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All the King’s Tapestries: Homecomings 2021–1961–1921

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The catalogue All the King’s Tapestries: Homecomings 2021–1961–1921accompanies the exhibition of the same name on view at Wawel Royal Castle from March 18 through October 31, 2021.

The exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Riga, which sealed Poland’s victory in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921. The terms of the treaty made possible the restitution from Soviet Russia of the tapestry collection of King Sigismund II Augustus. It also commemorates the 60th anniversary of the return of the tapestry collection from Canada, where it had been taken for safekeeping following it’s evacuation from Poland during World War II. All 137 tapestries that are preserved in Poland are on view in the exhibition. The collection, which was designed specifically for Wawel Castle, is being displayed in its entirety for the first time since the days of Sigismund II Augustus.

"[...] In conclusion, All the King’s Tapestries does not claim to be the most detailed and informative analysis of the original commission, designs, iconography, and techniques of the tapestries themselves, but for those already familiar with Sigismund II Augustus’s tapestries, it is a marvelous supplementary source for their subsequent history. Over and above the book’s appeal to students and scholars of textiles and material culture, it is an engrossing contribution to the broader study of art as booty. By lifting the curtain to the archives, recounting the negotiations and decision-making, and giving identities to the flesh-and-blood stakeholders who played out these narratives of art theft and restitution from the eighteenth century through the Cold War, it stands as a brave, breath-taking, and ultimately uplifting publication."

Elizabeth Cleland, The Metropolitan Museum of Art w Nowym Jorku

pages: 200

illustrations: color 142, black&white 48

format: 24 x 28 cm

cover: hardcover

date of publication: 2020

publisher: Wawel Royal Castle

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