Mieczyslaw Koscielniak - official site
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The achievements of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak presented during the individual and group exhibitions, and the opinions of art critics

The 80s

Medals, awards and distinctions:
  • 1981r. - Honorary Citizen of the City of Kalisz - the 50th anniversary of creative activity
  • 1985r. - Commemorative Medal granted by School and Pedagogic Publishing Houses for outstanding achievements in the field of developing Polish school book
  • 1982r. - Brother Albert's Award for nationwide message and humanitarian content of documentary creative activity
  • 1989r. - Laureate of the City of Kalisz's Award as a proof of exceptional recognition for long-term, consistent popularizing history and cultural heritage of Kalisz in plastic arts
  • 1989r. - The Voivod of Slupsk's Award for particular achievements in the field of developing and popularizing culture in the voivodeship of Slupsk
Group exhibitions:
  • 1983r. - Freiburg - „Works from Oswiecim”
  • 1985r. - Warszaw - Krolikarnia
  • 12th - 19th of October 1986 - Slupsk - ecclesiastical art exhibition
  • 1989r. - Kalisz - Muzeum Okregowe Ziemi Kaliskiej - Laureate of The City of Kalisz's Award
Individual exhibitions:
  • 1981r. - Kalisz - the 50th anniversary of creative activity in Muzeum Okregowe Ziemi Kaliskiej
  • 6th of November 1982 - Frankfurt
  • 1982r. - Jerusalem
  • 1982r. - Stockholm
  • 1982r. - London
  • 1986 - 89r. - The United Nations
  • 24th of June 1987 - Slupsk - exhibition of paintings and graphics works during Central Days of The Sea - „Man and Nature”
  • 4th of September 1987 - Slupsk - Muzeum Pomorza srodkowego - „Music in painting and graphics”
  • 1988r. - Slupsk - Empik - „Portraits”

The exhibition designed to sum up 50 years of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's creative activity was organized in 1981 in Kalisz.

The exhibition in Kalisz (photography, 1981)

The exhibition in Kalisz (photography, 1981)

The exhibition in Kalisz (photography, 1981)

The exhibition in Kalisz (photography, 1981)

The exhibition in Kalisz (photography, 1981)

A catalog was edited for this exhibition and it started with the artist's words:

A man - main motif of my creative activity. (...)
I try to practice modern graphics, but the one which is legible for the audience, and that makes my works be so well accepted by the viewers. Main motif of my paintings and its principal task is to present a man - his joy and happiness as well as suffering, sorrow, tragedy and despair.

The catalog contains also reviews of the works and opinions about the artist's creative activity. Bohdan Adamczak says:

Series of works, whose titles quoted in fragments of reviews and essays are so willingly associated, also by the artist himself, with „an illustrator's workshop”, stand for essential Trojan horse which hides artist's original personality. I have impression that it is the way to suppress huge pathos in talking about little truths about mankind, because in the composition and harsh discipline of style, creation of literary symbolism is rather secondary. Then watching Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works, we turn our thoughts towards Salvatore Quasimodo's verses, where „everyone is alone in the middle of the earth, (pierced with sun beam), evening is soon.”

Janusz Maciej Michalowski expresses his opinion:

„Drawings of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak, which are the result of the most personal experience and thoughts, and which are characterized by its timeless subject matter and simultaneously by its currency, which is not restrained to experience and problems of human being, country, continent, our era, incline towards thinking and reflecting. That is their deep human content.”

Polish press wrote about the exhibition which took place in 1982 in Frankfurt as it follows:

(...) On 6th of November 1982, he was invited to Frankfurt with his wife and a representative of museum in Oswiecim for the opening of his exhibition, presenting works from Oswiecim and present-day graphics works and oil paintings.

The opening of the exhibition in Frankfurt (photography, 1982)

The opening of the exhibition in Frankfurt (photography, 1982)

The opening of the exhibition in Frankfurt (photography, 1982)

The exhibition was prepared by the organization of German Catholic and Evangelical intelligentsia named Zeichen der Hoffnung - The Sign of Hope. Graphical works and paintings were presented simultaneously in four cities: Jerusalem, Stockholm, London and Frankfurt.

