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THE LIFE AND WORK OF WACLAW BEBNOWSKI (1865-1945)


where: THE ART COLLECTION - when: permanent exhibition

The exhibition presents the art of Waclaw Bebnowski and some objects associated with the artist. It includes the most interesting ceramic sculptures and functional objects from Poland`s largest collection, started at the Wloclawek Museum by the artist himself. A resident of Aleksandrow Kujawski, Bebnowski donated the first two sculptures to the Museum in 1935. The Museum began to acquire other works for the collection, which today consists of over 130 items, in 1965, primarily through purchases from Wloclawek, Ciechocinek, and Torun residents. After the first monographic exhibition in the Wloclawek Museum in 1979, the collection was considerably expanded through a large purchase from the sculptor`s daughter, Maria Fiszer.

The exhibition features figurative sculptures from 1913-1938: portraits, sacred sculptures, small animal statues. The majority of the works are applied art objects, such as vases, epergnes, or paper weights. In most of them Bebnowski`s uses his favorite art nouveau motifs, visible in the positions of naked nymphs, the long-haired female figures, and the ornaments inspired by the natural world or the art of the Far East. Each sculpture is covered in patina, usually imitating bronze casts.

In addition to sculptures, the exhibition includes Bebnowski`s watercolor and oil landscapes, drawings, and sketches. Several portraits illustrate the sculptor`s biography: a Biedermeier portrait of Waclaw Bebnowski`s father painted by one Tolinski in 1830; an art nouveau portrait of Bebnowski`s wife, Anna of the Golecki family, painted by Ignacy Pienkowski; and an oil portrait of Waclaw Bebnowski by E. Cwirko-Godycka. Of the few memorial objects in the Museum, a few documents from Bebnowski`s college years and some family photographs are on display. Several boards present a chronology of major events in the artist`s life.

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