13.05.2017 Events, History, Visual Arts

Poland Regained: Polish Posters from the 1890s to the 1930s

Exhibit of posters from the interwar Poland 2017 EU Open House in the Embassy of Republic of Poland in Washington DC

Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C.
2640 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Poland Regained is a visual link to the centennial celebrations of Poland recovering independence in 1918. The posters featured were made between 1892 and 1939: after the 123-year period of the so-called Partitions (1795-1918), when Poland was gone from the map of Europe, and during the 20 years of its existence as an independent state up until the outbreak of World War II.

These pieces – which bring us closer to long-ago Poland through its charming nooks and crannies such as the Ojców and Ciechocinek health resorts – include posters promoting domestic sports and overseas tourism, both growing by leaps and bounds at the time. The young state was shaped thanks to the dedication of Polish society, with citizens actively joining in charity fundraisers, purchasing bonds, supporting the creation the army, and celebrating free access to the sea. Another part of our national identity are the events of September 1939, when the Nazi Germans invaded Poland, setting off the Second World War. The posters in this exhibition tell us all these stories in a unique language, created thanks to collaborations between outstanding painters and graphic designers, including WBodzimierz Tetmajer, Wojciech Kossak, Bogdan Nowakowski, and Zygmunt Glinicki.

These posters are found in the collections of the Poster Museum in Warsaw’s Wilanów district – the oldest museum of its type in the world, opened in 1968. The campus of the Poster Museum, incorporated into the grounds of King John III Sobieski’s country palace, is an archetypal example of Polish modernism.

The exhibit is organized in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

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