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Warsaw exhibition celebrates pianist-turned-statesman Paderewski

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 06.07.2018 08:40
An open-air exhibition focusing on celebrated Polish pianist, composer and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski has opened in central Warsaw, just across the street from the US embassy.
A portrait of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, by painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1890. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsA portrait of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, by painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1890. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The exhibition documents Paderewski’s artistic career and political activity on 22 display boards, which include a wide selection of photographs, documents, prints, press cuttings and other archive material.

Exhibition curator Aleksander Laskowski has told public broadcaster Polish Radio that the exhibition shows both Paderewski’s extraordinary personality and the political tensions that surrounded the process of Poland restoring its independence after World War I.

Piotr Jakubowski, director of the History Meeting House, which created the exhibition, has described Paderewski as a great artist and patriot whose contribution to Polish independence cannot be overestimated.

In his role as prime minister and foreign affairs minister, Paderewski in 1919 co-chaired (with politician Roman Dmowski) the Polish delegation to the Peace Conference in Paris and signed the Treaty of Versailles.

He also lobbied for the Polish cause after the outbreak of World War II speaking on the radio in the United States and contributing funds for Polish war victims.

Paderewski died in the United States in 1941 and -- following a decision by President Franklin D. Roosevelt -- was buried at Arlington Military Cemetery in Washington. In 1992, his remains were brought to Poland and buried at St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw.

Paderewski was also a talented composer. His opera Manru remains to this day the only Polish opera to be produced at the Metropolitan in New York.

The exhibition, at a square in the Polish capital named after Ronald Reagan and close to a monument to the former American president, will remain on display until August 4. (mk/gs)

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