The Museum in Nieborów has recently opened an exhibition “In Radziwiłł’s House They Stood…,” which displays artworks, tableware and furniture that the noble Polish family Radziwiłł had owned. In recent years, those pieces were scattered in private collections around the world, however, the owners lend them to the museum to form a permanent display.
Radziwiłł (or Radvila in Lithuanian notation) family was a magnate family, first noted in documents in 1401. They were established by Radvila Astikas from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The family split mostly into three lines – Goniądz-Meteliai, Birzai-Bubingiali and Nieśwież-Kleck, probably the most influential, whose descendants are still alive.
They belonged to the richest and most influential part of the noble estate in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and greatly impacted Polish history. Barbara Radziwiłł married the king of Commonwealth Sigismund II August, her cousin Mikołaj “the Black” Radziwiłł was known for mediating to Lithuanian noblemen the Lublin Union between Lithuania and Poland, and Karol Stanisław Radziwiłł (1734-1790) was the wealthiest nobleman in Poland who opposed the Partition Sejm of 1773. In 1945, Radziwiłł’s family was deported to a concentration camp in Krasnogorsk in USRR, however, their properties were saved and turned into a museum by Stanisław Lorentz.
Radziwiłł family owned a large number of properties, and two of them – the Radziwiłł Palace in Nieborów and Helena Radziwiłł’s Romantic Garden – were turned into the Museum in Nieborów in Arkadia in 1945. It includes the original homeware of Radziwiłłs that was preserved during wars: furniture, porcelain, tapestries and artworks, those often being portraits of the family members. Additional pieces were added to the exhibition by Maciej Radziwiłł, Andrzej Wasilewski and the Trzy Trąby (Three Trumpets) Foundation. There is also a portrait of Stanisław August Poniatowski – the last king of Poland – painted by Elisabeth Vigee, who was placed at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius until now.
“In Radziwiłł’s House, They Stood…” is a permanent exhibition in the Museum in Nieborów, available during entire opening hours.