The National Museum in Kraków ‒ MNK, founded in 1879, is the oldest public museum in Poland.
The Museum stores rich collections of European and world cultural heritage ‒ almost 780,000 objects from every period of history.
The core of the collection is Polish art (painting, sculpture, drawing and decorative art), though there are also numerous western European works, a collection of religious art related to the Orthodox Church, and an extremely valuable collection of Oriental art, mainly from Japan.
The MNK possesses a separate collection of ancient art, collections of medieval and modern art, craft, arms and armour and recent works acquired from contemporary artists. Besides works of art, the Museum also keeps library collections (including old prints, manuscripts and cartography), numismatics and historical photographs.
The Museum also conducts scientific research and conservation in its own conservation workshops.
The Museum popularises this valuable heritage by arranging permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions in Poland and abroad, as well as various educational workshops for adults and children, realised in cooperation with many societies and foundations. The best evidence of the Museum’s commitment and event-management skills is seen in the numbers: in 2015, over 800,000 visitors attended exhibitions and events organised by the MNK.
In addition, the National Museum in Kraków is recognised for its record of realising local, national and international projects funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. To fulfil its mission, the Museum protects the national legacy put in its care, and in doing so applies the latest technologies, yet not without due respect for tradition.