Souvenirs from the past
Furniture inherited from our ancestors, postcards, old photographs, paintings – maybe there are such souvenirs from the past in our homes? Maybe there is an interesting story connected with them that is worth sharing with other lovers of “beautiful things”? A suitable place for this is the “National GA.PA” – that is, Non-Commercial Virtual Gallery of National Relics.
The idea of the gallery was born “out of love for people and their memory. From the memory of the things that people created and protected, often at a huge cost of their lives ”- as you can read on her website (http://www.swiatprogramow.pl/galeriagapa/). There were also more personal inspirations: a visit to a house filled with works of art and listening to the host’s beautiful and wise stories; admiration for an unknown painting by Jacek Malczewski “hanging in an apartment with interesting people”; a collection of books and archival issues of Tygodnik Ilustrowany brought by a neighbor; a reflection that there are so many memories, souvenirs and “items that lie somewhere in the drawers, stand in the corner of the room, hang on the walls, lie and sleep in the attic, which have their own soul and family history” – as we read in the introduction.
Mr. Rysio's dox
The purpose of the online gallery is to show these pieces of the past to others. Even anonymously – if such is the will of the owners (this is especially important for those who inherited valuable works from their ancestors and would like to show them here). All you need to do is send your photos and your story, after scanning the photos, they will go to the appropriate gallery section. There are ten departments, including: Memoirs, Poems; Books, magazines; Bookplates, business cards; Furniture, military; Sound recordings.
Various things have already come here. Including a fragment of the bookplate collection, medals, “a sculpture of a young lady a bit dusty”, old books.
“Anna Maria” sent a part of the stamp collection inherited from her father. A story has been attached to the scanned pages of the binder. This is not a dry description of the stamps, but a personal memory of the father and his view of the world. “Dad used to say – no matter if it’s a valuable stamp, take it in your hand, feel its history, imagine the country where it comes from (the Madagascar, New Zealand, Cape Verde, Canada and the whole world!), Read about these countries, you want go there and be – no problem – just sit down, close your eyes and imagine “- he writes.
Or another story submitted, related to the watch. “I have a silver Dox from the beginning of the 20th century sleeping in my drawer. When I pick it up – it burns. Steaming because it’s stolen. Bought many years ago from Mr. Rysio, a friend of a friend. Mr. Rysio was simply a thief, writes the owner of this beautiful watch, anonymous Max-T. The main character of his story is not so much a watch, but this intriguing Mr. Rysio, an individual “in his own way darts, elegant, eloquent, always in a new nylon, non-iron shirt and jeans straight from Baltona for dollar bills”, who one day deposited an offer for a bargain purchase of a watch. “There is one way to finish Mr. Rysio in reality and in memory – to give this Doxa to the owners – so I want to submit it to the GA.PA gallery, which I am doing here. Maybe it will work? ” – explains the owner.
The watch itself is shown in three photos – one shows the dial, the other shows the back of the clock, and the third shows the interior.
Brand out of the box
Mikołaj-Z, the owner of another exhibit from the gallery – the banknote collection – also cannot tell much about its origin. “(…) they survived some war fire in a house in Wilanów near Warsaw, where they were found after World War II in an attic, hidden under a roof beam, in a tin box” – he explains. This collection includes, among others one zloty banknote issued by the Issuing Bank in Krakow (with the date Krakow, August 1, 1941); 100 Polish marks (from December 1916, with the imprint of the Board of the general-governorate of Warsaw), Russian rubles, German marks …
The creators of the gallery wish to remain anonymous. They describe themselves as: “a group of people from the IT industry and more.” They searched for the first exhibits at their friends ‘and acquaintances’ sites; they count on the fact that now they will be supported by bolder Internet users in filling the galleries. They are also planning further additions – for example the possibility of “chat” at each exhibit. Visitors and submitters may also have other ideas.
Maybe it is worth rummaging around at home and adding a family memento to this collection of “beautiful things”? Not necessarily some valuable work entangled in a great story, but some small piece of the past, memory, story – which will live longer by it?
* – The content of the article was sent for inclusion in the virtual GA.PA Gallery in 2002. by the editors – thank you!