The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- July 14, 1892
    To the Polish Artists and Literati in America (Forwarded) United States of America, May, 1892

    We request all the Polish newspapers in America to print this reply:

    The Paderewskis, Modrzejewskis, Rzeszkows, Mierzwinskis, H. Wieniawski, Zimaje, little Hoffman and others have gained a great name for Polish art on this side of the ocean. Profiting, therefore, from such a good start, an attempt should be made to stabilize and develop this laudatory opinion, especially since from it not only moral but also material benefit could be gained for our artists and literati as well as for the entire nation.

    Today, beyond those few above-mentioned names, the Americans have little or no knowledge whatsoever either of our art or even less of our literature. It is only is the last two years that the translation of With Fire and Sword made its appearance, and that of The Deluge appeared only this year. In reference to 2painting, the only representatives here thus far are Chelminski and Wierusz Kowalski, who were in some way successful in gaining the good will of this wealthy country. These fires are sufficiently popular here, and we see their pictures not only in trade but at nearly every exhibition--but the fame of our brush also ends with them. Relative to sculpture, this was at one time represented by the able and productive artist, Dmochowski, but was hidden under an alien, not Polish, name. At any rate, this is ancient history because thirty years have elapsed since his death. Comparatively speaking we have a greater number of musical representatives because besides those listed at the beginning, we also have here the Kontskis, Niedzielskis; Lamberts, d'Ernests, Levs, Oborskis, Jakubowskis, Strzoleckis, Zadors, and perhaps a half dozen others, of mediocre caliber but useful working artists. Moreover, the memory of Chopin lives here, his compositions are heard at every step, but only a handful know that this genius also was born from the Polish spirit.

    This situation cannot continue, it should not. A beginning has already been made, it is necessary to go forward. If we were not to profit from the situation today, it would be a punitive negligence especially since the Fair is coming. It is 3necessary, therefore, to acquaint the Americans more intimately with our literature and art, as well as with the circumstances of our spiritual production, which would assure us a new and yet wide and profitable market plus the additional understanding of the American people.

    This task could be best accomplished today by forming a publishing syndicate for the purpose of translating, as well as an agency for the Polish arts and English articles, an agency which would handle only our finest literary productions, and one where in illustrated form, our finest artistic products could be shown, thus to present our literature and art in that way to the strangers from the most profitable angle.

    In the meantime we propose the publication of an illustrated monthly on the pattern of other local publications of that nature. The preparatory work has already progressed so far that the first edition may even appear during this year. It is hoped that the periodical will be well patronized by our readers. According to reports that have been gathered, it is expected that a favorable reception will 4be accorded to this periodical.

    The services which it could render to our arts and artists, as well as to our national cause, which it will explain and defend, are so evident that every educated and Polish-spirited citizen will comprehend it so easily that is is unnecessary to discuss these matters any further. At any rate, another reply explains this.

    We also count upon the ardent civic assistance of our literati and artists, especially because we are starting our work not for any personal gain but for the general welfare and we expect to repay every bit of help according to our strength. We ask, therefore, for a more detailed explanation from the person who simply signs himself as F.A. Koziell, 745-141 Street, New York, H.Y.

    We will only say here that literary creations as well as educational ones are desired, ones which would acquaint a stranger with our country and customs, with our spiritual and intellectual present and past developments, with our civilizing work, with our history and present political and social status--with our literature and 5arts, with our literati, our people of education and our artists. The illustrations are to be in the same category. We ask that literary productions be written in Polish and the editorial department will endeavor to obtain a most careful translation.

    Experienced translators are greatly desired, even if it was necessary to polish their style.

    We also request all interested persons to communicate with us and to spread this information to others, especially to those in dramatic and literary circles, since because of lack of addresses and time we cannot make individual invitations.

    All reports will be confidential.


    We request all the Polish newspapers in America to print this reply: The Paderewskis, Modrzejewskis, Rzeszkows, Mierzwinskis, H. Wieniawski, Zimaje, little Hoffman and others have gained a great name for ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- October 05, 1892
    Polish Fine Art Exhibit Company Organized

    The Polish Fine Art Exhibit Company was incorporated yesterday at Springfield. This new Polish enterprise has a stock value of $10,000. The in-corporators are Thaddeus Wild, Casimir Sawicki, S. F. Adalia Sathlecki, and others.

    The purpose of this organization is to form a Polish artists' group which will display Polish art at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, and if it is at all possible, to maintain a permanent Polish art salon in Chicago.

    The Polish Fine Art Exhibit Company was incorporated yesterday at Springfield. This new Polish enterprise has a stock value of $10,000. The in-corporators are Thaddeus Wild, Casimir Sawicki, S. F. ...

