The core of the collection of the Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola are relics related to the history of Stalowa Wola – the most important industrial and urban realization of the Central Industrial District, which was shaped in the years 1937-1939. The gathered collection of archival materials and iconography concerns the leading investment of the CID, within the framework of which came into being the Southern Works (later Stalowa Wola Steelworks), the Power Plant and modernist urban-architectural complex – Stalowa Wola housing estate. The collection was gradually expanded with products from factories that were established during the time of the realization of the CID or significantly developed their activities at that time. At present, the collection is dominated by technical relics: production machinery (machine tools) used in the production of metal parts, parts of installations from power plants, including a turbine, and radios, gas meters, telephone apparatuses, dating from the era of the great economic boom, and many other items produced for civilian needs. The collection of spatial relics also includes a set of militaria and soldier’s ordnance produced in the late 1930s.
Since the dominant style in interior and industrial design at the time was art déco, the museum systematically collects handicrafts, utilitarian objects, archival and graphic materials maintained in this style (since 2006).
“COP for the Future. People – industry – architecture” / 2007
The grand anniversary exhibition within the framework of the 70th anniversary of the Central Industrial District – a multimedia and modern exhibition – for the first time after 70 years since the creation of the CID showed in a wide range one of the greatest achievements of the Second Republic, which was the implementation of the plan for the Central Industrial District in 1937-1939. For this exhibition, the museum received the first prize and the Sibyl statuette in the competition for the Museum Event of 2007.
“Rafal Malczewski – Central Industrial District – painting reportage 1938” / 2008.
The exhibition presents a unique set of landscapes – industrial landscapes by Rafal Malczewski from two series: “Black Silesia” (1934-1935) and “Central Industrial District – painting reportage” (1938).
“Mikrus – a car that was not allowed to grow up” / 2010
What happened after the war in factories built as part of the Central Industrial District? One of the pages of this history was uncovered by an exhibition devoted to a forgotten Polish car, produced in 1957-1960, whose sudden end of production has not been fully explained to this day. The Mikrus MR 300 was built in Mielec (chassis and body) and Rzeszow (engine), and was fitted with tires from Dębica – all of which originated in the CID.
The exhibition presented a clash between the capabilities of Polish technical thought, which was a continuation of pre-war tendencies to build Poland’s technical modernity, and post-war conditions and political assumptions. The exhibition received the first prize and a Sybil statuette in the 2010 Museum Event competition.
“From Independence to Modernity” / 2013
The exhibition was prepared on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Central Industrial District. The presented photographs from the interwar period depicted the towns and cities included in the plan of the CID and the factories operating in them – those already existing, modernized and incorporated into the framework of the national enterprise, and those built from scratch. They show the history of the formation of large industrial investments and the transformations made in the infrastructure necessary for their operation.
“Stalowa Wola in the lens of Eng. Bronislaw Rudzinski” / 2013
The open-air exhibition, organized in the year of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Stalowa Wola, presented 63 unique photographs of the emerging settlement, taken by engineer Bronislaw Rudzinski (1906-1994), the main author of the urban plan of Stalowa Wola and subsequent stages of expansion of the prefabricated settlement. Projects of residential buildings created by him and plans of the city, including those not realized, were an integral part of the exhibition.
“Exemplary city: Stalowa Wola” / 2013
The 75th anniversary of Stalowa Wola became an excellent opportunity to present the beginnings of the city in a different way than before. Pre-war furnishings of private apartments and offices, shown in an arrangement referring to the shipbuilding style, took on a deeper dimension through the accounts of former residents of the city and their descendants. People who used these items, surrounded themselves with them and associate their memories with them, told anew the unusual history of Stalowa Wola. A separate module of the exhibition was devoted to the characteristic details of modernist architecture.
“Made in Poland” / 2014
The exhibition featured the most recognizable creations and designs from the Polish iconosphere: from iconic brands, traditional products and popular appliances to distinctive design. It referred not only to the history of Polish design, visual and material culture, but also to the history of entrepreneurship. All of the brands on display boast long-standing traditions, sometimes going back several centuries. Combining two aspects – good design and history – the exhibition refers to the heritage of Stalowa Wola, a city established as the most important urban development of the Central Industrial District and strongly associated with the products of Stalowa Wola Steelworks.
The exhibition received an honorable mention in the XXV Sibyl 2014 Museum Event of the Year competition and the 2014 Historical Event poll.
“Social Life in the Central Industrial District” / 2017
The vibrant social and cultural life of the Second Republic was shown mainly on the example of the Stalowa Wola community. The presentation of various forms of leisure at the same time allowed to recreate the mood and atmosphere of the late 1930s. Visitors had the opportunity to taste the cultural life of the era, meet the stars of cinema, cabaret, theater and selected artists of the twentieth century. The theme continued with sports and tourism, including fashionable Polish resorts and spas.
A special meeting place for the elite of the time were the casinos, including both administrative and military casinos. It was where most time was spent, outside of work or barracks and the family home. There were more than a dozen such facilities in the CID, including in Stalowa Wola, Pionki, Dęba, Rzeszów, Łańcut, Mościce and Lublin.
An extremely attractive part of the exhibition was the theme of the Southern Works ball, which took place in the Stalowa Wola casino. The personal aspect of the exhibition was also important, meaning photos and information about the people who organized the ball and participated in it. In the improvised areas of the pre-war casino, an important part was also the theme of material culture – it was there that the viewer learned about Polish handicrafts in the then fashionable art déco style.
