Young Poland:
An Arts and Crafts Movement

October 2021 – January 2022
William Morris Gallery, London

Curated by Julia Griffin, Andrzej Szczerski and Roisin Inglesby

Bringing together over 150 objects from national and private collections across Poland – most of which have never travelled outside the country before – the exhibition introduces a British audience to the finest examples of Young Poland decorative art.

Karol Kłosowski, ‘Squirrels’, ‘Eagles’ and ‘Crickets’ paper cuttings. By Descent from the artist.

Two sections of the exhibition are dedicated to the towering figures of Stanisław Wyspiański and Stanislaw Witkiewicz (creator of the Zakopane Style), who more than any other artists came to define the Young Poland aesthetic. Others focus on the lesser-known Karol Kłosowski and Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska. The final section showcases the work of the Polish Applied Arts Society, the Museum of Technology and Industry, and the Kraków Workshops, a cooperative of artists, artisans and art professionals who combined Young Poland themes with a drive for original and independent art forms.

Other artists include Józef Czajkowski, Wojciech Jastrzebowski, Jozefa Kogut, Bonawentura Lenart, Jacek Malczewski, Józef Mehoffer, Jan Rembowski, Henryk Uziembło and Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy).

Objects range from paintings, drawings and archival photographs, through examples of furniture, embroidered textiles, lace, kilims, fashion, woodcarvings, tableware, stained glass, paper cuttings and Christmas-tree decorations, to the material culture of the Highlander communities that exerted such a profound influence on the Young Poland artists.

Peacock’s Eyes kilim, early 20th century, designed by Józef Czajkowski, executed by the workshop of Antonina Sikorska. National Museum in Kraków.
Karol Kłosowski, At Bobbin Lacemaking (Legend), undated. Private Collection. By Descent from the Artist
Chair from a set of dining-room furniture from the Żeleński apartment, Kraków, designed by Stanisław Wyspiański, executed by Andrzej Sydor, after 30 October 1904. National Museum in Kraków
Armchair, designed by Stanisław Witkiewicz, 1902; executed by Jan Józef Zabża, 1920s. National Museum in Kraków.