See our NEW poster project --- new poster project information
The Poster Project originated with an idea by President Deborah Majka to have Polish posters exhibited at the 1996 ACPC Convention in Minneapolis, MN. Fifteen posters were selected from collections belonging to Iga Majewska-Trzcinski (8) and Peter Obst (7) these were framed and appropriate heavy duty packaging provided for long distance shipping. Later a display frame with miniature posters, showing the development of Polish poster art, was added. The posters proved to be popular at the convention and a number of affiliates inquired about exhibiting them in their areas. In the recent past the posters were exhibited at the following locations during the months:
- April 1997 - Youngstown, Ohio
Polish Arts Club of Ohio
- May 1997 - National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
- June 1997 - Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Fairless Hills, PA
Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia
- October 1997 - Ewing Township, NJ
Polish Arts Club of Trenton
- Sept.- Oct. 1998 - Chicago, Illinois
Polish American Congress
- Oct.- Nov. 1999 - Bloomington, IN - Indiana University
exhibit entitled "Behind the Iron Curtain"
- also in Boston, MA; Hartford, CT; Washington, DC (Pope John Paul II Center); Washington, DC (primary school international day)
- at the 2005 ACPC Convention in Philadelphia, and during the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia Chopin Concert at Drexel University
During the last decade interest in posters produced by Polish artists has grown tremendously. Indeed, they have become highly prized by collectors in the United States, and around the world. Spanning the range from the humorous and clever, to the grotesque and shocking, these works impress even the casual viewer with their uncanny ability to present an idea in a dramatic way.
For almost 100 years the wall poster had been a common way of relaying information. But in Poland it attracted the interest of serious artists who, following in the footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec, gave it a depth then unseen in the graphic arts. After World War II the medium was pressed into the service of the new socialist state, but artists soon discovered that they could use it to convey veiled protest and views out of line with official policy.
Ironically, the arrival of democracy and privatization has dealt a blow to poster art in Poland. The state industries, institutions and performing groups who traditionally commissioned posters have cut back, or even eliminated their budgets for poster promotion, preferring instead the print and television media. This has caused many of the artists to concentrate on less exuberant commercial art in the growing magazine industry.
This exhibit consists of representative posters from the 1980s and early 1990s and was originally assembled to be presented at the annual convention of the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) in 1996. Intended for one showing, the posters were borrowed from collections belonging to artist Iga Majewska and writer/journalist Peter Obst. The exhibit, however, has proved so popular that it is being toured around the United States under the sponsorship of ACPC affiliate groups.
Born in 1949. Graduate of the School of Applied Arts in Kaunas, Lithuania. Studied at the Art Institute of Vilno, Lithuania. Third Prize, 16th International Ex Libris Congress in Lisbon, 1976. Bronze Medal, 1982, International Book Art Exhibit, Leipzig. Grand Prix, Children's Book Contest, Barcelona, 1986. Grand Prix, Second World Poster Salon, Paris, 1987. The featured poster is for a theatrical production entitled Animal-Man-Phantom poster from the 1990s.Jan Mlodozeniec
Born in Warsaw in 1929. Graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. Illustrator, typographer, and designer. Member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. Winner of Second Prize, International Poster Exhibition, Vienna, 1955. Silver Medal Winner, Leipzig, 1955. Winner, Commercial Art Biennale, Brno, 1966. Silver Medal, International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, 1980. Gold Medal, Fifth International Poster Biennale, Lahti, 1983. The featured poster was used to advertise a museum exhibit entitled Utilitarian Fantasies from the 1950s, a retrospective of images from the time of "building socialism" in Poland.Rafal Olbinski
Born in 1945. Emigrated to the United States in 1981. Graduate of the Architecture Department of the Warsaw Polytechnic. Recipient of more than 100 awards for his illustrations and paintings, including Gold and Silver Medals, Society of Illustrators, and Gold Medal, Art Directors' Club of New York. Designer of covers for leading magazines such as Newsweek, Time, Business Week, Fortune, and The Atlantic Monthly. Numerous one man exhibitions of paintings. His work can be found in many collections including the Library of Congress and the Carnegie Foundation. Winner of the competition for New York City Capital of the World Poster in 1995. Professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The featured poster is from Jazz Jamboree '90 Jazz Jamboree '90, a musical event.Andrzej Pagowski
Born in Warsaw in 1953. Studied at the Poznan Academy of Fine Arts with Professor Waldemar Swierzy. Bronze Medal Winner, the Biennale, Brno. Winner, Munich Fasching Competition. Hollywood Reporter Award, Los Angeles, 1986. His lively style pushes the limits for conveying a message through the poster medium. This is quite evident in the featured posters: Cigarettes are for Buttheads (anti-smoking), His Majesty's Deserters (film), Kill Me Copper (film), Richard III (theatrical), A Short Film About Love (film).Wiktor Sadowski
Born in 1956. One of younger Polish artists. Became well-known after winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Biennale. Has a style, reminiscent of 17th-century Flemish painters, praised in Poland and abroad. Among his credits are: Zbrodnia i Kara (Crime and Punishment) a theater poster for a production of the Dostoyevsky novel; My Fair Lady commissioned for a production in Germany; Ghosts, for the performance of the Ibsen play in Baltimore; and Last Year in Marienbad, for the movie by that name. The featured poster is for The Public, a theatrical production.Franciszek Starowieyski
Born in Krakow in 1930. Graduated from Krakow and Warsaw Academies of Fine Arts. Designer and draftsman for stage and commercial art. Silver Medal, International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, 1974. Second Prize The Annual Key Award, Los Angeles, 1976. Grand Prix International Film Festival, Paris and Cannes, 1976. Hollywood Reporter Award, 1975 and 1977. Second Prize, International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, 1978. The featured poster is a German language poster for Jean Genet.Waldemar Swierzy
Born in 1931. Most prolific of all the poster artists of the prewar generation. Graduate of the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts. Winner of numerous prizes. His style has been copied by many others. Among his credits is the anti-war poster Coz ty za Pani ... (What a Lady ...) created for a Polish film. He is a professor of graphic design in Katowice, also teaching illustration, stage design, display design, and poster art. The featured poster is for a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The magical twilight mood of the play is presented through the use of bold shadings of blue and grey.Wieslaw Walkuski
Born in 1956. Graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. Hollywood Reporter Awards, Los Angeles, 1985, 1986. Second prize International Poster Biennale, Mexico City, 1991. His posters often use suggestive imagery combined with a realistic painting style to convey the message. Featured posters: The Phantom of Liberty (film), They Shoot Horses,Don't They? (film), Puppeteers' Convention '89 (convention), The Mother of the Kings (film)