October 6-15.

The ABCs of Polish Design


Budapest History Museum / Castle Museum, Gothic Hall
1014 Budapest, Szent György Sq. 2. (Budavár Palace, building E)
29 September – 15 October, From Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00-18:00 daily
28 September, 18:00


Past and future encounter in this exquisite exhibition, which presents the one hundred most influential works from the past 100 years of Polish design – ranging from a locomotive to children’s toys. The objects will be presented as interpreted by 25 Polish illustrators, who contributed their own personalities and styles to the uniqueness of the selection. 

The exhibition has been organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Warsaw), and curated by Ewa Solarz.

Layout: The Beton studio - Marta and Lech Rowińscy
Visual identification: The Acapulco Studio
Texts about objects: Agnieszka Kowalska, Ewa Solarz, Agata Szydłowska
Place: Budapesti Torteneti Muzeum

100 years of Polish design
100 objects
100 images
100 stories
25 illustrators

It's not easy to show 100 years of Polish design limiting oneself to just 100 objects. How to choose the most important ones? How to avoid the temptation to show icons only? How to capture the interest of more than just experts? How can we present the diversity of fields within design?

The exhibition combines past and present, showing the heritage of Polish design through the achievements of contemporary Polish graphic. We display 100 works of Polish designers that have been interpreted by 25 Polish illustrators. Among these visual artists there are people at different stages of their career, including experienced masters of the Polish school of illustration, artists from the young and medium generation who receive rewards all around the globe, as well as young, freshly graduated ones. Most of the visual artists whom we have invited illustrate children's books, at the same time working with broadly understood visual communication. They use different styles and techniques, but all of them have one thing in common: a huge talent.

Among the 100 designs, apart from furniture, glass or porcelain universally associated with design, we have included less obvious things such as: fonts, logos, kids' toys, a locomotive, a neon, a sailplane, a scooter and even the tastiest Polish treat: Ptasie Mleczko, as well as a rubber ring called Ringo – a Polish sports game. We present contemporary designs along with the ones that are already considered classical; unique objects, almost like singular works of art; prototypes that have never entered mass production; but also very popular things that have been used by Poles on a daily basis during the last 100 years.

The show consists not only of the 100 objects and their visual interpretations, but also of 100 stories: about designers, needs, dreams, possibilities and limitations. Not only does it speak of specific projects, but it also explains the designing process, the creation of ideas and the amazing concept of design in general, as the field of art that is the closest to people, because it surrounds us all every day and we couldn't live without it, although most of the time we are not aware of this fact.

The objects are presented in chronological order, which shows that certain materials, topics and forms keep reappearing throughout this 100-year long history of Polish design. The exhibition is addressed to a broad audience, including the youngest generation. The show was organised for the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Poland's sovereignty.

Illustrators participating in the exhibition:
1. Jacek Ambrożewski
2. Edgar Bąk
3. Maciek Blaźniak
4. Katarzyna Bogucka
5. Ada Buchholc
6. Iwona Chmielewska
7. Robert Czajka
8. Agata Dudek
9. Emilia Dziubak
10. Małgorzata Gurowska
11. Monika Hanulak
12. Marta Ignerska
13. Tymek Jezierski
14. Paweł Jońca
15. Agata Królak
16. Grażka Lange
17. Patryk Mogilnicki
18. Piotr Młodożeniec
19. Ania Niemierko
20. Ola Niepsuj
21. Marianna Oklejak
22. Paweł Pawlak
23. Dawid Ryski
24. Marianna Sztyma
25. Ola Woldańska-Płocińska