Olga Boznańska in Warsaw

Portrait by Olga Boznańska

Portrait by Boznańska

A new temporary exhibition at the National Museum in Warsaw is fascinating for several reasons. It is the first such comprehensive display of Olga Boznańska’s paintings staged by the museum. Her art is shown in a broader international context of artwork by foreign artists who influenced her work or were inspired by her. In addition to Boznańska’s 150 paintings, the exhibition also features a collection of a few dozen photographs, sketchbooks and a special space arranged with original objects from the artist’s studio. Last but not least, the event is the result of successful collaboration between the National Museums in Warsaw and Kraków, the two principal art institutions in Poland which seem to have finally overcome their long-standing rivalry; this began with last year’s exhibition dedicated to the Gierymski brothers. The museums are now making a concerted effort to promote Poland’s artistic heritage. Olga Boznańska (1865-1940) occupies an exceptional place in the history of Polish art. She was one of the first Polish professional artists who was active and recognised internationally. She lived in Kraków, Münich and Paris, had clients from various countries, displayed her work in numerous European cities as well as in America, received awards and was a member of both Polish and international artistic associations. She dedicated her life to paining, predominantly portraits. She left just a few still lifes and never painted landscapes in the open air. The only outdoor scenes she ever depicted showed views from her studio window. Professor Wiesław Juszczak wrote that Boznańska often, “used impressionistic techniques to achieve expressionistic effects”. The exhibition can be seen up until 2 May 2015. It is accompanied by a variety of events, including lectures and talks, film screenings and workshops for children. A significant portion of the accompanying activities is available for people with disabilities. Agnieszka Morawińska, director of the National Museum in Warsaw, expects the exhibition to attract 100,000 visitors.
Polskie Radio Dwójka

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