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Asia and Pacific Museum
Warsaw, Poland
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The Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw was founded in 1973 on the basis of a private collection of oriental art amassed and later donated to the Polish State by Andrzej Wawrzyniak, its lifetime director and curator-in-chief. Andrzej Wawrzyniak was born in 1931 in Warsaw. At the age of sixteen he boarded the full-rigged school ship "Dar Pomorza", and then sailed on twelve other ships, moving up from a deck boy to officer in the Polish Merchant Marine. In 1956 he joined the Polish Diplomatic Service, to be promoted to the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary in 1972. His first mission was as a member of the International Commission for Supervision and Control in Vietnam from 1956 to 1960. He spent the next 30 years on different diplomatic assignments in Indonesia, Laos, Nepal and Afghanistan. Andrzej Wawrzyniak has become an internationally recognized authority in the field of Oriental studies at home and abroad, a member of the Oriental Studies Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences and of many other Polish and foreign scholars' associations and research institutions. During the last 35 years he visited almost all of the countries of Asia and the Pacific. The largest impact on his life was his diplomatic assignment to Indonesia lasting nearly nine years during the 1960s. It was there where he professionally started to collect Oriental objects of art: side arms, masks, theatrical puppets, ceramics, traditional sculptures and paintings as well as contemporary pieces of art. After his return to Poland, he donated his collection, numbering over 3,000 objects, to the Polish State. This resulted in founding the Nusantara Archipelago Museum in Warsaw of which Andrzej Wawrzyniak was assigned its curator-in-chief and director for life. During the following years, Andrzej Wawrzyniak combined his diplomatic career with his passion aimed at expanding the Museum and its activities as well as continuing to collect new objects of art of the countries of Asia and the Pacific Rim. In 1976 the Nusantara Archipelago Museum had been transformed and began a new span of life as the Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw. In 1983 the Museum was given its first edifice where inventories, workshops and offices are located, but there is no space for permanent exhibition. Since 1973 until now, the Museum has organized nearly 700 exhibitions, more than 20 each year, the majority of which have been presented in the premises of the Museum's own galleries in Warsaw: the Nusantara Gallery, the Asian Gallery as well as in other museums in Poland and abroad. This unique Museum holds the collection of more than 18,000 objects. It also organizes meetings, seminars and lectures in Poland promoting the art and culture of different countries of Asia, Australia and Oceania. The Museum creates the proper atmosphere for Polish artists inspirited by Orient. Now, it has a chance for further development. Decisions regarding the building of the new edifice have been made;and architectural projects and documents are ready. In 2005 some construction work began. If all existing problems are solved within two years, the Asia and Pacific Museum will emerge in a complete new scale. It will be the only institution in Poland presenting Asian cultures, with a new, sophisticated, permanent exposition measuring 700 m2 and with a new possibilities for educational, artistic and scholarly activities.

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24 Solec Street 
Joanna Wasilewska, curator; Magdalena Ginter 




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