Art historians, curators and artists wrote an open letter to a Krakow institution, urging the museum to oppose far-right nationalism in the country.


A group of Polish curators, art historians and artists call on the director of the National Museum in Krakow to stand against the rise of far-right nationalism by organising an exhibition against fascism.

“In the face of increasingly frequent attacks on people with different colours of skin [and] in the context of the brutal contempt demonstrated towards minorities—the National Museum in Krakow has an important mission to fulfil. [You have] a chance to play an important role in educating Polish society,” the Art Newspaper quotes the letter as saying.

The proposed show will explore how artists have been opposing violence, acts of war and authoritarianism since the Enlightenment: “Goya, Delacroix, and later classical Modernists such as George Grosz, Pablo Picasso, and Andrzej Wróblewski, to name but a few—many of whom had first-hand experience of the horrors of war—addressed the issues of xenophobia and race-based violence.” Art historian Paweł Brożyński, a co-author of the letter, noted that the Reina Sofía in Madrid with its collection of works on the Spanish Civil War and the Tate in London with its pictures by John Heartfield, who chronicled the horrors of the Third Reich, could be ideal partners for the show.

Brożyński says the initiative was inspired by the rise of far-right ideas among Poles: “It is happening in all possible fields, not only in politics but also in high culture and pop culture.”

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