The Amber Museum in Gdansk PL

Written by  amber portal

The Amber Museum is a branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk and is located in the Foregate Complex of Długa St. Following several years of refurbishment, the Museum’s official opening, took place on June 28, 2006. Today, the Museum takes up all the floors of the historical Prison Tower, with each floor dedicated to a different amber-related issue.

The second floor is dedicated to how amber formed: here we can transport ourselves to the amber forest of ca. 40 million years ago, listen to the birds singing and smell the scent of resin. Together with an engaging multimedia presentation, the exhibits gathered here help us to understand how amber and its inclusions were formed. One of the biggest attractions on display is Gierłowska’s Lizard, purchased with the aid of the Leopold Kronenberg Foundation. Imbedded in a 50 x 35 x 14 mm transparent amber nugget, the lizard was found by Gabriela Gierłowska in 1997 on the sand dunes of Stogi Beach. A panel of experts performed tests on the find and had no doubts as to its authenticity.

The 3rd floor presents various forms of amber processing and use, its application as a medicinal agent and examples of artistic craft. Among the most important objects here are 6 artefacts on loan from the Georg Laue Collection, which were made in Gdańsk in the 17th and 18th centuries. The most important and most valuable of these is an amber cabinet, signed Danzig/28. Julius/Ao 1724/ Johan George-/Zernebach. Works of artistic craftsmanship went unsigned at the time and the cabinet which is now at the Amber Museum is one of only three in the world to bear the name of its creator. The remaining artefacts are: a household altar with the Madonna, an altar with a cross, a chest, a candlestick and an amber plaque decorated with ivory relief. The Amber Museum has made efforts to purchase all these objects, so they are likely to remain in Gdańsk for good.

Until September 2006, the 4th floor held amber artefacts from the private collection of Dorota and Lucjan Myrta of Sopot, which were deposited in the Museum. Today, their place is taken by exhibits on loan from the private collections of the owners of well known amber companies and artists’ collections.

One of the more important principles behind the Amber Museum is to present the achievements of contemporary amber artists. That is why contemporary art is prominently exhibited: the top floor presents the work of renowned artists, including Maria and Paweł Fietkiewicz, Paulina Binek, Janusz Wosik and Giedymin Jabłoński. On the mezzanine, in turn, we can see selected amber jewellery art works from the S&A Amber Jewellery Company. They include examples from the famous Metamorphoses collection, an intriguing combination of amber with Swarovski crystal, as well as Mercurius Gedanensis Competition award-winning jewellery. A multimedia presentation provides a flashback of the creations by Pstrągowski Studio Design, Ambermoda and Image Silver in collaboration with fashion designers Jola Słoma and Mirek Trymbulak, presented at the Jewellery Gala of Amberif 2006.

The opening of the Amber Museum was graced by collections on loan from other museums with interesting amber artefacts: the Vatican Museums, the State Amber Museum in Kaliningrad, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the State Museum of Architecture and Art at the Palace and Park Complex in Tsarskoye Selo. The artefacts from the latter two museums can be seen in Gdańsk until 14 January 2007. The Hermitage loaned a collection of over 200 objects which document the history of amber art from the most ancient times up until the 19th century, including artefacts made in Gdańsk, but also in Königsberg and other important European centres. Tsarskoye Selo, in turn, loaned splendid chests made by the Gdańsk masters, including a chest made in 1705 by Gottfried Turau, one of the creators of the Amber Room.

 

Located on the 1st floor, in the Gorge, an exhibit which documents the building’s military and defence functions is an additional attraction for those who visit the Amber Museum. The three cells of the historical Torture House, in turn, present selected Medieval instruments of torture.

The Amber Museum in Gdansk

Main Town Hall, ul. Długa 47

tel: +48 58 767 91 00

www.mhmg.gda.pl