Sketch of the history of the Adam Fastnacht Regional Museum in Brzozów
The first institution with a collectible character on the Brzozów microregion was the Museum in Brzozów. This cultural association, later called ‘Brzozów Regional Chambers’, was established in 1966 by the Brzozów Cultural Centre, as well as representatives of local authorities. In its offer were aggregate half thousand exhibits which were situated in a tower and a chamber of the town hall. However, this activity occurred soon insufficient in a local community, as well as enthusiasts of museology.
At the end of the seventies, members of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society (PTTK) were participated in a formation of a new facility. Among the initiators, Jerzy Ferdynand Adamski, Kazimierz Bargieł (1912-1978), Krystyna Czyżewska (1927-2009), Barbara Florek, Michał Florek, Zbigniew Kościński (1949-2009), Józef Krygowski, Lucjan Krynicki (1940-2007), Jerzy Krzysztyński, Adam Piecuch, Wojciech Sroka, Dorota Wasylewicz and Jan Wiesław Wolak were distinguished themselves.
The PTTK Regional Museum in Brzozów was established under its own resolution at 17th March 1980 and its official opening took place on 30th May 1981. Furthermore, the management position was assumed by 23-years-old Jerzy F. Adamski. In addition, in the opening ceremony took part: Director of the Folk Architecture Prof. Habilitated Doctor Jerzy Czajkowski, Executive of the Department of Manuscripts of the Ossoliński National Institute in Wroclaw – Associate Prof. PhD. Adam Fastnacht (1913-1987), Deputy Director of the Department of Culture and the Arts of the Voivodeship Office in Krosno – the Voivodeship Conservator in Krosno – Zdzisław Gil, the Director of the PTTK Central Library in Warsaw – Wanda Skowron, Deputy Director of PTTK Branch in Sanok – Stefan Stefański (1914-1998), as well as the President of Regional PTTK Management in Krosno – Marian Terlecki.
In advance, the museum was functioning as the department of PTTK in Brzozów in accordance with a resolution of 15 February 1962 on the Protection of the Cultural Property and Museums, as well the Management Broad Regulation of 27 March 1969.
Furthermore, the publishing activities became soon a distinguishing mark of the museum, which had been winning a numerous national writers’ contests. Among numerous distinction a few especially honourable might have been mentioned, in example: the PTTK National Contest in 1987 (a book written by PhD Michał Parczewski about an archaeological history of the Dynowskie Foothills), in 1990 (joint study on history of the Collegiate Church in Brzozów, as well as a bibliography of Jerzy Fastnacht written by his daughter – Anna Fastnacht-Stupnicka and a dissertation of Prof. Habilitated Doctor Anna Kutrzeba-Pojnarowa about history of folk culture at example of rural society in Trześniów).
Moreover, the naming of the museum after Adam Fastnacht, popular medievalist, thank whom a building of the Regional Museum in Brzozów was possible, became a solemn event for the local community. The act was sanctioned by the PTTK General Board on 15 April 1987, confirmed in writing on 25 August 1987.
However, the renovation of building was unavoidable. Apart an electroosmotic drying of walls other changes in design of the building were conduced, in example: plastering and painting walls, sanding and varnishing floors, an assembly of brass chandeliers, an exchange of entrances on oak doors with body and wooden cornice according to Paweł Palusiński project.
Reopening of the museum took place in 17th November 1990 in the presence of guests of honour: the Ordinary of Przemyśl – Bp. Prof. Ignacy Tokarczuk (1918-2012), the Parish of Collegial Priest – prelate Julian Pudło, Deputy Voivode of Krosno – Adam Pęzioł, the Chairman of the PTTK Committee for Care over the Monuments – PhD Franciszek Midura, representatives of PTTK and national museums, as well as enthusiasts of tourism on Podkarpacie region. The ribbon was cut by: Krystyna Czyżewska, Lucjan Krynicki and Jerzy F. Adamski. However, the success of the museum might have been unable without PTTK employees: Jerzy F. Adamski (superintendent, since 1990 – director), Maria Wiszyńska-Kędra (chief accountant), Halina Kościńska (restaurant), Jolanta Florek (junior restaurant), Marta Paradysz (specialist for museums), Elżbieta Kuś (guide), Dorota Wasylewicz-Sroka (visual artist) and Maria Tchórz (cleaning lady).
On the wave of economics as well constitutional changes after 1990, the museum additionally experienced financial problems. However, a chance to save this institution was offered by Brzozów self-governance by providing them monetary support. For the first time the establishment had to ask Communal Authority for a subsidy to reimbursement heating and lightening costs. The situation was being repeated over subsequent years. It was an essential aspect in the view of the fact that the museum started to stand alone a great activity by publishing since 1991 a monthly magazine ‘Wiadomości Brzozowskie’, as well as by printing bibliographies (since 1992). Moreover, starting from 1994, a great increase in temporary exhibitions could have been seen. In addition, the museum was in charge of the organising the ecological conference and since 1992 participation in this event. Furthermore, since 1993, an ethnographical contest for Polish Americans was organized by the branch. This undertaking associated with cultural activities of the museum was recognised and the director – Jerzy F. Adamski was honoured with the First Grade Franciszek Kotula Award, as well by ‘Wawrzyn’ (laurus) – an award donated by the Rzeszow Television.