    II A 3 c
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- December 01, 1892
    Polish Fine Arts Exhibit Company Appeals to All Polish Artists and Sculptors in America and Abroad

    The undersigned have organized a stock company, Polskiego Towarzystwa Wystawy Sztuk Pieknych W Chicago (Polish Fine Arts Exhibit Company), incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois at ten thousand dollars. Its aims are as follows:

    1. To centralize the efforts of our artists and sculptors for the purpose of securing a separate place at the Columbian Exposition, to be held in Chicago next year, where a collection of Polish art can be on display.

    2. To mediate in receiving, placing, returning or selling various works of art.

    3. To institute a permanent independent salon in Chicago, where the art 2collection displayed at the World's Fair will have a place, and eventually, during the course of existence, to reclaim and sell at the highest prices on the American market the finest pieces of Polish painting and sculpture.

    The first of these aims came to realization when the undersigned received the assurance of the World's Fair administration that a separate place in the Palace of Fine Arts has been allocated to Polish art and sculpture. The finest works will be displayed, so as to afford the best advantages to the artist or sculptor. Artists should send in their entries as soon as possible; the deadline is set for May 1,1893. It is stipulated that recommendation for exhibition in Chicago by the Polish masters will be sufficient for qualification, and the works submitted will receive the greatest consideration. It is suggested that the Polish artists abroad form committees in the principal cities of their residence, Warsaw, Cracow, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Monaco, and have these committees select the best works for display at the Chicago fair; their decisions should be sent in writing to Chicago.


    The undersigned also wish to add that the Company will undertake the representation of Polish artists and facilitate relations with the World's Fair administration, especially with Mr. Ives, director of art; medals and awards will be handled, and various other services will be performed. If the Polish artists who participate in the exhibit wish to choose someone to represent them, their representative will be welcomed and will be accorded the finest hospitality.

    As to the realization of the other aims the undersigned have made the following provisions: it is desired to open a separate salon during the course of the fair where, if the number of worthy entries is too great for display at the Polish section in the Fine Arts Palace, Polish works can be exhibited. Without doubt many guests and art connoisseurs will come to Chicago during the fair; therefore, those desirous of seeing or purchasing Polish art will have a better opportunity than ever before.


    The following stipend will be charged: 10 per cent for selling art pieces on exhibit at the fair, 15 per cent for selling objects of art from the above-mentioned salon, 8 per cent for exhibiting entries at the salon, 5 per cent for displaying objects for sale at the fair, in the event they are not sold and are returned to the owner. The packing charges and risk must be borne by the owners.

    The transportation charges and taxes will be paid by the Polish Fine Arts Exhibit Company, provided that the pictures are sent without frames and valued at not more than a thousand dollars. The charges for handling the entries will be collected upon their arrival or sale, or not longer than two months after the close of the Columbian Exposition, or six months after having them displayed in the salon. Entries should be addressed direct "in bond" to the customhouse in Chicago. Those intended for the fair should be marked "For the Columbian Exposition." Frames will be supplied here in order to avoid higher express charges and taxes. Their cost will be defrayed by the Company. In 5the event that an artist desires to send his painting framed he should arrange to pay for the cost of transportation and taxes himself.

    Further particulars will appear in detail in circulars which will be distributed. Meanwhile it is urged that all Polish artists make arrangements for sending their choice works and notifying the undersigned of their plans. The deadline for exhibits at the Columbian Exposition is definitely set for May 1, 1893.

    It is hoped that all Polish artists will support this enterprise and will exert every effort to have a cross section of Polish art on exhibit at the Chicago fair. This will be their only opportunity to have their works on display, and it should not be overlooked. It is also hoped that those of the great Polish artists who wish to display something they have already sold will make arrangements with the purchasers to have this work on public view at the Fine 6Arts Palace in Chicago. It is only through this medium that the great Polish works can come to the attention not only of the Polish people but of the general public. In this way Polish genius will never die.

    Letters should be addressed to Mr. Adalia Satalecki, 186 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois, U. S. A.

    Chicago, November 26, 1892.


    S. F. Adalia Satalecki,

    Maximilian Drzymala,

    Casimir Sawicki,

    Sigismund Rogalski,

    Henry Lubienski.

    The undersigned have organized a stock company, Polskiego Towarzystwa Wystawy Sztuk Pieknych W Chicago (Polish Fine Arts Exhibit Company), incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois at ten ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- December 17, 1892
    Polish Art Works to Be Shown in Chicago

    Even if the proposed plans of the Polish Fine Arts Exhibit Company do not materialize, the work of Polish artists will be on display in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition.

