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Heródek

Karol Wójciak also known as Heródek
1892–1969

He was born and he died in the village of Lipnica Wielka in Orava region

He was a shepherd and he was hired to do various jobs. His employers would also provide some kind of accommodation for him. He had a rare talent which the locals did not find out about even though they liked Karol. He experienced the world in his own way. He also wanted to change it, improve it, and protect it. Fifty years after the death of Karol Wójciak, we keep on wondering about the secret of his life and his carvings.

Jerzy Darowski and Irena Wrońska met Heródek by chance during their ethnographic field trip to the area (1959). Several years later, Jan Bujak wrote about Heródek in Przekrój magazine. From that time, this inconspicuous inhabitant of Lipnica Wielka began to attract ethnographers, collectors, and art critics. Their list is long and contains many distinguished names.

Today, he continues to exert a magnetic influence on the likes of Maja Spychaj-Kubacka, a theatre actress from Krakow. For years she has been going to the region of Orava to look for memories and works of Heródek (collected at herodek.pl). The recollections of his fellow villagers come from that site.

It is assumed that Karol Wójciak made several hundred wood carvings. About 150 of them may be found in museums and in private collections. You will see most of them at the exhibition.

Each of them must be perceived in a different way. Heródek’s carvings which are also called "heródki" are not merely carvings. When you face them, you feel that they conceal much more from you...

Heródek
opening: November 15, 6 p.m.
16.11.2019–15.03.2020
Esther's House, Krakowska 46