The Maria Sklodowska -Curie Museum is a small biographical museum situated on the ever popular Freta Street not far from the Barbican in Warsaw. Freta Street is a delightful street to stroll down as it is not only dominated by the Dominican Church, of St Jacks and the museum but is filled with antique shops, restaurants and cafes.
The museum is located in the house where Maria Sklodowska-Curie, the first double Nobel prize winning woman scientist, was born. The house is only small but very elegant to look at from the exterior. The actual collections are rather inadequate to say that this lady was one of Poland's greatest achievers. Mostly the exhibits are of photographs of Maria with her husband and family. There are some pieces of furniture, family souvenirs, documents and several measuring devices which belonged to her husband, Pierre Curie, from his laboratory. The most important items are the photographs showing Maria, who began the history of radioactivity and discovered polonium and radium, giving lectures and working at the laboratory. There are also several pictures of her taken with the illustrious scientist, Albert Einstein.
There isn't much in the way of hand written letters which is always something that interests me in a museum visit. Most of the written material is just a few excerpts from her diary and snippets from the newspapers at the time. I suppose I was a little disappointed in the visit as there wasn't a lot too see and what was on show didn't seem to be very personal - more like a few things that the family members had gathered together to put on display. My visit only took about 40 minutes to look at the displays as there are only two small rooms to walk around. The architecture of the house is lovely and the russet coloured walls on the outside with latticed windows make the museum look very appealing. However, I was a little disappointed and thought the collections could have been displayed with a bit more panache. Although, I did see a couple of items of clothing including a black dress that she often wore according to the photos on show, I really would have liked to have seen more personal photographs and items belonging to Maria as a child and when she was studying.
There is a small fee of 11 zloty (just over £2) for adults and 6 zloty for children and people over the age of 60. The museum is open from l0am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday. You can find the museum on ulica Freta 16. Trams 13 and 23 from Ratusz Arsenal will take you to the Old Town and Freta Street is within walking distance, just past the Barbakan entrance.