In the years 2007-2009, further modernization and adaptation works were carried out in the buildings on Mill Island. The Museum gained an additional 1,800 m2 of exhibition space. The first to be modernized were the Red Granary at 8 Mennica Street (along with the adjoining „Miller’s House”), which was named the Gallery of Modern Art, and the White Granary at 2 Mennica Street, as well as the building at 7 Mennica Street, which houses a permanent exhibition entirely devoted to the work of Leon Wyczółkowski. Another renovated building on the Mill Island was the building at 4 Mennica Street. It was decided to locate the European Money Centre in one of the buildings of the former Bydgoszcz Mint. The opening of permanent exhibitions in all of the Museum’s branches at the turn of the first and second decades of the 21st century set the direction for the institution’s development in the following years.
A great event in the Museum’s history was the acquisition in 2008 of a fragment of the former DAG Fabrik Bromberg explosives factory. In seven buildings that during World War II were part of the nitroglycerin production line, a new Museum branch was created, which – to emphasize the unique history of the place – was named Exploseum. The modern exhibition located there was ceremonially opened in 2011, after several years of preparation.
An exceptional date in the Museum’s history is December 30, 2009. The Leon Wyczółkowski Regional Museum in Bydgoszcz, by the decision of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski, was entered into the National Register of Museums under number 101. An entry on such a list is an indicator of prestige – the importance of an institution for the culture of the country and region.
In 2005, cooperation was established between Bydgoszcz and Ningbo, a port city in eastern China. Thanks to the partnership agreement, which also covers exchange in the field of culture, it became possible to present works from the Museum’s collections – for the first time – in the Far East.
From 2004, over the next few years, partly as a donation and partly through purchases, the Museum acquired an extremely interesting phonographic collection created by Ewa and Adam Mańczak. These unique collections initiated a new museum collection, which has since been regularly expanded. The most interesting objects gathered in the music collection include Edison’s phonographs, gramophones, as well as a collection of over 6,000 music carriers with unique recordings testifying to the quality of the gathered resources. The collection became the basis for creating a separate Music Department (currently the Music Studio) within the Museum’s structure.
The first objects that went to the Department of Industrial Architecture (now the Department of History of Technology) came from excavations carried out on the site of the former DAG factory in Bydgoszcz Forest. At that time, various types of laboratory equipment, a plate with the DAG signature, tool tokens, elements of armaments and ammunition, as well as tin plaques were found. In the following years, the scope of the Department’s interest was extended, e.g., by bicycles and mopeds produced in the 20th century in the Bydgoszcz „Romet” Bicycle Factory. The collection has been successively expanded through both donations and purchases.
It was extremely important for the Department of Ethnography to acquire a collection of Teofil Ociepka’s works. Thanks to the financial support of the Committee for the Celebration of the 650th Anniversary of Bydgoszcz, the collection acquired, among others, the In the wilderness work by this artist. Other characteristic elements, such as a Kashubian chair from the second half of the 19th century or a bonnet embroidered by Maria Fortuńska come from purchases both directly from artists as well as from auction houses and private collectors. Gathering collections related to folk art – sculpture, embroidery, and ornamentation, etc. is still ongoing.
In 2006, the Museum’s collection gained the first gold coin from the Bydgoszcz Mint – Jan Kazimierz’s double ducat from 1660. Numismatic items of this type are among the rarest Polish coins. In the following years, other valuable objects were acquired, including a ducat of Władysław IV from 1641 and a taler of Władysław IV from 1633.
In the discussed decade, three large graphic exhibitions were organized presenting the works of great masters: Rembrandt (2010), Albrecht Dürer (2011), and Francisco Goya (2017). They were extremely popular and were some of the most frequently visited exhibitions in that period. In 2004, the Archaeology Department organized the Once upon a time… When there were no borders in Europe exhibition. The exhibition title harmonized with one of the most important events of this year – Poland’s accession to the European Union. In 2006, one of the most important historical exhibitions in the Museum’s history was organized, entitled Poles and Germans in Bydgoszcz (Polen und Deutsche in Bromberg). The exhibition was the culmination of cooperation between the local community of Bydgoszcz, the city of Bydgoszcz, the Regional Museum, the Germans from Bydgoszcz, and the authorities of Wilhelmshaven. The presented content focused on showing the issues of the centuries-old coexistence of these two nations in the city on the Brda River. The creation of an exhibition space intended entirely for issues related to numismatics made it possible to present a number of temporary exhibitions. The most interesting include: Money in Culture. Between sacrum and profanum (2010), From national money to the euro (2010-2012) and Money of the People’s Republic of Poland (2012-2014).
An interesting series of exhibitions proposed by the Department of Ethnography was the presentation of religious iconography in the first decade of the 21st century. Traditionally, an important place among ethnographic exhibitions was occupied by those related to holidays. A novelty in the field of ethnographic exhibitions was the presentation of non-European cultures of Africa, Australia and both Americas, as well as ethnodesign. Maintaining close and cordial contacts with collectors made it possible to show an extremely wide range of issues in this area. An important element uniting the Bydgoszcz community of enthusiasts of non-professional art was the Teofil Ociepka National Painting Competition, with part co-organized by the Museum. Employees of the Department of Ethnography also actively participated in the juries of folk art competitions, e.g., in the Wanda Szkulmowska Pałuk Folk Art Competition and Contemporary Folk Art in Bory Tucholskie.
During this period, the Museum received many awards, including: Silver Medal „For Merit to Culture Gloria Artis”, „Sybilla 2008” – 2nd Prize in the category „Historical, biographical and literary exhibitions” for organizing the exhibition From the Poor Clares’ Church to Mill Island. Museum in Bydgoszcz 1923-2008. History and collections; Award in the editorial category – Competition for the Bydgoszcz Book of the Year 2008 for „Archer’s Arrow” for the jubilee publication of the Museum in Bydgoszcz 1923-2008. History and collections. From the Poor Clares’ Church to Mill Island; „Sybilla 2010” – Museum event of the year, Toruń, May 18, 2011. Nomination in the category „Ethnographic and archaeological exhibitions for the Museum for the exhibition In the city of Bydgoszcz. The mystery of the life of the early medieval inhabitants of Bydgoszcz and its vicinity; „Sybilla 2011”, 32nd Competition for the Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. „Museum Event of the Year” category. Nomination in the „Technology Exhibitions” category for the Museum for the exhibition Exploseum – War Technology Centre DAG Fabrik Bromberg; „Sybilla 2012”, 33rd Competition for the Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Museum Event of the Year. Nomination in the „Educational projects” category for the Museum for the Wyczółko-bus project.