Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Photos from the Fifth World Congress of Polish Studies, Warsaw, June 2014

Plac Zamkowy, Old Town, Warsaw

Board of Directors with Guests: F: I. Korga, G. Kozaczka, P. Versgeegh, M. Trochimczyk
J. Pula. B: A Penkos. S Leahy, A. Jaroszynska-Kirchmann, T. Napierkowski, D. Pienkos. A. Hetzel-Gunkel, A. Mazurkiewicz, N. Pease, M. B.B. Biskupski

Opening plenary session about Jan Karski

Panel of Karski scholars at the opening session.

Neal Pease, Heather Napierkowski, Ewa Barczyk, Tom Napierkowski

Anna Jaroszynska Kirchmann, Patrice Dabrowski, Paul Knoll, Dorota Plaszowicz

Grazyna Kozaczka with her son Adam

Mary Patrice Erdmans, Anna Mazurkiewicz, Pien Versteegh

Irvin Ungar talks about Artur Szyk

Special session at the Museum of Warsaw Uprising

Visit to the Museum of Warsaw Uprising 

Panelists with Grazyna Kozaczka and Tom Napierkowski

Executives from two Institutes: Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada (Stefan Wladysiuk from the library and president Stanislaw Latek) with PIASA's President Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski and Jim Pula.

Neal Pease, Tom Napierkowski and Anna Jaroszynska Kirchmann at the Awards Ceremony.

Gate of the University of Warsaw closes at night.

Maja Trochimczyk with Stephen Leahy and UW emblem.

Stalinist Palac Kultury i Nauki, PKiN in Warsaw

A street in the Old Town
Congress participants at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Conference presentation

Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann gives a paper. 

Anna Mazurkiewicz gives her paper. 

Iwona Korga gives her paper. 

Profs. Biskupski and Pula at the UW gate. 

PAHA's Dorota Plaszowicz, Pien Versteegh, Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann, Renata Vickray, Maja Trochimczyk with Stefan Wladysiuk  (Polish Library, Montreal) on Krakowskie Przedmiescie.

Photos by Maja Trochimczyk and Friends

For more pictures visit "Fifth World Congress of Polish Studies" photo album on Picasa Web Albums.

Monday, June 23, 2014

PAHA at the Fifth Congress on Polish Studies in Warsaw

Palac Kazimierzowski, University of Warsaw

The Fifth World Congress on Polish Studies was held at the University of Warsaw on June 20-23, 2014 and has shown a remarkable collaboration between the Polish American Historical Association and its parent organization, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (PAHA was co-founded by Oskar Halecki, who also co-founded PIASA).  From the opening ceremonies to the banquet with awards for some of our most important "people" - PAHA had a very prominent presence at the Congress.

PAHA Board Meeting: Front LR: Iwona Korga, Pien Versteegh, Grazyna Kozaczka,
Jim Pula. Back L to R: Angela Pienkos, Tom Napierkowski, Stephen Leahy, Donald Pienkos
Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann,Ann Hetzel-Gunkel, Neal Pease, Anna Mazurkiewicz, 
Tom Duszak, and Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski

On June 19, 2014, we held our Mid-Year Board Meeting at the Museum of Polish History on Senatorska Street.We had a very fruitful meeting that was very well attended by Board members and guests, such as Angela and Donal Pienkos. Poles were surprised that we had a meeting on that day, as exactly at 5 p.m. the streets of Warsaw filled with a multitude of processions celebrating the Corpus Christi with flags, icons, the Host carried under a canopy, and preceded by rows of girls scattering flower petals on the way...The long weekend for Warsaw's residents was starting; our Congress was getting under way.

Prof. Biskupski opens the plenary session on Jan Karski. Aula Adama Mickiewicza, UW.

On Saturday, June 20, 2014, the opening plenary session on Jan Karski was chaired by PAHA Board Member and PIASA President Prof. Mieczyslaw B. B. Biskupski.  PAHA sponsored three sessions and our members participated in many other sessions on a variety of topics. Many PIASA members talked about Polish-American relations, emigration, and Polonia issues.  All together, I counted 54 papers on Polish-American topics.