    The following news has reached our office:

    An outstanding American art collector arrived in Warsaw a few weeks age, and went to the New World Art Salon, stating that he was ready to deposit 15,000 Austrian crowns in the national bank as security, for which he would receive an equal value in Polish works of art. This collector plans to exhibit these works of art at the Chicago Fair and offer them for sale. The Salon called together all the leading Polish artists to discuss the matter. Shortly afterwards the artists agreed to the American's proposition.

    He then left for Cracow, where he was to present the same plan. If he completes 2the arrangements, as is highly possible, he plans to open a salon of Polish art in Chicago.

    Additional details will be published as soon as news of further developments reaches our office. In the meantime we can say that the outlook is promising.

    Even if the proposed plans of the Polish Fine Arts Exhibit Company do not materialize, the work of Polish artists will be on display in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition. ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- May 29, 1893
    [Polish Artist] (Advertisement) Julian Rys Polish Artist 458 Milwaukee Avenue

    (Formerly a member of the Academy of Fine Arts at Cracow and Vienna, paints portraits in oils from life or from photographs; also religious pictures and landscapes.)

    "I have been recognized in Poland, and I therefore recommend myself to my countrymen here, and to the clergy.

    "Upon request, I give instruction in drawing and painting. I also do every kind of artistic work, including vignettes, and the retouching of photographs in oils or water colors, at moderate prices."

    (Formerly a member of the Academy of Fine Arts at Cracow and Vienna, paints portraits in oils from life or from photographs; also religious pictures and landscapes.) "I have been ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- July 17, 1893
    [Poles Decorate Pulaski Hall's Stage]

    The work of beautifying the stage at Pulaski Hall progresses daily. The well-known painter B. Markiewicz has been working for some time on decorations and drops, and some of his work deserves special mention. The stage of Pulaski Hall has two drops, the first of which is devoted to advertisements of local merchants, with a mythological picture in the center. The second, now nearing completion, has upon it a very good reproduction of Moniuszko's "Rejtan." Eight scenes comprise the completed picture: The market place in Cracow, a smithy and pastoral scene, a park and fountain, a forest scene, a landscape with windmills, a road scene with a city in the distance, a castle armory,and a cottage near the gates of an ancient castle or prison. All of these scenes are beautifully and faithfully reproduced.

    The work of beautifying the stage at Pulaski Hall progresses daily. The well-known painter B. Markiewicz has been working for some time on decorations and drops, and some of his ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- August 05, 1893
    Lecture of Polish Art Given Polish Art Section Inaugurated

    Yesterday should be long remembered by Chicago Poles. The day was marked by two noteworthy occurrences, two important manifestations that give proof of our national vigor.

    The lecture on Polish art was given yesterday at the Memorial Art Palace on the lake front; the Polish Art Section was also inaugurated yesterday at the Fine Arts Palace in Jackson Park.

    The lecture was delivered in Hall number three at the Memorial Art Palace. The rather small hall was filled to capacity, and among the audience a great many Poles were to be found. The lecture was prepared by Mr. M. Zmigrodzki and delivered by M. Drzemala. The text of the lecture will appear in 2Monday's issue. It was carefully prepared and presented a clear outline of the history of our art, past and present. The lecturer concluded by emphasizing that we have risen to our present cultural level in spite of political oppression. In general, the lecture held the attention of the audience and was applauded vigorously at its conclusion.

    The lecture itself was admirably illustrated by numerous reproductions of the more important works of our masters, which were used by the speaker as examples. After he had finished, these specimens were circulated among the audience. "Torches of Nero," "Rejtan," "Union," and especially the three Grottger Cycles attracted general attention and called forth numerous questions, which were willingly answered by the Poles who were present. The most important paintings were explained by Mr. Zmigrodzki. Grottger's martyrological cycle of our nation was particularly appreciated.


    In a word, the lecture was successful. It served once again to bring our cause to general attention, it demonstrated our cultural level, and it retraced the injustices which we have suffered.

    Most of those who attended the lecture were present at the inauguration of a Polish Art Section at the Palace of Fine Arts in Jackson Park. The program began at 4:15, in Hall number sixty-two. The little hall was filled mostly with Poles, but a number of Americans, newspaper reporters, etc. were present. The program was opened with a speech in English by Peter Kiolbassa. He explained the purpose of the gathering and pointed out the reasons for the comparatively small number of Polish paintings exhibited. He spoke of political conditions in Poland, conditions which barely permitted our artists to exhibit their work as Poles at the World's Fair. Finally, he called the attention of those present to three paintings by Malczewski--"Death Of An Exiled Woman," symbolizing Polish martyrdom; "Jadwiga," symbolizing our 4spiritual strength; and "Wernyhora," prophesying the resurrection of Poland. These paintings appeal directly to our hearts, and to the hearts of all peoples; in any case, these and other works prove definitely that we work and progress despite political oppression.

