An evening of art…

wycz web graphic…is a wonderful thing!  Thanks to all who came out to visit us and experience Leon Wyczolkowski and the Art of His Epoch!  The below article appears in the current issue of Tygodnik Polski.

Leon Wyczolkowski defined a nation through his paintbrush.  His name may be familiar to some, especially those acquainted with fine art.  During his dynamic life from 1852-1936, he witnessed the forging and development of the modern nation of Poland, and as a talented artist he was, he brought it to life for all of us to see.  A champion of the Young Poland movement, and a master realist, he left vivid testimony to the history of Poland: war, independence, and the embrace of freedom   His story is one of many that we admire at The Polish Mission.

Like any great artist, their works not only reveal the stories of their surroundings, but also show the human spirit, as revealed in their portrayal of the world through their eyes.  Through every brush stroke; every careful element, the mind of an artist, left embodied on a canvas, allows us to experience a most authentic and meaningful image of person.

The Leon Wyczolkowski Regional Museum in Bydgoszcz, Poland, is the leading institution that safeguards the memory of Leon Wyczolkowski, and we at The Polish Mission are proud to have been partners with them for the last several years.  Curator Inga Kopciewicz, under the leadership of Museum Director Michal Wozniak, for several years had been a familiar face at The Polish Mission, where her summers were spent tirelessly working in the Galeria with our collection of original fine art from throughout centuries of Polish history.  It’s because of her work that our priceless collection of original works will have worldwide recognition through an upcoming published catalog, and her dedication and expertise is to thank for the detailed evaluation of our pieces that forms the cornerstone of our art collection today.

Just a few days ago, our community and guests experienced a signature celebration of that partnership with the Wyczolkowski Museum.  Over the past few weeks we’d been prepping the historic Galeria for the arrival of Leon Wyczolkowski and the Art of his Epoch, the commemorative exhibition from the Wyczolkowski Museum.  Working through the night, Polish Mission staff and volunteers turned the summertime cool galleria into a warm, autumn gathering place, and several of the premier pieces were pulled from their homes in the storage rooms to take center stage.  Being deeply familiar with our collection Inga and her team in Budgoszcz created the sixteen exhibition panels in such a way that they would tell the story of Leon Wyczolkowski through the original works in our collection.  Using pieces by Matejko, Gerson, and even originals by Wyczolkowski himself, the story of a master artist was painted in vivid style at the galeria, alongside a comprehensive multi-media display that even included an interactive touch-screen display.

Guests were welcomed to the Galeria on Friday, November 14 for an unforgettable evening that honored quite a few notable celebrations.  Our champion youth robotics team of our own Dabrowski Polish School made a special appearance to be received by a very proud audience.  They had just recently won two awards at their very first robotics tournament at nearby Cranbrook Academy, and the applause that followed after announcement of their first successes set the stage for evening of smiles and congratulations.  Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski then entertained the crowd with an elegant rendition of historic piano pieces, and a closing original composition, written by the performer in honor of Wyczolkowski’s life.  It was a stunning and refined evening of music, and of behalf of the community gathered there, we all eagerly look forward to when Dr. Golembiowski will once again make the journey from Chicago to be with us again at The Polish Mission.

Mrs. Halina Malinski and Mrs. Genia Gorecki worked during the days leading up to the event to prepare the delicate hors d’oeuvres, and together with Polish Mission Director Marcin Chumiecki (part-time chef), prepared a remarkable spread of salmon, salads, and even champagne for our guests.  Their dedication as volunteers must be recognized as a most commendable act of support from our community.  Hats off to them!

As the evening wound down, guests stepped out into the chilly night with warm memories of great art, brought to life by the laughter of old friends, the bustle of happy children, and ring of Dr. Golembiowski’s elegant music.  The exhibit will be open until December 18, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm or by appointment.  Please visit for all information on the exhibition, and for more information about composer Jaroslaw Golembiowski, please visit, or contact him directly at