The history of fishery in the waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk
The exhibition presents a chronologically organized range of issues concerning traditional Kashubian fishery and boatbuilding, the history of Hel, the history of Polish sea fishery and the ecology of the Baltic Sea. The presented issues are illustrated by maps and archival photographs, but above all by the most interesting exhibits from museum collections – not only from the Fisheries Branch with over 200 selected exhibits, but also from other branches of the Museum.
Among others, an art gallery dedicated to the maritime subject is located on the first floor. Works by Stanisław Kamocki, Michalina Krzyżanowska, Władysław Lam and Henryk Uziembło are presented in the gallery. The Hel Peninsula inspired painters because it is an extremely rewarding subject both for the Colourists and Impressionists. A number of maritime artists made Hel and its surrounding areas the leading subject of a part of their works.
The maritime art gallery in Hel complements presentation of the material culture of Slovincian fishermen. One of its elements is a sailing fishing boat, or the so-called czołn łebski. She can be compared with a sea-going fishing boat from Mechelinki, hung under the ceiling. A votive model of a frigate dating back to the 18th century, which used to be an interior decoration of the church and survived throughout the ravages of war, is also located in the matroneum.
The fishing technique of the mid-20th century is introduced by a diorama depicting a scene from a former fishing harbour, with its typical elements placed on the beach sand, including a sailing fishing boat from Jastarnia. A reconstructed boatbuilding workshop with a Kashubian fishing boat in its centre presented in the process of construction is worthy of attention. The reconstruction was based on the appearance of an original workshop of the Struck family from Jastarnia, which has been operating until the present day.
The permanent exhibition has been organized based on the script prepared by Jerzy Litwin, PhD, Director of the NMM. Prof. Aleksander Widyński of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk is the author of the artistic arrangement project, which has been carried out by Barbara Widyńska and Aleksander Widyński.