Museum of Pharmacy, Krakow

I first visited the Museum of Pharmacy Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum in Krakow in January 2014.  Thinking it was going to be a small museum I only gave myself an hour in between meetings and it was only just enough time.  When we first entered we were directed, via a wonderful alchemists workshop, into the 15th century cellar that was packed with authentic early alchemical equipment and instruments.  Thinking this was the museum we took our time and were thoroughly engaged.  However on emerging from the basement we were directed to the other 4 floors of displays from medieval times to the WWII and the story of how a chemist shop that was once housed in the building, secretly provided help to the Jewish community.  It is absolutely packed full of majolica and glass jars that used to contain ingredients – including the rags off an Egyptian mummy and human fat.  A wonderful array of laboratory equipment, medicinal ingredients and memorabilia and curios connected with the history of health care.  Apparently they also have a library containing herbariums, pharmacopoeia and antidotaria -,a collection of antidotes against the plague.

There were a few (very poor) contemporary paintings dotted throughout the building by a local artist which seemed to imply that they might be open to the idea of working with an artist. I would love to come back one day and see if it were possible to conduct further research with their help and guidance and make some temporary pieces for display amongst their collection.