About the museum
In 2016, the Museum of Warsaw celebrated its 80th anniversary. Since its foundation in 1936, the Museum’s mission has been to collect, preserve, research and exhibit varsaviana. Through numerous exhibitions, research, publishing as well as educational and cultural activities, the Museum has worked to help tourists and locals alike, explore the city of Warsaw and its unique history.
Over the years, it has acquired over 300 000 unique pieces, which is the largest collection of its kind in the world. The collection includes everything from furniture, sculptures, clocks, maps, through photographs, postcards and panoramas of Warsaw, all the way to pieces of clothing, jewellery, weaponry. Each item has its own unique background, its own story of Warsaw to tell. The oldest object in the Museum’s collection dates back to the beginning of the 14th century.
The Museum of Warsaw is comprised of eleven divisions around Warsaw, including: the Praga Museum of Warsaw, the Wola Museum of Warsaw, the Heritage Interpretation Centre, the Antonina Leśniewska Museum of Pharmacy, the Palmiry Museum – Memorial Site, the Museum of Printing, the Museum of Field Ordinance, Korczakianum, the Barbican and the Cultural Trail of Old Town Cellars, as well as the Museum’s main headquarters in Warsaw’s Old Town.
The Museum’s headquarters are housed in historic tenement houses on the Old Town Market Square, and are included in Warsaw’s Old Town complex, which was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1980. In the years 2014-2016, the Museum’s buildings underwent extensive renovations, the Museum’s collection underwent conservation, was photographed and digitalized, and the concept for an entirely new core exhibition was created.
In May 2017, the Museum of Warsaw reopens to the public – in its brilliantly refurbished headquarters and with its brand new core exhibition The Things of Warsaw. The exhibition showcases the Museum’s extraordinary collection with nearly 7 500 objects on display in 21 themed rooms. Each object tells its own story of Warsaw – the Museum helps explore the city through architectural details, photographs and postcards, souvenirs, clothing, and more. Alone, these items seem to be nothing more than memorabilia, together, they become an intricate story of an intricate, developing city. Visitors will be able to choose a variety of ways to navigate the exhibition, they will have the possibility of creating their own stories of Warsaw.
Besides the core exhibition, the Museum’s headquarters will also house a library, a cinema, a bookstore, a café, as well an observation point with a breath-taking view of Warsaw’s Old Town. The Museum invites visitors to discover Warsaw and its stories – take part in workshops, film screenings, guided tours of the city, lectures, and more.