    After this beautiful address, which was applauded enthusiastically, the gathering moved to the gallery on the second floor, at Mr. Kiolbassa's request. The next speaker, M. Drzemala, spoke on the significance of this first exhibit of Polish art in America. He called attention to the good points in the works of our artists, and to the fact that these paintings are our only representation at the Fair and that they remind people from all corners of the world of the name of Poland. In conclusion, he acknowledged the noble American hospitality, which permits us to take our place beside other nations despite political conditions in Europe.


    Professor Dunikowski spoke next in the name of the visitors from Poland, expressing his joy at being able to view the work of Polish genius at the Exposition. "In view of our presence here and our efforts", he said, "Poland is not lost--nor will it be lost!" ("Polska Nie Zginela--i Nie Zginie!")

    Mr. Basset, one of the directors of the Exposition's congresses, expressed himself sympathetically on the activity of the Poles and on our art in particular.

    The last Polish address was made by H. Nagiel, who said that it was a joy to see Polish paintings exhibited under the same roof with the artistic accomplishments of all other nations, that our Polish tongue, resounding through these halls, protests against the political oblivion to which we have been doomed. After calling attention to a few of the paintings exhibited, the speaker concluded by paying homage to the Stars and Stripes, under the 6protection of which we may participate in this Exposition--as Poles. All of the addresses were generously applauded. Mr. Nagiel's speech closed the inauguration program. After viewing the exhibit, the invited guests proceeded to the Polish restaurant, where the Committee of 101 had prepared a modest reception. A few hours were spent thus in pleasant companionship over a glass of wine.

    The inauguration was eminently successful; everyone was satisfied and happy. All sections of Chicago's Polonia were numerously represented by their more important citizens. The Polish clergy was represented by the Reverends J. Barzynski, A. Nowicki, F. Lange, and E. Siedlaczek. Most of the visitors from Poland who are in Chicago were also present. Representatives of both Zwiazek (Polish National Alliance) and n (Polish Roman Catholic Union) attended; in fact, all parties and factions were represented.

    A majority of today's American newspapers have made favorable comments on the inauguration.

    Yesterday should be long remembered by Chicago Poles. The day was marked by two noteworthy occurrences, two important manifestations that give proof of our national vigor. The lecture on Polish ...

    II B 2 g, II A 3 a, II A 3 c, III B 2, III H, III C, IV
  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- August 08, 1893
    Polish Art (Lecture prepared by M. Zmigrodzki and delivered by M. Drzemala at the Memorial Arts Palace in Chicago on August 4, 1893.)

    Only in comparatively recent times has Polish painting achieved its honorable place beside the art of other nations of the world. However, it has developed so richly, it has acquired such distinctive characteristics, that today it occupies its own individual place in the field of European art.

    Painting in Poland, as in the rest of Europe, began in the Middle Ages; painters' guilds appeared in Cracow and in other cities, and a great many paintings were found in old castles and churches.

    In the Middle Ages, painting went hand in hand with sculpture. The 2works of Wit Stworz (called Veit Stoss by the Germans) are a good example of fifteenth-century Polish sculpture. His most important works, as, the three-story statue, "Ascension of the Holy Virgin," are to be found in the churches of Cracow.

    With the collapse of the guilds, art also collapsed; it had to follow different paths, it had to be taken in other hands. Art remained dormant in Poland until Stanislaus Augustus [late eighteenth century] began to encourage artists, at whose head was Baciarelli of Italy, to gather at his court. At this time, we find a number of Polish artists, who were either independent or followed Baciarelli's lead. Such were Letycki, the religious painter, Czechowicz, Orlowski, the painter of battle scenes, and Francis Smuglewicz, who was later to become professor of painting at the University of Wilno. Rustem, successor to Smuglewicz at the University, was one of his more famous pupils, and he, in his turn, left such pupils 3behind him as Wankowicz, Rusiecki, and others. The development of this school of art came to an abrupt end when the Russian government closed the University of Wilno in 1830. The constant military activity in Warsaw prevented any organized artistic effort there, but individual Artists were at work. Such was Lesser, whose figures speak more eloquently by their grouping and gestures than by their facial expressions. Among these were also the portrait artist, Kaniowski, who spent some time at the court of Gregory XVI, and Hadziewicz, a painter of religious subjects. Suchodolski painted oriental scenes after spending some time at the [Turkish] Sultan's Court. At this time, there were two women painters, Mesdames Baumann and Szymanowska.