Prof. Walaszek opens the session on Kosciuszko in America.

The three PAHA sessions were dedicated to: Disapora Reactions to World War and Cold War, chaired by Renata Vickray, PIASA Secretary (Saturday, June 21, with papers by Gabriela Pawlus Kasprzak, Jan Lencznarowicz, Robert Szymczak and Mary Erdmans); Commemoration in Exile, chaired by Dorota Praszalowicz from Jagiellonian University (Saturday, June 21, with papers by Anna Jaroszynska Kirchmann, Anna Mazurkiewicz, Patryk Pleskot, and Iwona Korga), and Reflections of the Polish Diaspora, chaired by Harriet Napierkowski (Monday, June 23, with papers by Arnold Klaczynski, Anna Brzozowska-Krajka, Thomas Napierkowski and Grazyna Kozaczka.

Many other PAHA Members gave papers at different sessions, including, in addition to those mentioned above: Jim Pula, Neal Pease, Stephen Leahy, Silvia Dapia, Ann Hetzel Gunkel, Piotr Wrobel, Adam Kozaczka, Joanna Wojdon, Adam Walaszek, and Maja Trochimczyk.

Award Ceremony at the Banquet at the National Library.

L-R: Neal Pease, Tom Napierkowski, Anna  Jaroszynska-Kirchmann, Robert Szymczak

At the closing banquet, representatives of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented medals to the following scholars:  Commandor Cross of the Order of Merit to Prof. Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski, Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit to Prof. James Pula (PAHA Treasurer and outgoing editor of the Polish American Studies) and Prof. Neal Pease (PAHA Past President and Board member); Officer Cross of the Order of Merit to Prof. Anna Jaroszynska Kirchmann (PAHA Past President and incoming editor of the Polish American Studies), Prof. Thomas Napierkowski (PAHA President), and Prof. Patrice Dabrowski, and additional medals to Prof. Robert Szymczak. Congratulations to one and all! It was a wonderful day for PAHA!

Jim Pula and Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann with their new medals.

Neal Pease, Tom Napierkowski, Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann. 
Photo by Pien Versteegh.

Mieczyslaw B.B. Biskupski. Photo by Pien Versteegh.


Report by Maja Trochimczyk with photos by Anna Mazurkiewicz and Pien Versteegh.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Julian Stanczak, the Artist of Color and Light

Hot Summer by Julian Stanczak (1956)

On January 3, 2014, PAHA honored the 70-year career of artist Julian Stanczak with its Creative Arts Prize. According to PAHA President, Dr. Thomas Napierkowski, this award “recognizes contributions in the field of creative arts by individuals or groups that have promoted an awareness of the Polish experience in the Americas.”
Constant Return I by Julian Stanczak, 1965, 39x39

Julian Stanczak (b.  1928 in Poland), was deported by the Soviet military to a gulag in Perm, Siberia, following the Nazi-Soviet invasion and conquest of Poland in 1939.  Stanczak escaped from Siberia in 1942, via Persia and Uganda. In 1942-48, he lived in a Polish refugee camp, in Uganda, Africa, where he received his first private art lessons and started painting and drawing the African landscape. Its vivid hues remained in his memory and inspired his life-long fascination with color. After studying for two years in England, in 1950, he came to the U.S. where he received a BA from the Cleveland Institute of Art (1954), and completed an MFA at Yale, studying with Josef Albers and Conrad Marca Relli (1956).He has achieved wide acclaim and success despite the fact that since his incarceration in the USSR, he permanently lost the use of  his right arm (he used to be right-handed).

Formation by Julian Stanczak, 1973, 50x60

Julian Stanczak is recognized as one of the important pioneers in Op-Art. This term first appeared in print in Time magazine in October 1964 in response to Stanczak's show Optical Paintings at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. “He taught for decades at the Cleveland Institute of Art and created hundreds of subtle and precisely executed geometric paintings whose patterns and colors interact in ways that make them seem to vibrate with electric energy. ” (Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer, Oct 30, 2012).

