Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, Poland is one of the oldest modern art museums in the world and it's been famous for its International Collection of Modern Art of the “a.r.” group (opened 1931). The creation of the collection has defined the avant-garde character of the whole museum. It is a unique phenomenon as it was initiated and called to life by the artists themselves and consists of artists’ donations; it assumed its shape as a result of solidary effort to act above and against boundaries. The initiators and driving force of the movement were artists, art theorists and the “a.r.” group members, Katarzyna Kobro and Władysław Strzemiński, with active support from the painter Henryk Stażewski, and the poets – Jan Brzękowski and Julian Przyboś, although it is a result of many people’s efforts, also Hans Arp and Michel Seuphor to name a few.
Nowadays the Museum consist of three different venues all located in the city center of Lodz.
36 Więckowskiego St
ms1 is a center of vigorous response to the phenomena of contemporary culture and working out new ways of approaching them. The space of ms1 is a venue for implementing the eventful program of temporary exhibitions, projects related to experimental film, video and performance art, as well as workshops and educational activities. The avant-garde art is combined with tradition here: the Neoplastic Room, designed by Władysław Strzemiński, has remained in the building. It constitutes a starting point for projects realized by other artists. The change of the former scope of the Museum’s activity has been accompanied by modernization and new design of the building, with due respect for the historic character of the palace interior.
19 Ogrodowa St / Manufaktura
This new space of the Muzeum Sztuki is located in the historic building of a 19th century textile factory. ms2 is primarily a venue for experimenting with the Collection of 20th and 21st Century Art. The unique items of the collection are presented here in an unconventional way: instead of a chronological lecture on the development of art, works of art representing various periods and movements are arranged into a story touching themes and motifs important for the contemporary public. The permanent exhibition turns modernity ant the avant-garde into a subject constantly open to alterations, rearranged by invited curators and artists themselves. ms2 also features temporary exhibitions, workshops, lectures, meetings with artists and film screenings. The building also houses a cafe and an artistic bookshop.
Herbst Palace Museum
72 Przędzalniana St
This branch of the Muzeum Sztuki is situated in a 19th century palace and a park complex. The main attraction of the restored residence, formerly owned by the Herbst family – a family of industrialists from Lodz – is an exceptional exposition of interiors from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The palace also constitutes a venue for historic art exhibitions, concerts and educational activities. It principally focuses on the promotion of 19th century art and dissemination of knowledge of the heritage of this period. The concept of the exposition in Herbst Palace was highly appraised by the Pan-European Federation for Heritage, which awarded the museum the first Europa Nostra medal in Poland in 1990.