From 18 May 2012
The 150th anniversary of the National Museum in Warsaw coincides with a large-scale modernisation of this institution, including a rearrangement of the permanent exhibitions, revitalisation of the Main Courtyard, and renovation of the cinema. Since May 18th, three rooms can be seen in their new incarnations: the 19th-century Art Gallery, the Old European Painting Gallery, and the Old Polish and Old European Portrait Gallery.
The work of Polish painters and sculptors, presented in the context of selected works by representatives of other nationalities, forms the core of the 19th-century Art Gallery. Confronting the works of Polish artists with examples of works by artists from various countries in Europe makes it possible – as far as the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw allow – to show the hidden similarities of experiences or artistic experiments, and the inner imperative of invoking the same universal ideas or symbols, as well as underlining the elements defining European universalism and the specific national character of artistic achievements. The Old European Painting Gallery and the Old Polish and Old European Portrait Gallery, part of the former, were similarly arranged – they juxtapose the best Polish works with European paintings, put them in a supranational context and open new avenues of interpretation.