Exhibition: “Secrets of the Bureau Bookcase”

Join us at the Wilanów Palace for the “Secrets of the Bureau Bookcase” exhibition, an unforgettable opportunity to not only see beautiful furniture, but also find out how it is constructed, how it was used, and what secrets it hides.

The exhibition is a showing of three bureau bookcases made at the beginning of the 18th century in the style of English King George I furniture. They are elaborate and elegant, with a refined construction, veneered with exclusive walnut wood. Their charm is the result of natural patterns of material enhanced with gilding and mirrors. We know that Elżbieta Sieniawska, owner of the historic royal residence in Wilanów from 1720–1729, liked this type of furniture.

The exhibition contrasts one completely closed bureau bookcase with two open, practically identical ones. The closed piece, hiding its interior and content from the uninitiated, is a beautiful, decorative work of art. The first of the open bureau bookcases – left empty – allows for the presentation of the architectural structure and complex construction, which confirms the skill of the craftsmen of old. The second, filled with typical contents (letters, papers, copies of accounting ledgers, books, facsimiles of drawings, writing accessories, bookbinding files and small decorative objects, such as bisque porcelain figures) allows viewers to get a closer look at the functions of this versatile piece of furniture.

Visitors to the exhibition can see a presentation made in the stop-motion animation technique, showing the drawers sliding in and out, as well as opening and closing of secret doors and boxes. All secrets of the Wilanów bureau bookcases have been ultimately revealed and presented to the guests.

We invite you to the “Secrets of the Bureau Bookcase” exhibition starting on the 22nd of March, in the Anteroom of Princess Marshall Izabella Lubomirska at the Wilanów Palace. Admission is paid, included as part of a purchased Palace ticket to any touring route. Remember that Thursdays are free admission days to the palace and the park.

It is also worth mentioning that the exhibition in the Palace (route 2) includes three more bureau bookceses, which despite their different decorations, maintain a constant construction pattern and function. The Princess Marshall Izabella Lubomirska Parlour includes a Roccoco Saxon bureau bookcese, decorated with a rosewood veneer. In the Princess Marshall Izabella Lubomirska Study, you can admire a small bureau bookcase with a beautiful painted decoration drawing on the décor of the Vatican loggias. In the Chinese Room with Watercolours, there is a Saxon bureau bookcase covered with red lacquer with chinoiserie motifs.