    Only in Cracow, which enjoyed comparative peace, can we follow the development of art systematically. Already in 1780, a school of painting was established at the Jagellonian University. In 1818, there were three art schools at this institution: drawing, painting, and sculpture. At 4the head of this movement was Brodowski, an intimate friend of Thorwaldsen [Danish sculptor, 1770-1844], and well known in the artistic world. In 1830, a school of anatomy arose at this university, at the head of which was Stattler, famous for having been awarded a medal in Paris for his biblical painting entitled "Machabeusz". With him, it must be noted, the Cracow school of art really came into existence. He not only introduced nature study, but he was a pedant who worked his pupils for unusually long hours at still-life subjects. When it came to working from models, he lost all track of time. It is said that a certain young boy posed for nine months, and that eventually the pupils had to give up the study they were making of him because he had grown too much. Though Stattler conducted the school on very severe lines, he encouraged students not only in painting but in scientific work.

    In 1850, Luszczkiewicz, of Cracow, and Gerson, of Warsaw, whose work is characterized by archaeological accuracy, appear. Several of Gerson's 5paintings are now on exhibit at the Exposition. Gerson, Lesser, and Luszczkiewicz awakened a lively interest in archaeological studies. In 1853, the work entitled "Reproductions from Medieval Art" appears, in which are reproduced the most beautiful of our medieval art treasures. An association was formed for the purpose of encouraging the fine arts by conducting a perpetual exhibit. In the same year, the first exhibit of old masters was held in Cracow. All of the wealthy families donated the paintings in their possession and in this way a gallery was created which represents great works of art from the Italian masters to the present day. Of what importance this was to our art, gentlemen, you will understand only after you have learned that in Poland we can have no public galleries, or rather, strictly speaking, that we wish to have no public galleries, for the past has given us painful lessons concerning collections of art treasures. Every collection we have made in the past has been confiscated and removed to Russian cities. The Zaluski Library, one of the largest of its kind at the end of the eighteenth century, was 6removed to St. Petersburg. The Pulawa Collection of Prince Adam Czartoryski was partly taken to St. Petersburg and partly buried in the ground. Only after many years were these treasures unearthed and smuggled to Cracow, where they are now lodged in the private museum of Prince Ladislaus Czartoryski. The library and art collection at the University of Wilno were taken to Moscow and St. Petersburg; the Krzemienski Library, the Lyceum, purchased after the fall of Stanislaus Augustus, Poland's last king, with its whole collection of treasures, was removed partly to Kiev and partly to St. Petersburg. In recent times, at least fifty thousand volumes have been removed to St. Petersburg from the Warsaw Library. After such experiences, no one in Poland has the courage to open a public museum. It is fifteen years since the National Museum in Cracow was opened, but except for a few of the more beautiful items, few people will entrust their art treasures to the Museum's care, for the country's future is too uncertain. Whoever has anything beautiful keeps it privately. Taking these conditions into consideration, gentlemen, you 7can readily understand the tremendous importance of the 1853 exhibit, which was repeated in Cracow ten years ago.

    A love for the relics of the past already existed; aesthetic desires were awakened, and an artistic technique existed--there was still a need for a genius who would join them together. At the Cracow School of Painting, a young boy who found his greatest pleasure in copying historical illustrations, was studying diligently. When Jan Matejko entered the school, many of his parents' friends advised that he give up this work, in which he could never gain anything. But the youngster was allowed to study art. It seemed as if the predictions made to his parents would come true, when, after eight years of painting, his work was not recognized--his first painting, "Zolkiewski Leading the Szujskis," was bought by a fisherman. His second painting he gave to Muczkowski, director of the library, for which he was given full library privileges. In 1859 he went to Monaco, where he spent eight months. He spent two months in Vienna, in constant 8disagreement with his professors. During this time, he completed his archaeological work, "Ancient Costumes in Poland", which hangs at present in the Polish section of Chicago's library. In 1864, he painted "Skarga's Sermon," for which he was awarded a medal after its exhibit in Paris, thus achieving fame throughout Europe. Skarga was a preacher at the Court of Sigmund III in the seventeenth century, who, seeing our national faults, predicted the downfall of Poland. The painting portrays him in the act of making this prophecy before the king and the Sejm [Council]. Another important work, "Rejtan," was purchased by the Vienna Art Gallery. Rejtan was a delegate to the Sejm in 1772. Threatened by the Russian army, this Sejm was to ratify the first partition of Poland. Rejtan protested against this, and throwing himself in the doorway, refused to allow the delegates to leave the council chambers. The partition was ratified in spite of his protest. Rejtan went mad and eventually committed suicide.

