From 1957 to 1977, the chapel served as a parish church for Orońsko dwellers. It was used for exhibition purposes after its deconsecrating which happened in 1978. In the period 1982–1985 a general refurbishment was carried out. In 1987 the ‘Chapel’ Gallery inaugurated its activity with an exhibition The Sculptural Portrait. For some time it housed a permanent exhibition The Historical and Artistic Traditions of Orońsko. This concept was later on abandoned for the sake of small, temporary presentations.
The ‘Chapel’ Gallery is situated in the oldest building in the Centre area. Due to its original function and its special climate, it usually attracts artists who create art enclosed in spiritual space. The small individual exhibitions are enriched with the aura of mystery and a solemn seriousness. Commemorative exhibitions, devoted to the late artists who used to be connected with the Centre, are usually held here. In those cases, the context of the place highlights the sacral expression of the exhibition, sanctifying the works of art and transferring the visitors into a different, celestial dimension.
The chapel history
The design was based on the principles of a classical Greek temple – prostylos. On a three-step base (crepidoma) stands a rectangular nave (naos), a lower annex with the vestry and a four column portico protruding outside the plan of the walls. The columns with capitals in Doric order bear the architrave, topped with a triangular pediment. The panel of the tympanum is filled by a relief showing the Eye of Providence, and on the architrave beneath you read a warning referring to it OMNIA VIDIT (Sees everything). Beneath, directly over the entrance door, there is another inscription BENEDICTUS.QUI.VENIT.IN.NOMINE.DOMINI (Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord) and the date MDCCCXXXXI. The year 1841 indicates the date when the construction of the chapel was completed. In the shape of the building, a little ave-bell with a cross stands out, placed on the ridge of the gable roof.
The interior is divided into two rooms – the nave a tiny vestry. In the nave an alter mensa has been preserved. Over the alter, you can see a fragment of Alfred Schouppé’s polychrome imitating an alter retable and not particularly good.