A group of seven portraits drawn by eleven so-called Łukaszowców, or artists associated with the Brotherhood of St. ukasz, who in 1939 presented her work in the Polish pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York. After the outbreak of World War II, the paintings were sent to Jesuit Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. According to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the artworks will return to the country “this summer”.
On Wednesday, Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Glinsky signed an agreement under which the paintings will be returned to Poland. As reported, Lukas’ works will be returning to Poland “this summer”. – This is a special event of Polish heritage. For many years, different environments and institutions have tried to make it sensitive to the history of Le Moyne College’s paintings and textiles, so that it is not forgotten – said Piotr Gliński during a contract-signing ceremony at Le Moyne College, the university where art has been stored for the past decades.
As announced, paintings and textiles will eventually be included in the collections of the Polish History Museum as items for the permanent exhibition.
It is a group of seven paintings by Polish artists, which was the main element of the honorary hall program of the Polish Pavilion during the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.
The contract under which the Łukaszowie family business will be placed in the collections Tweet embedSigned. This summer, a series of 7 photos of the Brethren of St. Peter. Łukasz and 4 fabrics from Mieczysław Szymański will go to Poland. pic.twitter.com/SXzNMlH5Vy
– Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (kultura_gov_pl) May 4, 2022
Earlier, the Minister told the correspondent of TVN “Fakt”: – These photos present the most important moments in the history of Poland related to our contribution – arguably – to the development of Western civilization. Meaning – in the development of political thought and democratic thought, including the thought of human rights and tolerance. It is the constitution of May 3, the Lublin Confederation, as well as the Warsaw Confederation, the defense of Vienna.
The exhibition was held under the slogan “Tomorrow’s World”.
US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt inaugurated the New York World’s Fair on April 30, 1939 and was to present a vision of social progress and technological development under the slogan “Tomorrow’s World”.
“The outbreak of World War II made it the last chord in the interwar period. The Polish Pavilion was built at an astonishing pace – in less than a year and a half” – read in the press release from the Ministry of Culture and National Legacy.
The paintings were one of the most interesting elements of the Polish pavilion
Their number is more than 11 thousand. The exhibition was to show pride in the cultural and economic achievements of the Second Polish Republic, but also to remind of the most important events in Polish history. One of the most interesting elements of the Polish Pavilion’s Honorary Hall program was the aforementioned series of seven paintings representing the centuries-old history of the Republic of Poland, focusing on showing its contribution to the development of Western civilization.
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This time-requiring commission was entrusted by the Polish government in 1938 to a group of 11 artists students from the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw, members of the Brotherhood of St. Luke, among them: Boleslaw Sipes, Bernard Friedrichiac, Jan Gottard, Alexander Gordzigowski, and Elias Kanarek , Jeremy Kubicki, Anthony Michalak, Stefan Plosanski, Janusz Podowski and Jan Zamoyski” – written in the information received from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Each panel has eleven co-authors
Brotherhood of St. Łukasza was founded in 1925. It was an art group focused on traditional figurative painting. The artists worked on the model of the Medieval Painters Guild. They used traditional painting techniques, referring to Dutch and Italian painting of the 16th and 17th centuries. Founded by Prof. Tadeusz Pruszkowski and his students, who created mainly historical compositions, genres and biblical scenes. They stood in opposition to the then prevailing avant-garde trends in art.
The painters who created the series of paintings for the New York Gallery were working under the direction of the professor. Pruszkowski in his workshop in Kazimierz in the Vistula.
“The uniqueness of the project stems from the fact that each painting, with 11 co-authors, is a collective artwork” – reported the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
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“Unia Lubelska” and “Relief of Vienna”
This “Teamwork” is a series of seven panels measuring 120 x 200 cm. Each presents important events in the history of Poland: “The meeting of Boleslav the Brave with Otto III at the tomb of St. Adalbert (1000)”, “Lithuanian acceptance of Christianity (1386)”, “The granting of the privilege of Jedlensko-Kraków (1430) ”, “The Lublin Union (1569) ) “,” Warsaw Confederation Resolution on Religious Freedom (1573) “,” Vienna Relief (1683) “and” Constitution of May 3 (1791)”.
The interior of the room was supplemented by four rugs titled “Jan III Sobieski” according to a design by Mieczysław Szymański, manufactured under the direction of Maria Łomnicka-Bujakowa by a team of embroiders from the “Inicjatywa” cooperative in Warsaw.
Since 1958, it has been presented in the university library
German aggression in September 1939 deprived the Polish wing of funding. Commissioner General of the Polish Exhibition, A. Stefan Robb sold some equipment. The largest number of objects found their way into the collection of the Polish Museum in Chicago. On the other hand, a set of seven paintings and four fabrics, designed by Szymański, has been deposited at Jesuit Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where it has been presented since 1958 at the local library, initially at Grewen Hall, and since 1981 – at the Noreen Reale Library Falcon.
– After 83 years, thanks to the hard work and perseverance of my colleagues, we were able to achieve that these photos will finally return to Poland – confirmed Deputy Prime Minister Gliński in an interview with the correspondent of TVN “Fakt”.
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Main image source: Twitter / @ Ministry of Culture and National Heritage