Wojciech Zamecznik Collection at Archeology of Photography Foundation
Wojciech Zamecznik's collection represents the early stage of Polish school of poster design. Zamecznik himself has an interesting biography - ex-Auschwitz prisoner, active member of Association of Polish Artists and Designers, who created posters for artistic and political purposes. The collection shows the tension between the official language of socialist posters and private photographs, more intimate and portraying the everyday life.
Warszawa Chłodna 20, Poland
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Name of collection
- Archiwum Wojciecha Zamecznika
Provenance and cultural activities
The collection consists of photographs, sketches, drafts, and working materials created by Wojciech Zamecznik from 1949 till his death in 1967. For the next 40 years the collection was rarely displayed and known of, as it was stored in Zamecznik's apartment. In late 2012, Julisz Zamecznik, son of Wojciech, decided to grant the collection to Archeology of Photography Foundation as he "wanted to do something" with the collection and he trusted one of the founders of APF to be diligent and interested in his father's heritage.
Wojciech Zamecznik’s works were not openly politically involved. Quite the opposite, his posters were displayed at the official exhibitions and sometimes produced for the Department of Propaganda and Agitation of the Polish Communist's Party Central Committee. In 1945 he participated in the first post-war exhibition at the National Museum of Poland – Warsaw Accuses (“Warszawa oskarża”). Later he concentrated on film posters and cover art for vinyl records. His work had its purpose of delivering fine aesthetic design for the Polish audience. He also influenced the next generation of graphic artists in Poland, as he was teaching at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. He was internationally exhibited and received many international awards.
Moreover, in his works he also tried to grasp and describe the everyday life in Poland, as he built the extensive collection of photographs. Those had not been displayed or publicly known until 2012 when the Archeology of Photography Foundation (APF) started to digitalize and exhibit his collection. Neither in communist period, nor immediately after 1989, was Zamecznik seen as a photographer, what started to change only after the APF had promoted his art and documentary photographs in Poland and abroad. Zamecznik's collection was one of the starting points for the Archeology of Photography Foundation and the Polish milieu of visual art researchers to discover the different types of art from the socialist times - not only the official political posters or widely-distributed vinyl records art, but also more nuanced and private archives of individual artists.
Wojciech Zamecznik collection was one of the first to be completely digitalized and made accessible on-line, thanks to the external support from the state and non-governmental sources. Overall, more than 30 000 photographs and works are available on-line to the audience on the Archeology of Photography website.
Description of content
- The collection contains posters, drafts, sketches, films (16 mm). It shows the diversity of art genres used by artist in socialist times and the development of Polish school of poster.
- film: 10-99
- photos: 1000-
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Warszawa, Warsaw, Poland
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- parts are closed to the public
- Jones, Julie, Karolina Puchała-Rojek, Karolina Ziębińska-Lewandowska, Katarzyna Jeżowska, Marcin Lachowski, Juliusz Marek Zamecznik, Agnieszka Szewczyk, Anna Micińska, Krzysztof Rowiński, and Tomasz Swoboda. Wojciech Zamecznik: foto-graficznie = photo-graphics. Warszawa: Zachęta - Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, 2016.
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Author(s) of this page
- Gospodarczyk, Hanna
Jones, Julie, Karolina Puchała-Rojek, Karolina Ziębińska-Lewandowska, Katarzyna Jeżowska, Marcin Lachowski, Juliusz Marek Zamecznik, Agnieszka Szewczyk, Anna Micińska, Krzysztof Rowiński, and Tomasz Swoboda. Wojciech Zamecznik: foto-graficznie = photo-graphics. Warszawa: Zachęta - Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, 2016.
Puchała-Rojek, Karolina , interview by Gospodarczyk, Hanna , October 05, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection