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May 15 – St. Sophia Feast day

May 15 we salute a very celebrated name in Poland, Zofia - Zosia!

Its origin comes from the Greek ‘sophos’ meaning wise, intelligent. This is also our Christian St. Sophia's (Roman Martyr) Feast observance. She is identified by 7 c. hagiography with St. Sophia, widow and mother who lived under Emperor Hadrian in 122 AD. Summoned to stand trial for their Christian beliefs, St. Sophia and her 3 daughters named for the 3 cardinal virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity refused to pay tribute to Roman gods and were martyred. Did you know that Zofia is also the first name of our Polish windsurfing world champion and 2012 Olympics Bronze medalist Zofia Klepacka?! Here in Chicago the unmatched Polish Museum of America presents to the world avant-garde Polish painter and designer Zofia Stryjenska, (b. May 13, 1891) - the most renowned woman Art Deco artist in early 20c Poland. Very emotionally bonded with great Polish culture, Zofia Stryjenska's art focused on Polish Slavism and history. She specialized in tempera painting, prints, book illustrations, object, toy and architectural decorating. When visiting Poland's capitol, You can marvel at her polychromes walking through Old Town Warsaw. Her paintings illuminated the Polish Pavilion at 1925 Decorative Arts Expo in Paris. Zofia spent the war years in Kraków. When Russian troops entered this ancient Polish city in 1945 she emigrated to Switzerland. Here she published children's books on savoir vivre and her Memoirs. She died in 1976. Our Museum is a goldmine of Stryjenska's famous Four Seasons print series, Slavic Sorcery series, Polish folk costumes and Polish dances collection and tempera paintings. Visit us online to check our remarkably unique Krawczynski Exhibit featuring among its collection our other Zofia, Zofia Butrymowicz and her wool and linen tapestry work of art!

Beatrix Czerkawski

Photos display delightful 1930's Zofia Stryjenska print series extremely rich in theme: Gusla Slowian (Slavic Sorcery) series front cover, Sobotka, Oczepiny, a painting of Ziemowit; Polish peasant costume collection Kaszuby, Silesia; The Resurrection, 1950, tempera. And Vortex-tapestry by Zofia Butrymowicz, 1986.

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