The exhibition took place in a beautiful, antique complex of buildings - Dominikanerkloster - and impressed citizens of Frankfurt visibly. By the time Mieczyslaw Koscielniak left Frankfurt, there had been about 5000 visitors to the exhibition.

During his stay in the Federal Republic of Germany, Mieczyslaw Koscielniak gave numerous interviews. Reviews of his exhibitions were printed in the main newspapers and magazines in the Federal Republic of Germany; a special album presenting life and Koscielniak's achievements was also printed.

J. Kossakowski in his article „The Oswiecim exhibition in Frankfurt” published in „Slowo Powszechne” relates:

(...) The exhibition organized by The Sign of Hope was commented by German society as a right reminding of Hitlerism crimes, it is also thought that character of author's creative activity as well as his presence itself as a former concentration camp prisoner in Oswiecim may be helpful in further building of friendly and peaceful bridge between Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany.

The exhibition was presented until Christmas, and then it was displayed in other known cities in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The author said about the exhibition:

We were a little afraid of provocation, but nothing of that kind happened. German youth accepted my works with a great culture and calmness, but also with some grudge against parents and tutors that so far they had never been told about it, that the crimes of fathers or grandfathers against Polish nation and other European nations had been hidden. Those kind of remarks can be found in commemorative book.

The reflection of Dietmar Wagner written in commemorative book:

The things I see here leave me speechless. It is simply unbelievable - see and read all this and then leave, shop, go home by car. Why won't the world stop? Why do we go downstream - we do not want to see and hear, why do we accept it?

His friend - Wilhelm Wattleufer - wrote:

Without silent majority, concentration camps and all that tyranny would not have existed. It had to be paid by the end of the war. Let that silent majority learn to speak in our times! It is our only hope!

Another exhibition took place in Muzeum Pomorza srodkowego in 1987. Its main theme was „Music in painting and graphics”. There are many photos gathered in artist's home archive.

The opening of the exhibition in Muzeum Pomorza Srodkowego (photography, 1987)

The opening of the exhibition in Muzeum Pomorza Srodkowego (photography, 1987)

The opening of the exhibition in Muzeum Pomorza Srodkowego (photography, 1987)

The opening of the exhibition in Muzeum Pomorza Srodkowego (photography, 1987)

The exhibition of paintings and graphics works during Central Days of The Sea - „Man and Nature” ”

The exhibition of paintings and graphics works „Man and Nature&r dquo; (photography, 1987)

The exhibition of paintings and graphics works „Man and Nature” - Mieczyslaw Koscielniak and Slupsk Deputy Mayor Mr. Koziol (photography, 1987)

The exhibition of paintings and graphics works „Man and Nature” (photography, 1987)

The exhibition of paintings and graphics works „Man and Nature” (photography, 1987)

There was next exhibition of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak works titled „Portraits” in Empik in Slupsk in the end of 1988.

The opening of the exhibition in Empik in Slupsk (photography, 1988)

The opening of the exhibition in Empik in Slupsk (photography, 1988)

The opening of the exhibition in Empik in Slupsk (photography, 1988)

The opening of the exhibition in Empik in Slupsk (photography, 1988)

In January edition of „Glos Pomorza” Teresa Skórowa - a curator of the museum in Slupsk talks about the artist's creative activity and the exhibition:

Without any doubt, personality of Józef Mehoffer - a great painter and stained glass artist had certain influence on artistic life of Koscielniak. However it refers more to noticeable Modernistic aura, symbolic way of expressing general problems of human existence rather that to formal solutions. As every talented artist, Koscielniak follows his own path, creatively making reference to good tradition of Polish art.

Mieczyslaw Koscielniak, inspired by Polish Modernistic painting, touches everyone who is familiar with tradition of national art. Work of this artist results not only from needs of intellect, but also needs of heart. Everyday life reality is transformed into biblical or mythological images, what creates new painting reality, so characteristic for this artist. What is remarkable about his works are also methods of composition and organizing painting plane. A traditional illusion of space is absent here, but there is permeating of grounds, suggesting movement sometimes.

