Children's Illustrated and Picture Books from Poland, an exhibition curated by Kinga Duda and Michał Jachuła, brought together the best historical and contemporary examples of illustrated children's books of Poland, presented in form of objects, wall cuttings and multimedia applications.
Illustrated Polish children's books date back to the 1920's, engaging writers, poets, and visual artists. Among them were great poets, such as Jan Brzechwa and Julian Tuwim, responsible for texts of high literary value, and leading artists, like Franciszka Themerson, Jan Marcin Szancer and others. Their outstanding and intellectually entertaining books were, and still are, very attractive in form and content.
In the post-war era, illustrated picture books became especially popular, educating Polish children whilst developing their aesthetic and literary sensitivities.
The culture of children's books is still strong in Poland. Young designers and graphic illustrators have revived the medium, with publishing houses supporting both new works and bringing older titles back to print.
Children's Illustrated and Picture Books from Poland presented old and new titles that feature beautiful graphic design, reflecting important trends in Polish art over time including the Polish Poster School. In addition to their literary values, these books provided a link between several generations of Polish people, and are highly valued collectors' items.
The exhibition included a wide range of historic and contemporary books – from classics, such as Lokomotywa (Locomotive) illustrated by Jan Marcin Szancer, or the Elementarz (Primer) illustrated by Janusz Grabiański, to the recent publishing hits, led by Mapy (Maps) by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński, published in over 20 countries.