News and Events
From the Graphic Arts Curator
September 1, 2009:
The Polish Museum of America Graphic Art Collection exhibited
for the first time in Poland
It is incredible that such a rich and relatively unknown collection of Polish graphic art can be found in a Midwest metropolis of the United States. Founded in 1935, the Polish Museum of America is one of the oldest and largest ethnic museums in the United States. It is a center of Polish cultural activity and home to a library, archives and a unique collection of art.
The Museum’s collection includes over 1000 prints ranging from the 17th to the 21st century, with an emphasis on prints of the 1920s and 1930s. Many of the prints are extremely rare due to the fact that most works on paper in Poland were destroyed during the Second World War.
The Polish Museum of America, in cooperation with the National Museum in Krakow and with financial support from the Ministry of Polish National Culture and Heritage, has prepared an exhibition of graphic works by artists dating from 1919 to 1995. Of particular interest are works selected from the Polish Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1939-1940 and the postwar period of the 1950s and 1960s. Artists represented include Jerzy Panek, Jozef Gielniak and Stanislaw Wojtowicz and prominent émigrés Stefan Mrozewski and Stanislaw Szukalski.
The pieces on exhibit were repaired and conservation was undertaken in Krakow. Ewa Morzyniec designed the exhibition. The curator from the Polish Museum of America was Monika Nowak, who originally had the idea for this project, and the curator from the National Museum in Krakow was Magdalena Czubinska.
To this day, there has not been any publication documenting the entire collection of the Polish Museum of America. Therefore, it is worth noting that this exhibition is accompanied by a 250 page illustrated catalog which details not only the contents of the exhibit, but also the background of the collections at the Polish Museum of America. Edited by Magdalena Czubinska, the catalog contains an essay by Malgorzata Kot about the Museum’s history and a text discussing the graphic collection by Monika Nowak.
The exhibition is arranged in conjunction with: the International Print Triennial in Krakow, 2009; an ongoing exhibit at the National Museum in Krakow, Treasures of Polish Culture Abroad; and the America, America series. The exhibition’s opening reception will be attended by representatives from the PMA and will take place September 17th at 6:00 pm on Kamienica Szolayskich, Poland. The exhibit will be displayed in Wroclaw and Chicago in 2010.
The Polish Museum of America Graphic Art Collection
September – December 2009, Kamienica Szolayskich, National Museum in Krakow
Opening reception: September 17, 2009, 6:00 pm
January – February 2010, Municipal Museum in Wroclaw
July – August 2010, Polish Museum of America in Chicago
For more information please visit:
Emerging Art at The Polish Museum of America
The Polish Museum of America (PMA), established in 1935, is one of the oldest and largest ethnic museums in the United States. In addition to preserving and promoting the history of the Poles in America, the museum possesses a unique collection of Polish art, archives documents and almost 100,000 books in the library. It remains the nation’s only institution of its kind, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Polish and Polish American culture through a wide variety of educational programs and exhibitions. Numerous events serve to integrate new talent within the atmosphere of The PMA, the neighborhood and local community by connecting artists in cultural communication. As a living institution and art center has an important role in attracting the young generation.
The Museum has a consistent record of quality exhibition programming. Endeavors undertaken at the PMA are becoming increasingly rewarding, envisioned projects are being completed successfully and the prospect that new projects may be initiated and realized is creating a positive energy and atmosphere. Here are a few recent examples of our activity.
Let’s Talk – An Exhibition of Emerging (September 6 – 28, 2008) promoted the international language of art and those who “speak” it, especially the younger generation artists from Poland and the United States.
In December 2008 a 250-page catalogue was published, entitled The Polish Museum of America Graphic Art Collection. It is for a subsequent exhibition presenting 120 prints from our collection will take place in 2009 at the National Museum in Krakow, also in Wroclaw and Chicago in 2010.
The exhibition Pressing Matter: A Glimpse at the Polish Print Continuum (March 20 – April 19, 2009) was unquestionably an important event, organized in conjunction with the 2009 Southern Graphics Council Conference. Established artists were shown alongside artists who represent the future of Polish printmaking. The PMA has received proposals for future exhibits in New York and in Knoxville.
Local artists, Krzysztof Wasko and his sister Marta Wasko will present their paintings and sculptures in the Main Hall between September 4 and 21, 2009.
We have begun to cooperate with the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow – from the end of April to the beginning of May 2010, the PMA will present posters by young artists. The exhibition will coincide with the prestigious Artropolis in Chicago.
The PMA is a member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA), a partnership of Chicago’s ethnic museums and cultural centers whose mission is to effect social change and public understanding of cultural diversity through first voice perspectives.
Chicago Artists Month is an annual celebration of Chicago’s vibrant visual arts community during the month of October. The PMA has prepared exhibits over the years, as part of our contribution to Polish American Heritage Month. This year, among the 200 events taking place, we will host an exhibit of local Polish artist Wojciech Sawa.
We hope our exhibitions will encourage viewers to become more familiar with Polish art, with greater understanding and more details. For over 70 years, The Polish Museum of America has always considered itself an integral part of the cultural and museum landscape of Chicago.