Zofia Stryjeńska lithographs to be returned to Poland

Zofia Stryjeńska lithographs to be returned to Poland

Lithographs by top inter-war painter Zofia Stryjeńska are to be returned from the US to the National Museum in Krakow after being bought by an American couple for just 110 dollars. 

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photo – PAP/Polish Embassy

The six works, donated by art collectors Dan and Louise Runion, were handed over to the Polish ambassador in the United States Ryszard Schnepf on Wednesday.

The lithographs, probably dating from the late 1930s, by Zofia Stryjeńska – who died in 1976 and was known as the ‚Queen of Polish painting’ – were picked up at an auction in the Runion’s home state of Maryland two years ago.

“We go to a lot of auctions and one of the [lithographs] caught my attention and luckily I managed to buy the set,” said Dan Runion.

The couple had no idea that what they had bought were works by one of Poland’s top 20th century artists, but with help from long-time friend, Polish-American Anetta Grabowska, and long hours searching on the internet, they finally came to the conclusion that these lithographs were in fact by Stryjeńska.

“Anetta told me that these works were part of Polish heritage. And when I saw the excitement and emotion on her face, I decided then that they had to go home,” Louise Runion the PAP news agency.

The Polish Ambassador in Washington, Ryszard Schnepf, said Poland was extremely grateful for what he described as „a wonderful gesture”.

After being born in Krakow in 1891, Zofia Stryjeńska rose to prominence on the Polish art scene as part of the so-called ‚rhythm’ movement.

When the communists took over Poland after WW II, Stryjeńska decided to emigrate and after brief periods in Paris and Brussels, she finally settled in Switzerland where she lived till 1976.

In 2011, Stryjeńska was the subject of a 2 zloty commemorative coin issued by the National Bank of Poland.

(pg/mk)

Categories: News in English

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