The Gallery of Medieval Art Exhibition
Project and construction: 2013
Client: National Museum, Warszawa
Location: Warsaw, Aleje Jerozolimskie 3
Team: Natalia Paszkowska, Marcin Mostafa, Boris Kudlička, Micha Bartnicki
Photos: Jakub Certowicz
The Gallery of Medieval Art in the National Museum in Warsaw forms very valuable and visually attractive collection where over a hundred pieces were selected for the permanent exhibition. The dedicated area is located on the ground floor, in the central part of the museum, with the direct entrance form the main museum hall. An enfilade of three rooms runs the length of the gallery divided into seven main themes but not by any wall but by the arrangements of stands and partitions. The architecture of the place imposes the linear direction of the exposition. The view of the unusually long rooms with their proportions, rhythm and the size of the windows together form a unique visual setting of the exhibition. The main idea behind the project concept was to put the emphasis on the architecture of the facility itself and allow the audience to see the Lorentz courtyard in the north room so that they have a better understanding of the layout of the museum as a whole.
The south rooms exposed to direct sunlight were equipped with screens made of two layers of perforated sheet metal forming a delicate lambent pattern and a composition of strong contrasts in light and dark on the floor. Subdued dark colors of the entire gallery were conformed to the main concept of displaying the works of art. The material (wood, polychrome, alabaster, bronze) as well as the detailed handicraft require very precise lighting and a background that doesn’t distract and compete with the art itself.
The display stands form bent single-sheet metal constructions where not only the shape but also the detailed cut of the edges plays an important part. Each stand has a unique form reflecting the nature of the work of art. This lack of repeatablity and the effort made to design and execute the project is a distant echo of the artistry and handicraft of the exhibits.