MUSEUM OF CARICATURE and CARTOON ART
Hidden away among the narrow streets of Warsaw’s Old Town and nestling
in a tiny street next to the Royal Castle, lies a museum unique from any other, a
museum which remains a hidden gem on Kozia street – The Museum of Caricature
and Cartoon Art. The only museum of this kind in Poland and one of the fifty such
museums in the world.
The Museum was founded in 1978 by Eryk Lipiński (1908-1991), a distinguished
and passionate caricaturist, who started collecting caricatures and cartoons in the
early 60s knowing that one day they would become the founding pieces for a very
specialized museum. He was director of the museum up until his death in 1991.
Many drawings were donated by celebrated artists and their families, others
were acquired with his own funds. The works included both contemporary and
The museum itself sits in an old orangery, originally part of the Prymas Castle
dating back to the 18th century and is thought to be designed by Szymon B. Zug.
In September 1978 the Museum of Caricature was officially recognised as a
branch of The Warsaw Museum of Literature, obtaining its independent status
in April 1983. Starting with around 2,500 drawings, the museum now boasts
a collection of more than 25,000 drawings, paintings and sculptures, including
some unique examples of mostly Polish but also international caricature (William
Hogarth, Honoré Daumier, Jean Effel, Herbert Sandberg and Roland Topor). The
earliest example of old Polish caricature goes back to the 18th century (Daniel
Chodowiecki’s etchings) followed by works by Franciszek Kostrzewski, Kazimierz
Sichulski, Zbigniew Czermański, Bronisław Wojciech Linke, Jerzy Zaruba and Maja
Berezowska. Contemporary artists form the largest part of the collection including
pieces from Eryk Lipiński, Julian Bohdanowicz, Andrzej Czeczot, Andrzej Dudziński,
Jerzy Flisak, Zbigniew Jujka, Szymon Kobyliński, Andrzej Krauze, Zbigniew Lengren,
Edward Lutczyn, Andrzej Mleczko, Sławomir Mrożek, Janusz Stanny and a new
generation of work from artists such as Jacek Gawłowski, Marek Raczkowski and
Due to the museum’s large catalogue of work and limited space, the Museum
of Caricature has no permanent display, and alternatively prefers to organise
temporary exhibitions, exhibiting work both old and new.
During their 25 years of existence, the museum has held more than 300
exhibitions in Kozia street and well over 200 not only in Poland but internationally.
Most prominently the “Panorama of Polish Caricature 1945 - 1998”, “Art of Caricature
in Młoda Polska 1890 - 1918”, “Times of War and Peace – Polish Caricature 1914 - 1992”
and “Tastes and Flavours of Communist Poland, 1944 - 1989”
Each exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. Recently the
museum has been involved in organising exhibitions which really bring caricature
to life, in particular experimenting with the use of performing arts and the use of
multimedia, e.g. the use of speciality films to accompany the exhibitions.
The museum also organises many other international cultural events such as
satirical book promotions and various satirical competitions.
The museum’s archives are a very valuable resource for many people: art
historians, press publishing companies and film and tv production companies. They
are an open resource to anybody who is interested in the history of caricature.
For more information, please visit our website on: www.muzeumkarykatury.pl