High Culture in the Magic Mountains High Culture in the Magic Mountains
Photo by Claudio von Planta for Muzeum Susch/Art Stations Foundation CH
Dreams and Visions

High Culture in the Magic Mountains

The Art World’s Alpine Love Affair
Stach Szabłowski
time 14 minutes

Grażyna Kulczyk could have opened her museum just about anywhere. Why did she choose the Swiss Alps?

At the turn of 2019, the Polish art world was, intellectually, far away from home. In an Alpine pass village, Grażyna Kulczyk launched her private Muzeum Susch. What is this institution? Is it a sign of the success of Polish culture, the representative of which has reached the highest Swiss altitudes? Is it an expression of Poland’s biggest art collector’s disillusionment, who, having turned her back on the general public, headed for the mountains, a place where only true art enthusiasts will venture? Should we view Susch as the whim of a billionaire, or rather the fulfilment of a lifelong dream of a connoisseur, who knows not only art, but also the art world? And why did Kulczyk, out of all places, fancy the Alps?


Since it was too difficult to sit and wait for answers to these questions, we travelled to the Muzeum Susch in December 2018, before its official opening. The ruse set up by Kulczyk is foolproof – the curious mind inevitably falls into the snare, lured by the promise of rich rewards. In the case of Susch, the extreme parameters of Kulczyk’s exercise provide an extra incentive. The protagonist of this story was, according to Wprost magazine, the third richest Polish woman in 2018 (her daughter took the top spot). She has a well-known last name. She is the biggest art collector and patron in Poland. She founded the museum in a place located remarkably high above sea level (1438m). The village she has chosen for the headquarters is exceptionally small (only 200 residents). The country


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The Life of Maria Papa Rostowska
Zbigniew Libera

The sculptor Maria Papa Rostkowska led a happy life. Maybe that’s why so few people remember who she was.

Dear readers! Like the lives of most of Poland’s best artists, the life of the “giantess” and at the same time “fashionable kitten” (as the heroine of our article was variously described) was rich in tragic events. Yet simultaneously, it was an exceptionally successful and happy life. Even so, or perhaps precisely because of this, her name remains almost completely unknown in Poland. What to do? We’ve already grown accustomed to the idea that Polish society doesn’t exactly shower its outstanding artists with love.

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