The Nikifor Museum in Krynica-Zdrój

Besides Jan Kiepura, Nikifor Krynicki is one of the most recognizable people associated with Krynica-Zdrój – a health spa, where you can not only cure your body, but also delight your soul by visiting artistic places. Thanks to the movie „Mój Nikifor” with Krystyna Feldman playing the titualr role, you might be able to find out something about primitive man, but you might also want to find out more by visiting this museum.

Nikifor must have made an unconventional impression on people from his times – he was a funny little man, wearing strange clothes and walking around with a suitcase of painting tool. Unfortunately, for a long time most people were considering him as a harmless weirdo, or even even a mentally handicapped fool, which was because of Nikifor’s disability to hear or speak, a disability he had after his deaf mother.

For Nikifor, who was a son of a beggar woman, selling colorful paintings was the only way to live. Wealthy patients would sometimes buy them, because they felt sorry for him, however, most of the people wouldn’t understand or appreciate his art. Because of his Lemko origins, Nikifor was exiled from Krynica three times, but every time he would come back (on foot!) to his small world.

Back before World War II, some people could actually see something more in his art than just simple drawings, but Nikifor wasn’t actually intoduced to the world until the 1950s. Marian Włosiński, who was a longtime caretaker for Nikifor, made a huge part in developing the artist’s talent. He also gave him shelter and a possibility of treating stubbornly returning diseases.

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