Photo report of the exhibition: „Nie ‚Na marne’. Sienkiewicz w kolekcji Ossolineum”

Not In Vain: Sienkiewicz in the Ossolineum Collections commemorates the Henryk Sienkiewicz’s 170th birth anniversary, the centenary of his death and the 120th anniversary of Quo Vadis. The exhibition is organised by the Ossolinski National Institute, which boasts Poland’s biggest collection of manuscripts in the author’s handwriting collected since 1912.

The exhibition is curated by Dr Grzegorz Polak.

The exhibition’s major aim is to showcase domestic and international manifestations of Sienkiewicz’s popularity as a Nobel-prize winner whose work has been said to “be known at all latitudes and longitudes.” The introductory section focuses on Sienkiewicz’s connections with the Ossolineum and Lviv. The exhibition’s main part is devoted to Quo Vadis and the trilogy of With Fire and Sword, The Deluge and Fire in the Steppe (also known as Sir Michael and Colonel Wolodyjowski). The closing section displays interesting editions of the writer’s other, selected works.


The gems of the show are manuscripts of The Trilogy and Quo Vadis. The core of the exhibition brings together numerous Polish and foreign printed editions (therein first printings) of Sienkiewicz’s works. On display is also Sienkiewicz “for the lowly ones” – reworkings and rewrites, for example, for a young readership (including so-called crammers) as well as stage adaptation. Special items are a Quo Vadis film programme from 1912 and, likewise titled, an opera and an oratorio. Other exhibits include medals (therein one commemorating the writer’s status as Lviv’s Honorary Citizen), coins, a banknote bearing the writer’s image (the first specimen of paper money issued under the 3rd Republic of Poland), photographs, the Wieniec journal,  film posters and postcards featuring scenes from Sienkiewicz’s novels. The exhibition is enlivened by several anecdotes illustrating Sienkiewicz’s popularity.

Click here to see a photo report of the exhibition.

The exhibition runs from 11 May to 29 October 2016.

Venue: Ossolinski National Institute, ul. Szewska 37, 50-139 Wrocław


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