In accordance with an increase of museum exhibition activity, in October 1993, another hall and three changing rooms were donated to the museum.
This accident had clearly shown that the PTTK was unable to maintain the museum independently. In the face of liquidation the institution, the Mayor of Brzozów – Józef Rzepka and the President of the Town Council – Lucjan Krynicki, had proposed to collect, free of charge, the museum. At the meeting, the PTTK council under its own resolution at 19 April 1994 approved this proposal.
Normalisation of legal status enabled to celebrate the 15th jubilee, despite the fact that the celebration took part with six-month lag, on 25 November 1995.
The government cultural institution became a museum at 1st July 1995 and began to operate under the name: ‘The Adam Fastnacht Regional Museum in Brzozów’. The establishment, as a governmental branch, was involved in organising new events, in example: the contest: ‘Individual of a Year in the Brzozów Region’ (since 1996), ‘Framework of Brzozów’ (since 1997), the trek of discovers: ‘Let’s meet with the Beauty and History of the Brzozów Region’ (since 1999). The assumption of the museum led to another renovation, by virtue of changing design the establishment had to leave the building and suspend its exposition activities. Most of the exhibits were transposed in to Małopolska Folk High School in Wzdów. An administration, archive, library and redaction of the ‘Wiadomości Brzozowskie’ were transferred in to former building of the Athletic Society „Sokół”. The renovation was finisher in 1999. Then, it was possible to transpose all the exhibits to the town hall again.
Due to the fact that Jerzy F. Adamski was elected on to Mayor of the Commune, Halina Kościńska became a director of the institution. She had been put in charge of the responsibility to manage the establishment over the period 1999-2004. The idea of Halina Kościńska was to continue the cultural activities, as well as inventing new endeavours, in example: creation of mini galleries, promotion of volumes of local authors’ poetry, trysts in the museum, organisation of Christmas Eve Supper for employees, as well sympathisers of institution, contest ‘The Fabulous Flowers’ and a traditional folk fair as the drawing card of Framework of Brzozów. Moreover, the redaction of ‘Wiadomości Brzozowskie’ had been winning numerous awards over the period 2002, 2004, 2005 in the contest organised for local medias which create the ecological attitude among people.
At 27th October 2005 the museum celebrated its silver jubilee, during which the First Deputy Voivode of Rzeszow Stanisław Długosz and the Mayor of Brzozów Zdzisław Wojdanowski honoured the most deserved employees as well as co-creators: Jerzy F. Adamski, Jolanta Florek, Maria Kędra, Halina Kościńska, Zbigniew Kościński, Lucjan Krynicki and Jan W. Wolak.
Realisation of few project, as well as develop of working conditions made possible to employ new workers. After some years of break, in 2008, the museum became again a co-creator of the International Ecological Conference. Since 2007 the establishment was in favour of organising International Historical Conferences, as well, since 2005, coordinating ‘Brzozów Museum Meetings’. Moreover, year by year, a volume of ‘Wiadomości Brzozowskie’ had been growing. With the growth of volume appeared also a new design of graphic. Since 2005, the newspaper was annually awarded by Podkarpacie Self-Governmental Local Press Association.
However, harsh technical conditions, as well incompatibility of circumstance to disabled person contributed to unavoidable renovation, so, over the years 2008-2011, the museum was reconstructed and extended. The European Regional Development Fund co-financed this initiative. Also the budget of Podkarpacie Voivodeship, as well Community of Brzozów made this renovation possible.
The renovation in 2008 involved: an exchange of roofing, as well a roof construction, building an avant-corps and chimneys, an assembly of lightning and earthling installation. However, because of construction works the employees had to move to the Primary School in Brzozów building. Over that period (2009-2011) other works were conducted, as: insulation and wall foundation, lintel strengthening, reinforced concrete construction execution, staircase towel construction, wall reinforcement, towel terrace, laying new floors, reconstruction of external elevation. Nevertheless, an assembly of electrical, water and sewerage, central heating, ventilation, alarming, fire warning, smoke venting, as well as the gas installations were the most influential in the design of building aspects. Reconstruction of external stairs, exchanging of windows, montage of lift, putting a new driveway down, compatibility of toilets for disabled people, as well as other construction works were unavoidable. Owing to renovate the building of museum profit an aesthetic design and fictional character.
The construction works had been finished by 2011. The Regional Museum has grown over several years to the most inspiring institution which integrates the local initiatives in terms of culture in a broad sense. Moreover, a dissemination of history, as well individuals is invaluable. Currently, the policy is to museum being the dominant cultural institution in the heart of Brzozów.
Mariusz Kaznowski (translated by Justyna Zimoń)