On 1 February 2013, the first anniversary of the death of Wisława Szymborska, the exhibition Szymborska’s Drawer opened at Szołayski House, a Department of the National Museum in Krakow (pl. Szczepanski 9).
Wisława Szymborska was the ambassador of the Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art in the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall), which is why the National Museum in Krakow, always grateful for this honour, has made a proposal to the Wisława Szymborska Foundation regarding part of the Nobel Prize laureate’s legacy. Specifically, we proposed to dedicate a few rooms in the recently refurbished Szołayski House to the installation of an exhibition of the poet’s belongings: her collages, knick-knacks, books, and other household items from her apartment with the famous chest of many drawers and bed. We believe that these precious relics should not be stowed away in a warehouse, but available to the public. The Foundation – especially since it now serves as Ambassador of the Gallery in the Cloth Hall – has agreed to our proposal. Together with the Foundation and the exhibition’s designers, we have prepared a place called “Szymborska’s Drawer” – neither a reconstruction of her flat, nor a memorial chamber, but rather an interior arranged in the somewhat surreal spirit so dear to the poet’s heart - says Zofia Gołubiew, Director of the National Museum in Krakow.
The exhibition is a kind of stage set, a three-dimensional collage, in which the poet's belongings are juxtaposed with quotations from her works and photographs of people, places and things, leading the viewer into her private world of poetic imagination and intellectual inspiration.
An interesting object in the drawer is a chest designed by the Nobel Prize winner, in which she kept photographs and other things. How important her furniture was for her is testified by the poem Possibilities in which poet confesses I prefer desk drawers – hence the title of the exhibition. In this exhibition, the chest is hidden behind the door, and can be seen only through a peephole.