Green Light by Julian Stanczak, 1973, 60x60

His art was featured at 180 exhibitions, and may be found in 77 museums and private collections. Awards include a doctorate honoris causa from Case Western Reserve University. The year 2013-2014 is dedicated to Stanczak celebrations by the Akron Museum of Art in Cleveland, the Museum of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve University.

Mirrored by Julian Stanczak (1971)

For further details see: Stanczak’s art in his own words:

 “My primary interest is color—the energy of the different wavelengths of light and their juxtapositions. The primary drive of colors is to give birth to light. But light always changes; it is evasive. I use the energy of this flux because it offers me great plasticity of action on the canvas. To capture the metamorphoses—the continuous changing of form and circumstance—is the eternal challenge and, when achieved, it offers a sense of totality, order, and repose. Color is abstract, universal—yet personal and private in experience.”

   Floating Green by Julian Stanczak, 1974-75, 28x28

       “I try to melt geometry down and make it sing.”  “In the beginning, geometry seemed brutal to me. When I first used it, it was as if I was removing personal responses and emotion, and I missed the connection to Nature and to life… Gradually I found that in a clear and clean environment, I could give my colors the emotive element without direct references to Nature… Yet even in my current work, I am still torn between emotion and Nature—fluency and geometry. When people ask me, ‘What are you painting?’ I might say, ‘Sunsets!’ … “I do not believe that one finds art in the object, but that one finds art within oneself by being confronted with an object of motivation. I do not cater to any public wish. Yet, we create for others, not for ourselves, because we want to share the experience of life!”

"Proportional Mixing," 2011, acrylic on board,
 30 panels of 16x16 inches each (84x101 inches overall)

Julian Stanczak gave PAHA permission to use his modern, elegant paintings in PAHA’s PR materials, such as the postcard about our journal, the Polish American Studies  and a tri-fold flyer about PAHA's goals, and projects. We are truly grateful for this generosity of an extraordinary artist. Below are two panels used in PAHA's material with permission of the artist.

Structural Cadmium Red and Structural Cobalt by Julian Stanczak, 2012, 24x24.

Article by Maja Trochimczyk, reprinted from the PAHA Newsletter, vol. 71 no. 1, Spring 2014.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Louise Warfield and Count Włodzimierz Ledóchowski (PAHA News, Spring 2014)


by Thomas Hollowak

Warfield and Count Ledochowski, with the family crest

Baltimore women are renowned for their beauty and two are remembered for their marriages to nobility – Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson married Joseph, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who later abandoned her and Wallis Warfield Simpson to England’s King Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor. Less known is the marriage of Wallis’ older cousin Louise Warfield, daughter of Edwin Warfield, Governor of Maryland (1904-1908) to Count Włodzimierz Ledóchowski.

The couple met at Peking, China, where her brother Edwin introduced them to each other at a foreign embassy entertainment. Since she didn’t speak Polish and he did not know English, they conversed in French. After a brief courtship they became engaged. When she returned home in December 1912 she was reticent to speak about the rumored engagement since her parents opposed the match because of the brevity of the courtship and her large fortune. She was able to convince her father it was a true “love” match and the wedding set for May.

Count Ledóchowski was a nephew of the late Cardinal Mieczysław Halka Ledóchowski, Primate of Poland and prefect of the Propaganda at the Vatican. The Ledóchowski family lineage began in 1457 in the Volhynian Voivodeship where the boyar knight Nestor Halka took the name of his estate, Ledóchow, as his own. It is believed that the dynastic family Halka dates to the time of the Kievan Rus in 971. The Halka family’s used the official Austrian title of Halka von Ledóchow Count Ledóchowski.

On May 8, 1913 the couple was married at the Warfield home in Baltimore by Rev. William A. Fletcher, rector of the Cathedral. Cardinal Gibbons witnessed the ceremony, and bestowed his blessing. It was a simple ceremony because the bride’s maternal grandmother had recently died. Only relatives and a few personal friends were invited. After a wedding breakfast the couple left for New York to take a steamship to return to Poland to reside at the family estate, located near the Austrian border, an eight-hour journey from Moscow and twelve-hours from Vienna and in the midst of the zone of war that erupted on July 28, 1914.

