Documentation and library

Research project
History of Exhibitions at the Zachęta – Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions 1949-1970

History of Exhibitions at the Zachęta – Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions 1949-1970 is a research project (2014-2017) financed under the Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s National Programme for the Development of Humanities. Its main goals include drawing up a scholarly outline of the gallery’s history, rounding out the source base and, above all, making available in the public domain a part of a unique collection of documents, including exhibition photographs.

The institution’s history will be presented through a history of exhibitions, their reconstructions and reception in art criticism. The assumed research perspective reflects contemporary interest (pursued by ‘new museology’) in galleries’ exhibition policies, curatorial strategies and exhibition design techniques. One of the subjects of analysis is the CBWA’s exhibition chronology as an index of the institution’s exhibition policy but also an example of the development of a canon of postwar Polish art. A history of the exhibitions staged at Warsaw’s Zachęta gallery can also be considered as a starting point for redefining the geography of Polish art history, taking into account its local significance as well as the political circumstances of international cultural exchange during the People’s Poland era.

Publications related to the research project
  • Grafika obiektu:
    mediateka / books
  • Grafika obiektu: Interview with Bożena Kowalska conducted by Karolina Zychowicz (in Polish)
    mediateka / folders / Texts
    Interview with Bożena Kowalska conducted by Karolina Zychowicz (in Polish)
  • Grafika obiektu:
    mediateka / books
  • Grafika obiektu: Gizela Szancerowa – a forgotten (?) animator of Polish artistic life
    mediateka / folders / Texts
    Gizela Szancerowa – a forgotten (?) animator of Polish artistic life
  • 22.01 – 28.02.1951
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 20.06 – 21.07.1951
    Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945)
    Graphics, sculpture
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 22.08 – 10.09.1951
    Hanna Jasińska-Żuławska
    Ceramic detail in architecture
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 15.10 – 15.11.1951
    Exhibition of works by Soviet artists
    Painting, sculpture, graphics

    The "Exhibition of Works by Soviet Artists" in Zachęta CBWA was the first large official exhibition of Soviet art in the Polish People’s Republic and the second large exhibition of its kind in Warsaw. The first one was organised in the Second Republic of Poland , in a different historical reality, at the Warsaw Institute of Art Propaganda in March of 1933.

     

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 06.03 – 01.04.1952
    1st National Photographic Exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 06.03 – 06.04.1952
    Bronisław Kopczyński
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 17.03 – 15.04.1952
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 26.05 – 23.07.1952
    1st National Exhibition of Interior Design and Decorative Art

    The organisation of this exhibition (Ogólnopolska Wystawa Architektury Wnętrz, hereafter OWAW) — as well as the subsequent three editions of the National Art Exhibitions (starting in 1950) and the Universal Exhibition of Architecture in 1953 (n.b. almost all of them took place at Zachęta) — was a manifestation of the centralism typical of the Stalinist organisation of artistic life in Poland.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 14.08 – 20.09.1952
    Exhibition of Rumanian Art
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 08.03 – 27.04.1953
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 01.04 – 01.06.1953
    3rd National Photographic Exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 14.07 – 03.08.1953
    New Albania
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 02.09 – 01.10.1953
    Exhibition of Bulgarian folk art
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 09.12.1953 – 01.01.1954
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 06.02 – 05.03.1954
    Exhibition of works by progressive artists
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 27.03 – 01.04.1954
    Renato Guttuso
    Painting, drawing

    The exhibition of 46 works by Renato Guttuso (19111987), consisting of 30 paintings and 16 drawings, occupied two big rooms at Zachęta. A poster advertising the show reproduced one of the pieces, The Fighter, a strongly expressive work of art which brings to mind The Bomber (2004), the contemporary sculpture of Anna Baumgart. Guttuso was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Italy (since 1951), the World Peace Council, and a former partisan.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 01.01 – 28.02.1954
    Photogrpahy exhibition of Janina Mierzecka, Henryk Lisowski and Tadeusz Wański
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 26.04 – 01.05.1954
    Czechoslovakian Fine Arts from 19th and 20th century
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 26.04 – 01.05.1954
    4th National Photographic Exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 19.02 – 13.03.1955
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 20.05 – 12.06.1955
    5th Nationwide Photographs Exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 24.05 – 12.06.1955
    Otto Nagel. Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 02.02 – 20.02.1956
    Jan Cybis
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 25.02 – 31.03.1956
    Exhibition of graphics by artists from the German Federal Republic
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 27.02 – 21.03.1956
    Robert Hainard
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 02.05 – 27.05.1956
    Marian Dederko
    Works from 1916 to 1948
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 18.01 – 10.02.1957
    Katarzyna Kobro — Władysław Strzemiński
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 16.02 – 17.03.1957
    Belgian Art from 19th and 20th century
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 06.04 – 05.05.1957
    2nd Nationwide Interior Design Exhibition

    Compared to the first edition of the exhibition, the decision was made to place greater emphasis on taking up ‘problems of contemporary interior design, which aims to best meet the needs of the broad masses’

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 13.05 – 02.06.1957
    Zbigniew Pronaszko
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 06.06 – 20.06.1957
    Tymon Niesiołowski
    Paintings, graphics
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 25.06 – 14.07.1957
    Felicja Głowacka
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 25.09 – 12.10.1957
    Witold Dederko
    Photography
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 06.09 – 26.09.1957
    Zygmunt Waliszewski (1897-1936)
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 06.09 – 26.09.1957
    Jerzy Tchórzewski
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 12.11 – 25.11.1957
    Jadwiga Maziarska
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 18.11 – 05.12.1957
    Tadeusz Dominik
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 18.11 – 05.12.1957
    Halina Chrostowska
    Graphics
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 09.12.1957 – 06.01.1958
    American Graphic Art

    For the first time we have the opportunity to get more closely acquainted with drawings, prints and watercolours from the United States. Therefore, the exhibition in Zachętacrucially supplements our limited knowledge of the art of this country and provides us with the basis for making judgements, even if very fragmentary, as to its unique character, Ignacy Witz wrote in a review of the American Graphic Art exhibition, opened in the Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA) in December 1957.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 12.04 – 01.05.1958
    Maria Jarema
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 16.05 – 30.05.1958
    Hel Enri
    Paintings
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 31.07 – 31.08.1958
    Nikifor, Teofil Ociepka, Paweł Stolorz, Paweł Wróbel (painting), Leon Kudła (sculpture)

    Reviews of this exhibition from August 1958 highlighted the fact that it was an ‘artistic sensation of Warsaw’and that ‘Teofil Ociepka and two of his painter friends, Paweł Wróbel and Paweł Stolorz, truly became a revelation in Warsaw’.The first such an extensive exhibition of naïve — or non-professional — art at the CBWA .

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 05.09 – 26.09.1958
    Alfred Lenica
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 12.03 – 30.03.1959
    Photographs of Edward Hartwig
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 20.06 – 10.07.1960
    Ludomir Ślendziński
    Exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 20.06 – 10.07.1960
    Jacek Sempoliński. Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 14.11 – 30.11.1960
    Jerzy Dorys. Photographs
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 16.11 – 06.12.1960
    10th Nationwide Exhibition of Photography
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 16.11 – 06.12.1960
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 03.03 – 16.03.1961
    "My Warsaw". Witold Dederko
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 04.05 – 21.05.1961
    Exhibition of Contemporary Danish Art

    The exhibition, held under the auspices of the foreign ministers of both countries, was one of the comprehensive reviews of the art of a capitalistic country that rarely took place in the 1960s. Although the exhibition was a response to the show of Polish abstraction organised in Copenhagen in 1959, it did not limit itself (contrary to the title) to the latest art.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 19.09 – 30.10.1961
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 05.12 – 18.12.1961
    Exhibition of Jan Sunderland's photographs
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 03.02 – 15.03.1962
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 16.04 – 03.06.1962
    Polish graphic design for the 15th anniversary of the Polish People's Republic
    Advertising graphics exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 30.06 – 29.07.1962
    12th National Photographic Exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 06.09 – 30.09.1962
    Bronisław Kopczyński, Warsaw's painter.
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 11.09 – 30.09.1962
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 22.12.1962 – 02.01.1963
    Arika Madeyska
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 06.03 – 26.03.1963
    Jerzy Nowosielski. Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 14.06 – 04.07.1963
    Exhibition of Italian Design
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 15.09 – 25.09.1964
    Warsaw depicted in art
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 09.10 – 29.10.1964
    Forms — France
    Industry, Architecture, Urban Planning

    The exhibition at Zachęta was a big show of contemporary French architecture and the applied arts. Since the second half of the 1950s, cultural exchange between France and Poland had gradually intensified, which manifested itself in state-supported exhibitions. The curator of Forms was a famous interior and furniture designer, René Herbst, a co-founder of the French Union of Modern Artists (L’Union des artistes modernes, UAM) established in 1929, and from 1950 to 1966, head of Formes utiles, a UAM section dedicated to industrial design.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 08.03 – 28.03.1965
    Magdalena Abakanowicz
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 11.03 – 22.03.1965
    Witold Dederko. Photography
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 15.07 – 22.07.1965
    Exhibition of Eugeniusz Haneman's photographs
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 08.09 – 28.09.1965
    Warsaw
    Photography exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 08.09 – 28.09.1965
    Warsaw depicted in Art
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 16.09 – 25.09.1965
    Ewa Schwartz
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 09.10 – 28.10.1965
    Herbert Sandberg
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 09.10 – 28.10.1965
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 04.11 – 28.11.1965
    Egil Jacobsen. Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 09.11 – 05.12.1965
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 02.12.1965 – 02.01.1966
    Hanryk Stażewski
    Exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 10.01 – 30.01.1966
    Zbigniew Makowski
    Paintings and drawings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 10.01 – 30.01.1966
    Maria Anto
    Painting
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 05.04 – 24.04.1966
    Contemporary trends
    Paintings from the collection of Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven

    The author of the concept for the Contemporary Trends. Paintings from the Collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven exhibition, and its initiator, was Edy de Wilde (1919–2005). The opinions of this charismatic museologist left their mark on the character of the whole exhibition. De Wilde was the director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (1946–1963) and then of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1963–1985). Therefore, he presented works which he mostly bought for the museum collections himself.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 05.05 – 24.05.1966
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 12.05 – 06.06.1966
    Maksymilian Myszkowski
    Photography
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 09.01 – 31.01.1967
    Marian Bogusz. Exhibition
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 16.02 – 06.03.1967
    Teresa Byszewska
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 09.03 – 30.03.1967
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 11.05 – 31.05.1967
    Erna Rosenstein
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 07.07 – 30.07.1967
    Stefan Gierowski. Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 09.10 – 25.10.1967
    Exhibition of paintings and drawings by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939)

    The retrospective exhibition of Stanisław Witkiewicz, also known as Witkacy, which opened at Zachęta on 9 October 1967, featured 130 works by the artist, including 97 paintings and 33 drawings. Among the presented paintings, only 9 oil canvasses were showed alongside 88 pastel works.

     

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 08.01 – 28.01.1968
    Exhibition of "Tendenzen" Group from Munich
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 05.02 – 25.02.1968
    Pablo Picasso
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 05.03 – 24.03.1968
    Contemporary Italian Art
    100 Works from Futurism to the Present Day Depicting the Italian Contribution to European Avant-garde in the 20th Century

    Despite the protests that engulfed the streets of Warsaw on the 8 March 1968, the Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions presented the Unique Forms of Continuity in Space — a famous sculpture by Umberto Boccioni. The list of artists, whose works were presented at the Contemporary Italian Art. 100 Works from Futurism to the Present Day exhibition featured numerous artists, including Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, Giorgio de Chirico, Enrico Prampolini, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Michelangelo Pistoletto, as well as American artist Cy Twombly, who lived in Rome at the time.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 02.04 – 21.04.1968
    Danish Contemporary Art

    Contrary to the large Danish art exhibition organised by the Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions in 1961, this exhibition covered only the works of the young generation of Danish artists. Its context, as well as the source and authorship of the concept remain elusive.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 30.04 – 19.05.1968
    André Beaudin
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 16.05 – 03.06.1968
    Alicja Halicka
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 12.11 – 03.12.1968
    Jan Tarasin. Paintings, drawings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 12.11 – 03.12.1968
    1968 Exhibition of Contemporary French Painting

    In the introduction to the catalogue of the 1968 Exhibition of Contemporary French Painting, deputy commissioner Maurice Allemand stated ‘We hope that the collection of works represented here will not be a source of disappointment’. By reviewing the press mentions regarding the exhibition, one may come to the conclusion that the reality did not live up to his expectations.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 10.01 – 02.02.1969
    Maria Ewa Łunkiewicz-Rogoyska (1895–1967)
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 10.01 – 02.02.1969
    Tadeusz Dominik
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 10.04 – 05.05.1969
    Jerzy Tchórzewski
    Paintings
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 12.05 – 28.05.1969
    Polish Applied Arts
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 19.09 – 09.10.1969
    25 Years of the Polish People's Republic in Photography

    In the 1960s, photo exhibitions at the Zachęta CBWA became more and more frequent. Interest in photography stemmed not only from an increasing artistic emancipation of this newmedium, which began to occupy an important place in the modernist artistic practice and reflection on the visual arts, but also its educational and propaganda potential.

     

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 19.09 – 10.10.1969
    Warsaw 1945 in the photography of Leonard Sempoliński

    1969 saw two simultaneous exhibitions, held from 19 September to 10 October. The first was titled 25 Years of the Polish People’s Republic in Photography, while the second was the exhibition in question — Warsaw 1945 in the Photography of Leonard Sempoliński. Both exhibitions were later showcased outside Warsaw and widely commented on in the national papers.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 20.10 – 09.11.1969
    Russian art sice 13th century until present day
    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA
  • 17.01 – 02.02.1970
    Photographs of Edward Hartwig
    Galeria KordegardaGaleria Kordegarda
  • 21.02 – 20.03.1977
    Oskar Hansen, Bohdan Urbanowicz
    Polish Participation in the 37th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

    ‘Representative exhibitions of Polish art, sent abroad, should be shown after returning home. The discussion will help the artists, and it will be useful to the exhibition organisers in their work — being a specific kind of social control in relation to the important period in the artist’s life that is today’s cultural exchange’.

    Zachęta Central Bureau of Art Exhibitions (CBWA)CBWA

Digitization of posters within the research project "History of Exhibitions at the Zachęta – Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions 1949-1970" is made possible thanks to the Muzeum of History of Photography in Cracow
MHF