Spotlight on the Popular Images of Folk Fashion

The collection of ethnographic postcards from the beginning of the 20th century and the interwar period in the State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw numbers over 2,500 items.

By The State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

Typical image of Polish peasant girl (1920)The State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

The first illustrated postcards published in Poland - depending on particular annexed territory - came in 1889. They mostly served to popularize the native landscape and various traditions.

A young couple wearing traditional Silesian costumes (1920)The State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

In the early 20th century paintings and photographs depicting various peoples were reproduced on series of coloured postcards, in a way being a continuation of 19th century works. Typically they would be ahistorical and show idealized depictions of various elements of traditional costumes.

The people in the pictures were presented in accordance with the contemporary fashion: wearing colourful clothes against a neutral background.

Polish types - stylized traditional folk costume (1916)The State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

Stylized traditional folk costumes.

Polish types - stylized traditional folk costume (1916)The State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

Polish types - stylized traditional folk costume (1916)The State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

A peasant wearing a traditional Podhale costume (1916)The State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

Traditional costume from Podhale.

People from Łowicz area (1948/1958) by H.M. HauptaThe State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

Traditional costume from Łowicz area.

Mazovian peasants from Wilanow area (1948/1958) by Janusz JurjewiczThe State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

Mazovian peasants from Wilanow area.

People from the Kurpie region, Pułtusk area (1948/1958) by Janusz JurjewiczThe State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw

Traditional costumes from the Kurpie region.

Credits: Story

The State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw/ Państwowe Muzeum Etnograficzne w Warszawie

Curators/Kuratorzy: Patryk Pawlaczyk, Klara Sielicka-Baryłka from Polish & European Folklore Department

Coordination/Koordynacja projektu: Klara Sielicka-Baryłka

Support team: Elżbieta Czyżewska, Anastazja Stelmach, Przemysław Walczak, Anahita Rezaei

Special thanks to: Jadwiga Koszutska; Łukasz Zandecki; Marzena Borman; Joanna Bartuszek & Barbara Kowalczyk; Edward Koprowski; Mariusz Raniszewski; Agnieszka Grabowska; Aleksander Robotycki

Translation: Jan Sielicki & The SEM`s documentation

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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