Warfield with her daughter.

On August 19, the Warfield family received a cablegram form Włodzimierz dated August 18,Ostropol, Russian Poland “Situation uncertain. Louise safe with cousins.” There was no news from her until October when the family received several letters appealing for medical and surgical supplies, as well as clothing and blankets. These appeals prompted the former Governor to establish the Russian Poland Red Cross Relief Fund Committee. The local Polish Community rallied to his support and by December the first of several boat loads of supplies were sent to Poland.

After the war he would be honored by Baltimore’s Polonia for his efforts. Although the couple would have three children, two daughters and a son the marriage was doomed and on November 25, 1922 they were divorced. She was given custody of the children and the following year she renounced her title to regain U.S. citizenship and took back the name Warfield.

Thomas L. Hollowak


Reprinted from PAHA Newsletter, Spring 2014. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Warsaw Conference Update and the Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarships


The Fifth World Congress on Polish Studies will be held at the University of Warsaw, June 20-23, 2014. We are pleased to inform you that the featured speaker at the closing banquet will be Leszek Balcerowicz, the former Chair of the National Bank of Poland, Deputy Prime Minister, and the Father of Poland’s Economic Transformation. He will be speaking on “Poland’s Transformation in Comparative Perspective.” We are sure you will not want to miss this, but seating is limited so if you have not already done so please go to the Polish Institute web site to reserve your ticket to the event

Leszek Balcerowicz in LA with Maja Trochimczyk and Bohdan Oppenheim

The Congress will convene at the University of Warsaw. The main gate is at 26/28 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. Upon entering, go to the Old Library Building where the registration desk will be set up beginning at 8:15 am on June 21. The Old Library is building 10 on the attached map. You will be able to pick up your participant packet at the registration desk. If you have not already pre-registered, please do so at the Polish Institute web site

New Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarship Program 
Available For Undergraduate Students of Polish Origin
Over $75,000 In Grant Funding Secured From The Polish Government For 2014 

 The Kosciuszko Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of the application process for a special tuition scholarship program for undergraduate students of Polish origin. A $2,000 scholarship will be offered to 30 promising undergraduate students studying in the USA and pursuing degrees at the intersection of media, communication, political science, social studies, law, and administration. Students seeking careers in media, government, and public affairs are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2014 and scholarship awards will be distributed for the fall semester of the 2014-2015 academic year. 

 The key goal of the program is to identify and support highly motivated students of Polish descent who contribute or are likely to engage in community service or any initiatives that benefit or promote a positive image of Polish Americans. "This groundbreaking program will increase opportunities for Polish-American students enrolled in specific fields at universities throughout the United States. It is yet another example of the importance that the Polish government places on good relations with Polonia, and the confidence that it has in the Kosciuszko Foundation to implement this and other important projects," said Dr. John S. Micgiel, president of the Kosciuszko Foundation. 

 Full-time undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply. Scholarships are merit-based and are awarded for academic achievement, leadership qualities, motivation, interest in Polish subjects, and involvement in the Polish American community. Click HERE to learn more about the program and to apply

 Click HERE to learn more about the program and to apply

The scholarship program was made possible thanks to a $60,000 grant secured by the Kosciuszko Foundation in the national competition "Cooperation with Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad in 2014" run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. An additional grant of over $15,000 was awarded to the foundation for an update of the New KF English-Polish, Polish-English Dictionary, last published over a decade ago. The project, co-sponsored by the KF and the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union, has begun and will result in a thoroughly updated Dictionary, with online and app-based versions ready in 2015.


 Founded in 1925, the Kosciuszko Foundation promotes closer ties between Poland and the United States through educational, scientific and cultural exchanges. It awards up to $1 million annually in fellowships and grants to graduate students, scholars, scientists, professionals, and artists, and promotes Polish culture in America. The Foundation has awarded scholarships and provided a forum to Poles who have changed history.