The way of presenting is primarily derived from emotional expression, sometimes sentimentally naive, but so genuine. There are theatrical gestures of helpless old men's palm, deformations of the body, and sign of suffering visible on the face ruined by the old age.

High intensity and multitude of colors gleaming with their own light, figures placed in the space which is not determined by any real form, invisible horizon - these are the features which create the work which is so artistically homogeneous.

Poster of the exhibition (photography, 1988)

The exposition starts with multiplied self-portrait. From one vertical core faces painted in various directions go out: an face, profile, three quarters, in different stages of life as well, starting from the adulthood finishing with the approaching old age. The triple portrait of artist's wife is slightly different in composition terms, but in similar manner, yet it is more dynamic by introducing several grounds and movement.(...)

The first look at the display as a whole brings the viewer in a joyful mood. (…) Sensual paintings with vivid colors and sound are the majority. There is a lot of vitality and sincere joy of life. How happy person shall one be to paint like this!

Separate parts of the exhibition are the portraits of acquainted, set in traditional pose. Buy also here, the artist is a good observer who accurately presents not necessary positive features of the model.

On the occasion of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak being awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of the City of Kalisz, there was also a great exhibition of the artist's works. Unfortunately, due to his serious illness, the painter was not able to participate in the exhibition and collect the nomination. City authorities decided to present it personally in Ustka.

Mieczyslaw Koscielniak receives a diploma of Honorary Citizen of the City of Kalisz (photography, 1989)

A catalog for the exhibition was also brought, the introduction to it was written by Maciej Kozlowski:

In the recent years Mieczyslaw Koscielniak finally decided to break up with monochromatic array of his paintings, he probably gave up his later manner of pastel colors that softly absorbed and emitted secret light. Now he is interested in pure, vivid, light colors put with bold strokes of paintbrush or pointed patches. Such liberation of color brings astonishing results: painting of Koscielniak, so reflective in its content, is in the same time dynamic and vital. It becomes material element of color; sometimes it is even a proof of artist's euphoria. These artistic phantasms shall be presented very close to these paintings in which the artist is in the foreground, which stand for endless chain of questions about meaning of art as they are the answer - one of the possible - the act of their creation is the act of hope.

Judging by bright and pure colors, historians of art will find reference to Polish colorists. They will also show that Koscielniak's painting gains inspiration from other examples of Polish art in the 30s: euphoria of some Witkacy's paintings, repeating the same form of Chwistek. But if so, they shall also find something different, going further there are also reminders of art nouveau as Koscielniak is a student of Mehoffer. It may appear that such statements will become very important and quintessential one day.

But now, the most important is the reflective conversation conducted by Mieczyslaw Koscielniak with himself, between doubt and hope, with us as witnesses.

The 90s

The achievements of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak presented during the individual and group exhibitions, and the opinions of art critics.

Medals, awards and distinctions:
  • 1992r. - The Award of Voivod of Slupsk.
Wystawy zbiorowe:
  • 1991 - Flensburg - „Witkacy i Koscielniak”, Stadtisches Museum
Individual exhibitions:
  • 1990 - 91r. - Japan
  • 1992r. - Zielona Góra - artist's benefis to celebrate the 80th birthday
  • 1995r. - Slupsk - Galeria Kameralna BWA
  • 1995r. - Ustka - Baltycka Galeria Sztuki
  • 1997r. - Ustka - paintings
  • 1st of July 1997 - Slupsk - St Maksymilian Kolbe church
Teresa Skórowa - a curator of Muzeum Pomorza srodkowego - in her article titled „Witkacy and Koscielniak in Flensburg” writes:

Two separate exhibitions of drawings, graphics works and paintings of two Polish artists - Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz - Witkacy and Mieczyslaw Koscielniak were opened in temporary exhibition rooms in City Museum on 3rd of October 1991- a day which for Germans was a holiday. Doctor Ulrich Schulte-Wulwer arranged the exhibition which was reflective and formally contradictory: twenty multicolored oil paintings painted in the last phase of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's creative activity, containing certain dose of autobiographic events against the background of deep thoughts about the shape of the world, unsolved mysteries and complications, were supplemented by a few dozens of graphics works and drawings illustrating particular events of life in a concentration camp in the 40s and being a graphical story about father Maksymilian Kolbe's martyr death. In the invitation Dr Schulte-Wulwer reminded about broad knowledge and humanistic values of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's art. Opposite, three other exhibition rooms hosted paintings of Witkacy. (...)
Both exhibitions had well-edited catalogues with high circulation.

