The Museum had been functioning as a branch of the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom from 1985 till the first of January 1995, when it was taken over by the local authorities. The Museum is located in the former residence of the Sosnowiec industrialists – the Schoen brothers. This delightfully situated palace surrounded by a park with a valuable tree stand, was built at the end of the 19th century.
Today it is a special place attracting the city and region residents with various exhibitions and vernissages, which are organized in its picturesque surroundings. The most popular ones are: In other words about Matejko, Leon Wyczółkowski, Painting, drawing and graphic art, Picasso, Jerzy Duda-Gracz, Provincial and local paintings, Polish crystal of the end of the 20th century or Hieroglyphs – the holy writing of Egypt. Traditionally, for many years the Museum has been borrowing exhibitions from foreign museums, the examples are: Walking trough the 19th century Moravia and Austrian Silesia (2000) or The world of the puppet theatres (2002), borrowed from Olomouc, Slovak painted eggs (2002)- from Cadca, The Easter in Ostrava (2003) - from Ostrava, or Andy Warhol - Sosnowiec 2002. Perception of life and artistic works- from Medzilaborec (Slovakia).
The ART SECTION has sever
al hundred works of the Polish modern art, including painting, graphic and drawing. It is a collection of local character which presents mostly the works of the artists who live in Sosnowiec or who were born here. The collection was supplemented with a group of works dating from the 30s of the 20th century, which include among others oil paintings by Władysław Araszkiewicz and Michał Stańko, or graphics by Bogna Krasnodębska-Gardowska. The majority of works come from the post-war period, with its eminent representatives from the Cracow Group, such as Jadwiga Maziarska, Janina Kraule or Andrzej S. Kowalski. In this section you will also find one of the richest collections of graphics by the eminent Polish artist and resident of Sosnowiec - Marian Malina (1922-85). This collection includes several dozen graphics (drawings dating from 1948-80) as well as oil paintings which are rarities in the museum archives. The collection presents the entire works of the artist starting from his first attempts at lithography, through the woodcut and linoleum block printing, and ending with cellography which is his most characteristic technique.
GLASS SECTION. The collection consists of 5.700 exhibit items and is divided into three parts including, the Polish utility glassware, the unique and artistic glass by the Polish artists as well as historical glass. The underlying reason for creating this collection was the establishment of the Central Glass Showroom in Sosnowiec in 1980. Owing to the fact that, one year later this institution was transformed into the Museum of Contemporary Glass, this collection has been preserved until today with no losses at all. Since 1995 the collection has been owned by the Sosnowiec Museum.
The utility glassware patterns were created in the years 1963 – 2003. It is a unique collection in Poland, which presents and documents the domestic glass-art achievements from the second half of 20th century and the beginning of the 21th century. It is of a special importance today, considering the liquidation of the Polish glass industry. At the moment the majority of the exhibits, which record the achievements of Polish designers, technologists and glass workers, already have historic value. The collection includes household glass (soda-lime glass) and crystal glass, most of which is hand-shaped and hand-decorated with the use of blowing-irons and wooden patterns. The remaining part of the collection includes mechanically-shaped exhibits, i.e. press-moulded glass. The utility and decorative patterns present a vast array of ornamental techniques.
The unique and artistic glass collection consists of 175 works by the best Polish authors. The glass sculptures are predominant, however there is also a group of artistic works which haven't lost their utility character. The present collectionrepresents the entire Polish artistic activity in the area of glass art. Each year, in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, which is the only higher-education institution in Poland providing education for glass designers, the museum's collection is enriched by works of new artists. The collection is supplemented with a historic glass exhibition consisting at the moment of around 220 items, including works made in a period from the 18th and the 19th century to the half of the 20th century. They all come from the best Polish glass manufacturers, such as „Hortensja” in Piotrków Trybunalski, „Niemen” in Lithuania, „Zawiercie” in Zawiercie and „Ząbkowice” in Dąbrowa Górnicza. The European manufacturers are represented by showpieces coming from the glassworks in Czech Republic (.„Pallme-König”, „Lötz Witwe” and „Moser”), France („Lamartine” and „Emil Gallé”), Germany (Vereinigte Lausitzer Glaswerke AG and Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik) and many others.
CITY HISTORY AND CULTURE SECTION collects souvenirs from the history of Sosnowiec and its region, such as archive materials, printings, iconography or realia. The amassed and systematically enriched collection illustrates the history of Sosnowiec from the dawn of the city to its contemporary times. The collection includes objects which depict the process of the city development and its urban and spatial transformations, materials concerning the area of industry, trade and craft as well as standards of living and work of local residents, exhibits illustrating socio-political history of the region and its cultural, educational and sports development. A large part of the exhibits are postcards coming from the period before the First World War and the interwar period. The old portrait photographs and memorial family and workers photographs also deserve special attention. Various personal documents, documents coming from the Nazi occupation, leaflets, announcements, placards, posters, theatre programmes, school certificates and diplomas are kept in the museum archive records. The precious items also include maps of the Kingdom of Poland and plans of the city, which date back to the beginning of the 20th century. The realia include among others: political, social and trade union organizations banners, commemorative medals, sport badges, military decorations, historical uniforms and mining equipment.
The main purpose of the EDUCATION AND PROMOTION SECTION is to promote a permanent exhibition „Polish contemporary glass” as well as temporary exhibitions whose subjects are quite extensive and concern not only the history of Sosnowiec and its region, but also the issues of the world history, the history of art, ethnography, science or even physics and astronomy. The section also organizes museum classes, lectures in the series „Academy of Knowledge of Zagłębie” or „Academy of Knowledge of Sosnowiec”, art, history or photographic competitions, popular science symposiums and workshops for children, teenagers and adults.