Auction “Collectors for the Museum” 2024

The Self-portraits XXI project was created on the initiative of the National Museum in Warsaw and the Society of Friends of the NMW. The concept refers to a collection of self-portraits by renowned painters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, commissioned by Count Ignacy Korwin-Milewski. The collection includes works by Aleksander Gierymski, Jacek Malczewski, Jan Matejko, and others. 

The National Museum aims to create a collection of self-portraits by 20 contemporary Polish artists. Supplementing the collection with artworks by contemporary artists will not only continue the tradition but also allow for comparisons with works that are approximately 150 years apart. 

The Self-portraits XXI collection is being created thanks to the charity auction “Collectors for the Museum,” where Polish collectors have donated objects to the NMW. 

In support of the National Museum’s initiative, the collection donated Janek Simon’s sculpture Cynocephali 5 for the auction. 

The sculpture was created using the artist’s distinctive technique, i.e. printed on a home 3D printer. It refers to the dog-headed people living in the Andaman archipelago in the Indian Ocean, who were described by Marco Polo in his travel reports. In the Cynocephali series, Janek Simon addresses the issue of inaccurate factography, the subjectivity of the traveler’s experience, and the exoticization of the image of the other, which is typical of Western culture. 

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