The Poster Gallery on Kramy Dominikanskie in Kraków is one of the most famous places in the world for many poster-lovers. It is visited by young and old alike, by school pupils, university students and professors, by polish and numerous foreign tourists, and above all by collectors.
For many years it has been featured as a must see gallery in the best-selling international guidebooks to Poland and Kraków. It is extensively written about by polish and foreign magazines dedicated to travel and graphic design.
That’s hardly surprising, The Kraków Poster Gallery founded by Krzysztof Dydo in 1985, is the only gallery in Poland specializing just in Polish promotional and commercial posters. It has become a meeting place for artists and all those interested in poster art. Since 1994, the Gallery has become private property managed by Krzysztof Dydo and Ewa Pabis.
The gallery’s main attraction is about 2,500 poster titles by almost 200 Polish graphic artists, painters and designers, promoting events primarily in the field of culture, theatre, film, music, and literature. However, it is also a home to excellent social, sport and advertising posters. Polish posters have played an important role in modern graphic history since the Second World War, and at the turn of the 1950s and ’60s they were considered the finest in the world. The Gallery was created on the foundations of the private Dydo Poster Collection, which initially comprised almost 20,000 titles (today there are nearly twice as many). It was established during the mid 1950s, the growth period of the so-called Polish Poster School.
Thanks to its enormous collection, the Poster Gallery has organized over 200 individual and group exhibitions in Poland, and at least 300 in almost every country in Europe as well as in Australia, Mexico, China, Iran, Canada and the USA.
Most frequently presented, aside from the exhibitions on the themes of theatre, film, opera, jazz , etc., have been the monographic exhibitions dedicated to such celebrities of the Polish poster world as Henryk Tomaszewski, Roman Cieslewicz, Jan Lenica, Waldemar Swierzy, Franciszek Starowieyski, Mieczysław Górowski and also regular Gallery’s collaborators.
Amongst them are such notable Krakow artists as Wladyslaw Pluta, Piotr Kunce, Michał Jandura, Zbigniew Latała; Lech Majewski, Tomasz Bogusławski from Gdańsk, Wiesław Wałkuski, Elżbieta Chojna, Małgorzata Gurowska, Wojciech Korkuć from Warsaw; Leszek Wiśniewski, Mirosław Adamczyk from Poznan, Leszek Żebrowski from Szczecin, Roman Kalarus, Michał Kliś, Kaja Renkas, Monika Starowicz, Michał Sitek from Katowice, Sebastian Kubica from Cieszyn, Ryszard Kaja, Elżbieta Wojciechowska from Wroclaw, Wiesław Grzegorczyk from Rzeszow, Krzysztof Białowicz from Torun, Bogna Otto-Węgrzyn from Gliwice; Andrzej Klimowski and Sława Harasymowicz from London, as well as very promising young artists.
The Gallery regularly collaborates with various public and private cultural institutions, including museums and theatres, both in Poland and abroad as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Polish Cultural Institutions from all over the world.
Amongst the Gallery’s most notable achievements are the tremendously popular exhibitions such as: lOO Years of Poster Art, 1891-1992 (600 posters; 1993); Masters of Polish Poster Art (200 posters; 1995); Polish Film Poster – 100 Years of Cinema in Poland (880 posters; 1996); Polish Theatre Posters 1899-1999 (800 posters; 2000); and an equally important retrospective show of posters from 1989-2001 from the album Plakaty (300 posters; 2001).
Apart from organizing exhibitions, printing catalogues, posters and postcards and reproducing posters, the Gallery also collaborates with poster and film festivals and other organizations throughout Poland mounting thematic poster competitions.
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