    In 1871, Matejko painted "Batory's Victory at Moscow" and "Szujskis Taken 9into Captivity". For the latter he was given membership in the Paris Academy, and the Bohemians asked him to accept a directorship at their school in Prague. In spite of the attractiveness of the Bohemian offer, Matejko did not accept it. As a result, a new School of Fine Arts was established at Cracow and Matejko became one of its directors. The city gave him a tremendous ovation. In 1875, he painted "Wernyhora," which is on exhibit in the Palace of Fine Arts. Wernyhora [Vernyhora] was a peasant from the vicinity of Kiev, who prophesied that an independent Poland would arise as a result of a general European war. When, in the same year, Matejko passed through Warsaw on his way to Danzig and Grunwald for material for his next painting, his trip was actually a triumphal march. In the same year, he was appointed to the Rafael Academy in Urbino [Italy], and a few years later, he was given the Cracow scepter, the highest honor which that city could bestow upon him.

    In 1883, Matejko painted "Sobieski's Defense of Vienna," which hangs at 10present in the Vatican. In 1867, he completed "Kosciusko at Raclawice". Kosciusko's fame in our history does not arise from the fact that he was a general, for, in the end, he was defeated. He is great because he awakened patriotism among the peasants, because he recognized the peasantry as the foundation of Poland's future. The painting shows the peasant-soldiers of Cracow returning to their leader with the Russian cannon they have captured. The peasant hero Glowacki is the main figure in the picture.

    In 1891, Matejko completed the painting "Constitution of the Third of May, 1791". This constitution gave the peasants of Poland more freedom than was enjoyed by the peasants of any other European country at that time. Russia opposed this constitution, invaded Poland, and effected the second partition.

    From these most important examples of Matejko's work--he painted about two 11hundred pictures in all--you can see, gentlemen, that he was, if I may call him that, a painter of Polish history. He recorded all of the most glorious and most tragic events to befall Poland. The vigor and life of his portrayals can readily be seen in the numerous reproductions I have presented to you, and from the original on exhibit at the Fair. Quite appropriately, Ranzoni, the Viennese critic, called him the Polish Homer, and expressed envy that the Germans possess none like him. I am willing to admit that other nations can boast of artists who wield perhaps even a more forceful brush than Matejko's, but no nation has an artist who can master the national spirit as does Matejko. Every exhibit of his is a historical event among our people; whole processions come to view his pictures.

    Dziennik Chicagoski, Aug. 9, 1893.

    Before I leave Matejko, there is one more of his great paintings that should be mentioned. This is "Union," which he completed in 1869. The picture 12is tremendously important because of its thought. The Common wealth of Poland consisted of Poles, Lithuanians, and n--related peoples, though each had its own individual characteristics. In the sixteenth century, they were joined together for the purpose of electing a common king. Through the efforts of Sigmund Augustus, a constitutional union was effected. In the picture, the king has just raised the cross, the bishop is reading the oath of allegiance, and the cardinal is conferring his blessing upon the delegates of the three peoples forming a United States of Poland. The French king, Henry IV, and his minister, Sully, pointing to this event in Polish history, conceived the idea of uniting all of Europe in one federation, but his untimely death brought an end to these plans. Matejko was awarded a gold medal of honor, and a Legion of Honor Cross in Paris.

    Although Matejko stands at the head of our art, it would be unjust to say that he alone was master of the spirit of his people. There was another 13artist who might well be called the "painter of 1863". As you know, gentlemen, it was in this year that Poland revolted against Russia. The awful scenes which took place then cannot be described in words; only art could portray these scenes, and it did so, with the pencil of Arthur Grottger.

    I was very fortunate in finding reproductions of most of Grottger's works in Chicago. First, here is a series of pictures entitled "War," drawn under the influence of the awful events of 1863, but of a general nature. Gentlemen, as Americans who look with disgust upon the civilized fratricide in old Europe that is called "war," you can appreciate the emotions of our artist, especially in two pictures from this series. One of them is entitled "People or Hyenas," the other is a scene in a church, in which a Russian mercenary has hung his knapsack about the neck of the Saviour. The series "Polonia" and "Warsaw" show scenes from 1862 and 1863, in which defenseless praying crowds were fired upon. The third series, 14"Lithuania," is the tale of a forester who fought and died in the revolt. For this, his wife is sentenced to hard labor in the mines of Siberia. Grottger stands next to Matejko as one who did much to uphold the spirit of the Polish people, who recreated our sufferings in all their immensity.

    The events of these terrible years were also presented by other artists besides Grottger. Here I have a reproduction of "Muraviev at Wilno," by Matejko, and a picture by Kossack (Wojciech) showing the Cossacks (well known to you gentlemen, at least from Buffalo Bill shows) riding down a street at full gallop, firing upon the defenseless people.

    Besides these top ranking artist, there are others who, though they are not as great, have also had a great influence upon our people. One of these was Zimler, of Warsaw, who preceded Matejko as a painter of historical scenes. It seemed, for a time, that he was destined to be the father 15of Polish art, but an untimely death took him from us. Julius Kossak, the painter of battle scenes and horses, must also be mentioned. Josef Brandt, a professor at the Monaco Academy, also did the same type of work. One of his paintings may be seen at the Exposition, in the German exhibit.

    In the prospectus of the Artists' Congress, the question was asked: How much can art influence the lives of a people? The question is answered fully by this sketch of the activities of our greatest artists.

    In passing from the older to the present generation of Polish painters, we have Henryk Siemiradzki, two of whose pictures, "Phryne" and "Christ Visits Martha," can be seen at the Exposition in the Russian section. There is no basis to the claims that he is a Russian, and the best proof of this is the story of his life, which I know well. Siemiradzki comes from an ancient Polish noble family; his father and mother were both 16Polish. He received his first artistic instruction at the Academy in St. Petersburg, where he won a gold medal and a scholarship for study abroad. I met him personally in Monaco. It was here that he started work on his masterpiece "Jawndgrzesznica," (The Sinner), which won him fame in Vienna in 1873. Later he went to Rome, where he exhibited "Torches of Nero," a reproduction of which can be seen at the Exposition. Since he was still traveling on the St. Petersburg Academy's scholarship, he was in duty bound to send this painting there. The court had already decided to buy the picture for a hundred thousand rubles ($50,000) when Siemiradzki, upon being presented to the Czar who called him a "Russian," answered emphatically, "No, Your Majesty. I am a Pole!" Negotiations for the purchase of the picture were broken off, and Siemiradzki was never called to court again. A few years later, Siemiradzki presented this picture to the Polish National Museum in Cracow during a great national celebration. You see then, gentlemen, how much right the Russians had to include Siemiradzki's works in their exhibit. Similarly, the Germans claim Brandt, Falat, Rozen, Wodzinowski, 17and Wywiorski.

    We come now to the youngest generation of Polish artists. Many of them are represented in the Polish section at the Fair; a still greater number are not represented. In conclusion, I will name only those who are definitely settled in their tendencies. Among the foremost nature artists are the brothers Gierymski, masters of light and shadow; Chelmiński is well represented at the Exposition, and a great number of Kowalski's paintings have been reproduced in the London Graphic. Malczewski painted scenes from the lives of exiles in Siberia almost exclusively; only one of his pictures and one reproduction are to be found at the Fair. Pochwalski and Adjukiewicz are portrait artists at the emperor's court in Vienna. We have two outstanding religious painters: Styka [Jan], whose "Queen of Poland" is exhibited at the Fair, and Krudowski, of whose work, unfortunately, I can show you only one reproduction. Of our landscape artists, I can mention two: Brochocki, whose work can be viewed 18at the Fair, and who himself is a visitor among us, and Swierzewski. Julius Kossak and his son, Wojciech, some of whose reproductions I have here, were painters of battle scenes. Two of our women artists are Mme. Bilinska, recently taken by death, whose portraits have won medals in Paris, and Mme. Stankiewicz, whose works can be seen at the Fair.

    From the catalogue you will see, gentlemen, that Polish artists--those that I have named and others--of the old, middle, and youngest generations, have won awards at numerous exhibits. You can readily see that Poland has a great number of outstanding artists, and if they have contributed but sparsely to the exhibit at the World's Fair, it is not for lack of good intentions. America is close to the hearts of the people of Poland, for, gentlemen, there are more than a million and a half Poles living here--I repeat--more than a million and a half, a hundred and fifty thousand of whom live in Chicago alone, Poles who have found refuge here and a second 19homeland. It is not from lack of good will then, but because of our political conditions, which, rather than guarantee support, provide obstacles. Our exhibit here is the result of private effort, which must have met with difficulties not experienced by others.

    You know, of course, that a protest has been instituted against Polish participation in the competition. I would be insulting you as Americans, I would insult your sense of justice, if I said anything more of this matter; it is in your hands, and we are confident of the results.

    Only in comparatively recent times has Polish painting achieved its honorable place beside the art of other nations of the world. However, it has developed so richly, it has acquired ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- August 11, 1893
    By Whose Efforts Did the Polish Artists Win Jury Rights at the Fair?