The last exhibition which was attended personally by the artist was his benefit to celebrate 80th birthday. It took place in Anch gallery in Zielona Góra, and it was organized and sponsored by Mariola and Piotr Kosowicz. The event was described by Teresa Skórowa in her article in „Glos Pomorza” in 1992:

Paintings and drawings made in Indian ink were presented. Unconventional lives are their main metaphoric content or allusions to timeless, universal issues. Their beauties are light and color through which the artist highlights the most important fragments of composition.

M. Koscielniak's benefit (photography, 1992, Zielona Gora)

M. Koscielniak's benefit (photography, 1992, Zielona Gora)

M. Koscielniak's benefit (photography, 1992, Zielona Gora)

M. Koscielniak's benefit (photography, 1992, Zielona Gora)

M. Koscielniak's benefit (photography, 1992, Zielona Gora)

The exhibition was organized on a grand scale. Bilingual, A4 catalog of 40 pages contained several colorful reproductions of painting and graphic techniques, a biographic note, an introduction, a selection of reviews by well-known critics of art as well as artistic and philosophical credo of Koscielniak.

Iwona Petryt-Gierasimczuk in the catalog writes:

Painting requires versatile knowledge and imagination as well as it requires…common sense. As it was said by Goya: „Imagination deprived of common sense bears monstrosity, united with it - is a mother of art.”
Painting composition is an intellectual art itself, perceived through eye and heart. It is ruled by its own philosophy and logic. Yet, real beauty of the painting has to be simply sensed. To paint and to explain the paintings is far too much.
What can be said about Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's creative activity? It is placed in many layers of human personality, which while being hidden, determine his or her dignity. He paints everything what stands for our fading. Continual rhythm of the world, fall and rebirth. People, because they are irreplaceable, and each of them has own history which can be continued or destroyed by a follower. And in this context, it is of no importance if we recognize memories form a concentration camp, a portrait of a beautiful girl, memories of numerous travels, biblical parable or metaphysical landscape.
It is all truth as mystery or dogma of human shape is the truth, too. Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works can please the audience.
(...) Evolution from „hot” color, post-Cubistic disintegration towards eclectic calmness visible in his painting shows that the artist gives rich „costume” up for the sake of deepening the message. Composition becomes clearer and more organized. These paintings are addressed to all these people who want to take a bit o effort to read their meanings and contexts. There is an attempt to portrait forces which rule the world and simultaneously an attempt to compensate for own deep fears in this extremely rich creative activity.

In the same catalog, Bożena Kowalska says:

„Scenes created by Koscielniak, always figurative, do not have reality features. The author does not make things precise. He repulses perspective, the background is left blurred. Creatures (...) are symbols. They stand for heroism, power, mourning, humility or slenderness and charm of femininity. Thanks to using sign and antirealism of the visions with simultaneous subordinating them to the laws of composition logic, Koscielniak's illustrations do not restrain the viewers' imagination, on the contrary - they enrich it, keeping up with modern artistic concept.”

Bożena Szal - a critic of art from Kalisz - is quoted in the catalog:

Works connected with all-human issues, in almost catastrophic dimension, go beyond mythological circle. These paintings speak also about the most simple and beautiful things: joy, love, motherhood and friendship as well as about dark sides of life - the old age, suffering, fading.

After Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's death, his art is still popular; there are still individual and group exhibitions.

Thanks to Urszula Koscielniak - the widow of the late artist - the memory of the artist still lasts. Right now she propagates husband's creative activity and its message. Exhibitions and meetings with youth are organized, publications are printed in cooperation with her, and quite recently „Trwam” Catholic TV screened Koscielniak's biography and aired it on 4th of August 2004. TVP 2 in cooperation with the museum in Oswiecim prepared a film about creative activities in the concentration camp in which over 60 works of the artist were presented. The film was shot in order to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the camp's liberation.

