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About the exhibit

Paderewski’s sister, Antonina, was named by him to be executor of his will. He left few instructions for her to follow. Several institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, expressed to her their interest in obtaining her brother’s possessions for their collections. The Buckingham Hotel gave her all the furnishing from the hotel suite where her brother had spent his last days, from November 1940 to June, 1941. Antonina was a very wise person and realized that fame is a fleeting thing. She knew that eventually future generations would forget about I.J. Paderewski and all the items would end up in a storeroom. However, she knew about The Polish Museum of America and she knew that this institution would have the mementos of Paderewski forever on display in a most respectful manner. She decided to donate everything to our Museum. The room was officially rededicated as the Paderewski Room on November 3, 1941. Unfortunately, Antonina was to ill to attend and died some days later. Since that date in 1941 we have kept our promise to maintain the memories and stories about I.J Paderewski and his place in world history. In 2009 the entire exhibit room was completely renovated.

The raised platform displays the furnishings from his hotel suite at the Buckingham Hotel in New York City.  The upright piano was custom tuned for him by Steinway & Sons and given to him as a gift.  In the various exhibit cases in the Room are items of memorabilia, some from his own possession and others donated from other individuals.  Until the creation of the Paderewski Museum at Morges, Switzerland, there was no other place for Paderewski material to go but the Polish Museum.  Therefore, we received a great number of donations for which we are grateful.