday discussion workshops, museum lessons for pre-school and school students, as well as a series of lectures. The project "The Splendour of Orders on the 100th Anniversary of Regaining Independence" is organized as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the restitution of independence. The exhibition is held under the National Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda on the 100th Anniversary of the Restitution of Independence, and the Honorary Patronage of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. The Patron of the exhibition is PZU (Patron of the Museum), partner – Bank Pekao S.A., and the project has been partially financed with the funds of the PZU Foundation and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa. Media partners: Polskie Radio, "Rzeczpospolita", TVP Historia, TVP Kultura, TVP Polonia, "Mówią Wieki", "Spotkania z zabytkami".


CALENDAR OF THE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME ACCOMPANYING THE EXHIBITION "THE SPLENDOUR OF ORDERS ON THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF REGAINING INDEPENDENCE"

10 November 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition.

17 November 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition.

18 November 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, "Za Wiarę, Króla i Prawo – polskie ordery i odznaczenia do końca XVIII wieku" (For the Faith, the King, and the Law – Polish Orders and Decorations Up To the End of the 18th Century), discussion workshop and tours of the exhibition.

21 November 2018, 18:00, Palace on the Isle, lecture "Ordery i medale, krzyże i gwiazdy – galimatias nazewniczy" (Orders, Medals, Crosses and Stars – Terminological Galimatias), by Tadeusz Jeziorowski, Military Museum of Wielkopolska in Poznań.

24 November 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition, 11:00, Myślewicki Palace, "November Night" at the Łazienki, stroll down the locations of "dramatic scenes" by Stanisław Wyspiański pertaining to the outbreak of the November Uprising.

25 November 2018, 11:00, Myślewicki Palace, "November Night" at the Łazienki, stroll down the locations of the "dramatic scenes" by Stanislaw Wyspianski pertaining to the outbreak of the November Uprising.

1 December 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition with the participation of curator Izabela Runowska-Prokopiuk.

2 December 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, "Na piersi czarnego orła – polskie ordery i odznaczenia epoki zaborów" (On the Chest of the Black Eagle – Polish Orders and Decorations from the Period of Partitions), discussion workshop and tours of the exhibition.

8 December 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition, 11:00-14:00, Myślewicki Palace, "Królowa Wolność" (Queen Liberty), workshop seminar.

12 December 2018, 18:00, Palace on the Isle, lecture "Insygnia i dekoracje: lustra historii. Przykłady hrabiego Walewskiego i marszałka Focha" (Insignia and Decorations: Mirrors of History. Examples of Count Walewski and Marshal Foch), Tom Dutheil, Legion of Honour Museum in Paris, talk in English with simultaneous interpretation.

15 December 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition.

16 December 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, "Orzeł z popiołów – polskie ordery i odznaczenia w II RP" (Eagle from the Ashes – Polish Orders and Decorations During the Second Republic), discussion workshop with guided tours.

22 December 2018, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition.

5 January 2019, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition.

9 January 2019, 18:00, Palace on the Isle, lecture "Ordery i odznaczenia Rzeczypospolitej" (Orders and Decorations of the Republic), Professor Krzysztof Filipow, Białystok University.

12 January 2019, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition.

13 January 2019, 11:00, "Przodownikom pracy! – polskie ordery i odznaczenia w czasach PRL" (For the Stakhanovites! – Polish Orders and Decorations During the Polish People s Republic), discussion workshop and guided tours of the exhibition.

19 January 2019, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition, 11:00-14:00, Myślewicki Palace, "Królowa Wolność" (Queen Liberty), workshop seminar.

23 January 2019, 18:00, Palace on the Isle, lecture "Odznaczenia za misje wojskowe w III RP" (Distinctions for Military Missions during the Third Polish Republic) Colonel Professor Juliusz S. Tym, Professor at the War Studies University.

26 January 2019, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition.

27 January 2019, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, "Powrót korony – polskie ordery i odznaczenia w III RP" (Return of the Crown – Polish Orders and Decorations During the Third Polish Republic), discussion workshop and guided tours of the exhibition.

2 February 2019, 11:00, Palace on the Isle, Saturday guided tours of the exhibition.