17th February – 20th May 2018
The year of the hundredth anniversary of Polish independence, which takes place in 2018, is a great opportunity to remember the political and cultural activities of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Paintings, drawings, photographs and other objects coming from his donation to the National Museum in Warsaw will reveal the incredible commitment of the musician and statesman to the promotion of the case for Polish independence all over the world and his later political career, for instance holding the office of prime minister of the reborn Republic of Poland. This is also an occasion to remember Paderewski as a collector of precious works of art, which were kept in his beloved house in Riond-Bosson by Lake Geneva, and then donated to the Polish nation.
The exhibition at the National Museum in Warsaw will present a profile of the famous pianist through his donated antiquities and memorabilia. They will form the pretext for a story about Paderewski and the people around him – important figures of the political and cultural scene at that time. Various aspects of the virtuoso will be presented, both the well-known – of a great musician, statesman and friend of the greats of the era, and the lesser known – of a man devoted to his family and a collector of far-eastern art.
For the first time we will be able to see a great majority of the works of art that made up this wonderful gift to the National Museum. Among the exhibited objects there are the master’s grand piano, manufactured for him by Steinway & Sons (artist's bequest for the Musical Conservatory in Warsaw), and Paderewski’s portrait, painted by one of the foremost academic painters of the 19th century – Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Gifts given to Ignacy Paderewski by his friends and admirers show the extent of his great fame. Among them there are a picture of Queen Victoria with an autograph, a triptych – Music by Jacek Malczewski, and a portfolio of engravings by Leon Wyczółkowski with a dedication. Photographs depicting Paderewski’s family life will show audiences his home in Switzerland and members of his family. A collection of far eastern art, consisting of Chinese porcelain, enamelware, glass and lacquerware gathered by Paderewski and his wife at their Swiss villa is truly outstanding.
Curator of the exhibition: dr Magdalena Pinker
Cooperation: Joanna Bojarska-Cieślik, dr Anna Feliks, Joanna Popkowska
The exhibition under the Honorary Patronage of the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki
The exhibition is part of the series „3 × Independent at the National Musem in Warsaw” under the National Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, on the Centenary of Poland Regaining Independence 1918 - 2018
This series is part of the “Niepodległa” Program 2017–2021
Exhibition Partner: National Digital Archives