The settlement concerning the furnishings of the Polish Pavilion of the 1939–1940 New York World’s Fair concluded in 1941 by Stefan Ropp, General Commissioner of the Polish Department at the Fair, acting on behalf of the Polish Government in London, was accepted and approved by the People’s Republic of Poland in 1966. In celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of Poland’s Acceptance of Christianity, on October 7, the Government of Poland transmitted the deed for transfer of property to the Polish Museum of America in Chicago: “1. Exhibits, the property of the Polish government, displayed in 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York, and after the liquidation of the Polish Pavilion at this Fair, deposited by the Commissioner of the Pavilion, Mr. S. Ropp, in the Polish Museum of Chicago. 2. Twenty oil paintings and fifty-six plates of graphics by Polish artists,” that is works created in 1945–1966. The selection of authors and art was made by the National Museum in Warsaw on the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture and Art. It was comprised of artists representing diverse trends while at the same time providing a full range of the characteristics typical of painting and graphic art of the first twenty years after World War II.
Paintings and Graphics of the PRL
Initially, the Museum of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America was focused chiefly on the gathering of historical materials, but changed its profile in 1941when it came into possession of exhibits from the Polish Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1939–1940. Paintings, graphics, sculptures, and objects of artistic craftsmanship were a significant component of this exposition. Their arrival began the collection of art, which expanded systematically by way of purchases and donations. At present, they may be separated into several large groups: the above-mentioned exhibits from the New York World’s Fair of 1939–1940; the paintings and graphics of the People’s Republic of Poland; Polish posters of the 20th century; and the art of individuals whose work consists of 20 or more creations each: Władysław T. Benda, Marian Kratochwil, Stefan Mrożewski, Michał Rekucki, and Maria Werten.