    We have already written of the victory of the Polish artists exhibiting at the World's Fair in Jackson Park, and of the judgment on Polish paintings. In spite of the protest lodged by the German and Austrian commissioners, the Polish section is permitted to participate in the distribution of awards.

    We feel it our duty to express sincere acknowledgment to a few of the representatives of American Polonia who contributed to the victory by their energetic efforts. One of those who vigorously defended Polish art against the German and Austrian commissioners' attacks was Mr. Erasmus Jerzmanowski, of New York. Upon request from Mr. Sosnowski, who represents the Polish artists, Mr. Jerzmanowski wrote letters to his friends, directors of the Fair, F. S. Winston and K. G. Billings. After receiving encouraging replies, he wrote also to the chairman of the Awards Committee, Mr. Thatcher. These 2efforts undoubtedly contributed much to the favorable outcome of the matter.

    Here in Chicago, effective steps were taken by Peter Miolbassa and J. F. Smulski. Mr. Smulski attended a meeting of the World's Fair commissioners with Mr. Sosnowski and spoke on the question. The Italian commissioners proved themselves friends of the Poles by lending their support.

    The Poles owe their gratitude to all who helped bring about a decision in our favor.

    We have already written of the victory of the Polish artists exhibiting at the World's Fair in Jackson Park, and of the judgment on Polish paintings. In spite of the ...

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  • Dziennik Chicagoski -- September 21, 1893
    Polish Artist Presents Interesting Plan

    Mieczyslaw Niedzwiedzinski, one of the representatives of the Polish artists whose paintings are on exhibit at the World's Fair, has communicated a very interesting plan [to Dziennik Chicagoski]. The plan provides for the lottery of about twenty of the Polish paintings now on exhibit, from which a portion of the profits is to be used here for public and charitable purposes.

    M. Niedzwiedzinski proposes the sale of a hundred and twenty thousand tickets at one dollar each (or 60,000 at $2), with the prize to be one of the original Polish paintings, to be purchased for this purpose. In addition, each ticket will entitle the holder to a photographic reproduction of one of the paintings.

    The originator of the plan proposes the following paintings for lottery:


    "The Itinerant Merchant" and "Mauretania," by Alchimowicz; "The Convalescent," by Gazycowa; "Meditation" and "Darling," by Dukszynska; W. Gerson's "Queen Hedwig," "Christening of Lithuania," and "King Sigmund"; Jasinski's "Holiday Services"; "Kedzierski's "Little Church" and "Return from the City"; Malczewski's "Death of a Siberian Exile"; Matejko's "Wernyhora"; Mirecki's "Unconsoled"; Modenstein's "Under Christian Care"; Pawlowski's "Harvest in Poland"; Piechowski's "Christ on the Cross"; Popiel's "After the Storm"; Styka's "Queen of Poland"; and Zmurko's "Lady in Furs" and "Evening Song".

    Mr. Niedzwiedzinski would dispose of $15,000 of the money collected in the following manner:

    (1) $2,000 for the Kosciusko Monument Fund; (2) $10,000 for the foundation of a Polish trade school in Chicago; (3) $2,000 for the foundation of a newspaper to champion the Polish cause, written in the English language; and (4) $1,000 for the support of the Polish Immigrants' House.


    The rest of the money would be spent as follows: For purchasing the paintings, $58,148; for customs duties, $58,722; for 120,000 photographic reproductions, $18,000; for commission to the agents handling the sale of tickets and for incidental expenses, $18,000.

    Mr. Niedzwiedzinski proposes that all arrangements for the lottery be made by a committee of local citizens in conjunction with the artists' representatives. For this committee, he suggests the Reverends C. Sztuczko, V. Barzynski, and J. Radziejewski; also W. Bardonski, E. Z. Brodowski, K. Butkiewicz, Count Chlapowski (New York), Judge [M. A.] LaBuy, F. S. Satalecki (Detroit), S. Slominski, Dr. C. Midowicz, F. Smietanka, J. F. Smulski, L. Szopinski, and others.

    Mr. Niedzwiedzinski counts not only upon Poles to buy the tickets, but upon Americans also. He bases the possibility of the project's success upon the fact that it will serve a public purpose. He said that the representatives of the Polish artists had already been approached by New York agents with a proposition of this sort.

    Here we have given Mr. Niedzwiedski's project, just as it was presented to us. Our own comments on this matter we reserve for a later issue.

    Mieczyslaw Niedzwiedzinski, one of the representatives of the Polish artists whose paintings are on exhibit at the World's Fair, has communicated a very interesting plan [to Dziennik Chicagoski]. The plan ...

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