European Regional Development Fund
Thanks to EU funds, Łódź has gained the most attractive museum of modern art in Poland. The ms2, as this new branch of the renowned Muzeum Sztuki is called, occupies the restored and redesigned building of the "high weaving mill" that once belonged to the powerful Poznański family of Łódź industrialists. Built of unplastered red brick characteristic of Łódź's industrial landscape, it has become a symbol of the city's success and rapidly developing industry. The project of modernizing and converting it has been conceived by the Pracownia Architektoniczna B. J. Ferdzynowie. Apart from exhibition halls, the building also has a cafe with a music club, a bookshop selling artistic periodicals, information desk and a cloakroom. The designers retained the original eclectic decor (ceilings, details) by combining it with modern elements.
The ms2 represents an entirely new approach to works of art. Its modern formula has been developed on the basis of curators' experiences and mutual consultations within the museum's team. The core of what is shows is the International Collection of Modern Art, started in 1929 by artists and poets from the avant-guard "a.r." group: Katarzyna Kobro, Władysław Strzemiński, Henryk Stażewski, Jan Brzękowski and Julian Przyboś. An absolutely unique collection, it was created through exchange between eminent figures of 20th-century culture and defined the aesthetic and historical aspect of the museum.
The way the works are presented is also innovative - there is no chronological order in the ms2 as it would inevitably make the viewer perceive them as souvenirs from the past. Some 600 square metres in the new building will be devoted to temporary exhibitions. Other rooms will be used for lectures, performances, meetings with artists and film shows. Artists, designers and architects are invited to create works specially for the ms2 building, which will be incorporated into the collection of 20thand 21st-century art.
The museum also runs an attractive educational programme that includes both art workshops for the youngest and theme walks for adults. Several times a month it hosts public debates, film shows, book promotions and concerts.
Between the 20th of November and the 31st of December 2008, the museum attracted 12,562 visitors. The ms2 has already become one of Łódź's landmarks. Unique art collections and attractive displays combined with modern infrastructure have contributed to raising the city's status and strengthening its brand, thus making the entire region more attractive for tourists and investors.