“COP and the City. Modernity and Heritage” / 2017
The “CID and the City” exhibition, which was awarded the Sybil statuette in the category of natural and technical exhibitions, showed how the construction of CID relates to today’s world, how great industry and technical solutions influenced the standard of living of the population 80 years ago, and whether this can be linked to the fact that today in the rankings of the quality of life in Polish cities and the so-called smart city, Rzeszów appears in the forefront, and Kielce – the city of CID – also ranks high. It was also an attempt to determine whether and in what respects Stalowa Wola can be described as a smart city of the interwar era.
“CID in the lens of pre-war reporters” / 2017
This outdoor exhibition did not tell the story of the formation of the CID through photographs. It did not follow a chronology or recall the most important facts about this investment. Its purpose was primarily to draw attention to photography as an art, a technique, a tool, and a medium that, by capturing images of the various sites and events surrounding the construction, creates an independent story, based on visual impressions and emotions, encouraging one’s own observations and interpretations.
“We built this city” / 2018
Through the prism of the memories of Stalowa Wola residents, the narrative of the exhibition took place, allowing us to listen to what they had to say about the city they built, in which they live, whose streets they walk every day, whose image they have in their memory, and the atmosphere they create. The exhibition made reference to the current trend in museology of biographies of places/objects and interpretations of heritage. The exhibition received the prestigious Sybil award.
From an Exhibition to a museum
October 25, 2017. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has published a list of projects that receive funding under the Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020. Our project was ranked 9th.
Its subject was to carry out restoration and construction work in modernist school workshops at 17 Hutnicza Street and adapt them for a modern Museum of the Central Industrial District. The newly established cultural institution is a leading institution, disseminating the heritage of the CID and popularizing science, technology, the latest technologies and economic topics. It is becoming an important place for active leisure and recreation. The museum has been located in a historic building, which, with its original equipment, is a testimony to the industrial heritage of our region.
Publications issued by the Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola concerning the Central Industrial District:
“Yearbook of the Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola”. 2006, Anna Garbacz (ed.), Stalowa Wola 2006
From Independence to Modernity. Central Industrial District 1937-1939, Krzysztof Adamek (ed.), Stalowa Wola 2007
CID for the Future. People – Industry – Architecture, exhibition catalog, Aneta Garanty (ed.), Stalowa Wola 2007
From Independence to Modernity. Centralny Okręg Przemysłowy 1937-1939. jubilee edition on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of CID, Marek Wiatrowicz (ed.), Stalowa Wola 2012
Central Industrial District Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, materials from the scientific conference for the 75th anniversary of the launch of the construction of the CID, Anna Garbacz, Beata Trybuła (ed.), Stalowa Wola 2012
Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski’s investment policy and construction of CID, Marian Marek Drozdowski, Stalowa Wola 2012
E-grosik. Guide to the permanent exhibition. Economic mini-guide for children, Olga Gromek, Katarzyna Bogucka, Stalowa Wola 2013
Stalowa Wola, the city of the past – the future of the city, Elżbieta Przesmycka (ed.), Stalowa Wola 2014
Stalowa Wola, European Modernist City, Elżbieta Przesmycka (ed.), Stalowa Wola 2014
Stalowa Wola. City for a medal, a publication for children about the beginnings of Stalowa Wola, Katarzyna Wydra, Barbara Łepkowska, Stalowa Wola 2014
CID in the lens of pre-war reporters, exhibition catalog, Katarzyna Zarzycka, Stalowa Wola 2017
CID and the City. Modernity and heritage, exhibition catalog, Katarzyna Zarzycka, Stalowa Wola 2017
Stalowa Wola, City of the Past – Future of the City. Legacy of industrial architecture, Elżbieta Przesmycka (ed.), Stalowa Wola 2018
Central Industrial District. City anew, publication for children, Katarzyna Zarzycka, Barbara Łepkowska, Stalowa Wola 2017
Getting to know the CID and Stalowa Wola. A historical guide for children and young people, Marek Wiatrowicz, Stalowa Wola 2018
Central Industrial District Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow, a scientific conference on the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the construction of CID under the honorary patronage of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Waldemar Pawlak; 15.05.2012
Organizers: Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland Eugeniusz Grzeszczak
Co-organizers: E. Kwiatkowski Association, Museum of Independence in Warsaw, Polish Historical Association Biographical Section, Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola
1st All-Poland Scientific Conference in the series: Stalowa Wola. The past of the city – the city of the future: Modernist architecture and design of the Central Industrial District; 27-28.09.2014
Organizer: Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola
II All-Poland scientific conference of the series: Stalowa Wola. The past of the city – the city of the future: Legacy of post-industrial architecture of Stalowa Wola; 2.10. 2015.
Project subsidized from funds of the Polish Academy of Sciences Branch in Lublin
Organizer: Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola
Conference in the framework of the cycle Now CID organized on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the creation of the Central Industrial District: Central Industrial District. Towards an innovative economy in Poland; September 8, 2017
Organizers: the City of Stalowa Wola, the Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola, the Malopolska Laboratory of Energy-Efficient Construction, Cracow University of Technology
Strategic partners: Podkarpackie Governor Ewa Leniart, Marshal of Podkarpackie Voivodeship Władysław Ortyl, Huta Stalowa Wola S.A., Industrial Development Agency S.A., Bank PKO BP S.A., Polish Armament Group S.A.
Partners: Rzeszow University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanics and Technology of Rzeszow University of Technology in Stalowa Wola, Malopolska Center for Energy-Efficient Construction of Krakow University of Technology.
II scientific conference of the series Oblicza polskiej modernizacji: Modernization Processes in the Second Republic; 5-6.12.2019
The conference was organized within the framework of the research project “Independent Poland and free Poles in the XIX-XXI century” funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education
Organizers: the Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola, the University of Rzeszow.