The Textile Conservation Workshop at Wawel Cathedral is the only such professional workshop in Poland to take care of a church collections.
The Workshop takes care of the renovation of textiles of the Cracow Cathedral Chapter kept in the Treasury and displayed at the Cathedral Museum. This very rich collection consists of textiles donated by kings, bishops, Cracow canons, Polish magnates and aristocracy. It has an enormous importance not only for the Cracow Church but for Polish national culture as a whole.
The Textile Conservation Workshop at Wawel Cathedral was established on the 20th of March 1980 on the initiative of Rev. Figlewicz, the Wawel Cathedral Parish Priest at that time.
The Workshop’s first major project was the conservation of Cathedral tapestries on loan to the State Art Collection at Wawel, which were returned to the Cathedral on the 14th-18th of March 1980.
Tapestries from the series The History of Jacob (seven pieces), The History of Troy War (seven pieces), verdures with Bishop Trzebnicki’s coat of arms (eight pieces), portières with coat of arms of Bishop Zadzik, The Offering of Cain and Abel tapestry and a verdure from pieces of several tapestries which were sewn together. The project was accomplished by a team consisting of Kamilla Piskozub, Stanisława Nogieć, Danuta Mróz, Urszula Mróz, Iwona Tarko, Jolanta Cetnarowicz–Bis.
From the very beginning tapestries for the permanent exhibition at the Cathedral Museum have been restored at the Workshop, along with tapestries for temporary exhibitions at other museum establishments. The Millennium exhibition Wawel 1000-2000, for which a team consisting of Magdalena Naruszewicz, Stanisława Nogieć and Kamilla Piskozub prepared more than ten tapestries, was a perfect example of the team’s work.
The Workshop’s daily work consists of the conservation and restoration of tapestries – chiefly chasubles for services at the Cathedral and for the Cathedral Museum exhibition. The restoration of every object needs to be preceded by the analysis of the fabric weave technique, documentation and pattern. Extensive photographic documentation, including macro-photography, is carried out during the restoration process. In many cases decisions on the conservation process can only be made after a series of tests. For this purpose, the Textile Conservation Workshop at Wawel cooperates with the Chair of Microbiology of the University of Agriculture, as well as with the University of Technology (physical and chemical tests), and the Academy of Fine Arts (technology studies and conservation chemistry). Each piece of historic artwork holds extensive documentation of conservation work.
An important part of the workshop’s activity is focused on preventing damage. Climatic conditions are monitored, particularly in the Cathedral Treasury, as well as lighting conditions at the Cathedral Museum.
Barbara Kalfas – Manager
tel. 012 429-95-18