Group exhibitions:
  • 2000 - 2002r. - the USA
  • 2000r. - Slupsk - Richter's Granary - Muzeum Pomorza srodkowego
  • 2001r. - London - Imperial War Museum - „Heritage of silence. Art facing Holocaust”
  • 2004r. - Brno - Muzeum Romanskie Kultury Brne o.p.s
  • 2005.05.24 - Berlin - Centrum Judaicum - „Art in Auschwitz 1940 -1945”

Individual exhibitions:
  • 1995r. - Slupsk - Galeria Kameralna BWA
  • 1995r. - Ustka - Baltycka Galeria Sztuki
  • 1997r. - Ustka - Dom Kultury „Painting”
  • 1997.07.01 - Slupsk - St Maksymilian Maria Kolbe church
  • 2000.04 - Koszalin - Higher Seminary - „The Old and New Testament”
  • 2000r. - Ustka - Muzeum Ziemi Usteckiej
  • 2002r. - Slupsk - St Jan Kante church
  • 2002r. - Slupsk - St Maksymilian Maria Kolbe church
  • 3rd of March 2003 - Slupsk - Civitas Christiana - „The Great Immortals”
  • 3rd of April 2003 - Slupsk - Muzeum Pomorza srodkowego, Teashop - „Mieczyslaw Koscielniak 1912 - 1993, drawings and watercolors”;
  • 25th of July 2003 - Slupsk - Baltycka Galeria Sztuki Nowoczesnej - „Portraits”
  • 24th of September 2003 - opening of constant exhibition in the City Hall of Slupsk
  • 2004r. - Kalisz - exhibition hall, Państwowa Wyższa Szkola Zawodowa

Press releases about the exhibitions:

„Goniec Pomorski” - 6th of June 1995

Art event of the year. I would not have hesitated to call the exhibition prepared by Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych this way. I mean retrospective display of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works. (...)
In the opinion of specialists, he is one of the most outstanding contemporary painters, graphic designers, draftsmen, philosophers. (…) In other words, he is a man of Renaissance. (jel)

„Glos Slupski” - 7th of June 2000.

„Mieczyslaw Koscielniak - a world famous artist, who lived in Slupsk and died in 1993, left an enormous artistic heritage, among the others, the collection of 50 black and white graphics illustrating the Old and New, which had never been exhibited in Poland.
Koscielniak's creative activity is extremely valuable in our region - confirms priest Krzysztof Zadarko.
The very first viewers of Koscielniak's biblical works were seminarians of catholic seminar where a debut exhibition of series of these paintings was organized in April. (jon)

„Gazeta Slupska” - March 2003

One of the streets in Ustka on the West bank of the Slupia River bears the name of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak.
On the occasion of the opening of Muzeum Ziemi Usteckiej in 2000, there was a temporary exhibition of the artist's paintings. 42 paintings on the canvas, 3 designs of stained glass as well as books illustrated by him, catalogs and the creator's palette with paintbrushes were presented on the first floor.
B. Zgodzińska

„Informator Slupski” - 15th of August 1999

„Koscielniak in America”

Mieczyslaw Koscielniak - a world famous painter, who died in 1993, aroused American museum's interest.
Several days ago, a group of Maryandy Leigh Museum of Art, functioning by the University of Evanston, left the Museum in Oswiecim with a selection of 100 graphic and woodcut works, chosen out of 550 Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works belonging to the collection of the museum. Chosen works will be displayed during international exhibition in American museums, planned for the beginning of 2000. The collection consists of graphic and woodcut works created in the concentration camp in Oswiecim in the years 1941-1945 and is characterized by a common theme - theme of martyrdom - says Urszula Koscielniak, the widow of the late artist - The American say that works of my husband stand for a historical document of living in the concentration camp and that is their extraordinary value. The collection can be also found in a special Internet site as Mieczyslaw Koscielniak creative activity was paid attention to by David Mickenberg working for North Western University in Evanston, who conducts a scientific program connected with art of concentration camps' prisoners.

„Glos Pomorza” - 5th of November 2002

„Koscielniak over the ocean”
Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's artistic heritage is still in demand. Nowadays his works can be seen by the visitors of Block Art Museum in Evanston, Illinois, the USA.
The presented works were lent in order to prepare the exhibition titled „The last expression. Art and Auschwitz”. The exposition consists of an array of works created in the concentration camp or which were inspired by artists' experiences as victims of Nazi regime.

„Glos Slupski” - 22nd of May 2001

„Koscielniak in Imperial Museum”

A late artist from Slupsk - Mieczyslaw Koscielniak - fixes his world fame as a witness of Holocaust. After exhibitions in Japan and the USA, his works from the period of 1939 - 1945 when he was a prisoner of a concentration camp, were presented in Imperial War Museum in London during big exhibition titled „Heritage of silence. Art facing Holocaust.” It will be possible to see the exhibition in London for 3 years. (...) Thanks to financial supports of Aleksander Balysz - a Pole living in London - and Jerzy Mazurek - the President of the City of Slupsk - Urszula Koscielniak, the widow of the late artist, could participate in the opening of the exhibition. She and here daughter - Nelly Kobylecka - were the only ones to represent Poland.
The management of Imperial War Museum accepted us warm - heartedly. The exhibition aroused a huge interest, what makes me believe that my husband's suffering was not in vain and that his paintings from Oswiecim will remind about atrocities of war to the next generation - says Urszula Koscielniak.

Urszula Koscielniak in London museum (photography, 2001)

„Glos Slupski” - 2nd of July 2002

„The picture of the Popes”
A very peculiar black and white picture dated 1971 can be found among reminders of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak - a world famous artist who died in 1993 in Slupsk. The photography, which has never been published so far, depicts the then Pope - Paul VI, the future Pope - John Paul II, Stefan Wyszyński - the Cardinal of the Millennium and Mieczyslaw Koscielniak.
The picture was taken during Maksymilian Kolbe's beatification process which had been witnessed by my husband. - says Urszula Koscielniak, the widow of the late artist - He went to Rome with the then cardinals Wojtyla and Wyszyński. He prepared a special folder for Paul VI containing 16 woodcut works presenting biography of father Maksymilian.

Presenting the folder of graphic works to the Pope Paul VI. From the left: M. Koscielniak, the primate S. Wyszyński, the Pope Paul VI and the cardinal K. Wojtyla (photography, 1971)

The photography was recently presented to the viewers of the jubilee exhibition, organized in St Jan Kante church in Slupsk on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diocese of Koszalin and Slupsk, during which the heirs of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak presented works of the artist devoted to father Kolbe, among the others 4 woodcut works belonging to ‘the pope's collection', which are the only ones preserved in Poland. (jon)

The exhibition in St Jan Kante church (photography, 2002)

„Glos Niedzielny” - 6th of April 2003

„The Great Immortals”
The exhibition of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works (Civitas Christiana „The Great Immortals”) was in huge demand of citizens of Slupsk. Andrzej Szebiotko summarized the impressions accompanying the exhibition:
The exhibition is very interesting and it is good that so many people will get to know the artist. People do not know that such a world-class artist lived among us. It is an extremely interesting personality, particularly in terms of drawing and graphics works. Individualism can be seen in his works, it is possible to recognize his manner of painting. It is a really ambitious artist.
It is a timeless character. Artist's paintings are still up to date and returning to them, we always discover something new. - says Nelly Kobylecka in the same article about the artist - Everything what he created will be always a message to the others. He addressed his paintings to all the people, talking about the most important things. It is a man who makes me respect and admire him for what he survived and how he presented it later on. My children live in the atmosphere of his paintings.
During the exhibition in Slupsk I wanted to show my husband and artist from the different point of view. - says Ursula Koscielniak, wife of late artist - My husband treated art with a great consideration and prudence. The exhibition presents his ecclesiastical side in which we lived. We spoke a lot about human values, life and it was the way the portraits were created - ‘human mile stones' which showed us the way by their stance. It is the way the collection was created, in which I distinguish particularly two people: father Maksymilian who guided us throughout the whole life and Mother Theresa of Calcutta. (...)
J. Sabat USKJ

The exhibition „The Great Immortals” organized in on the 10th anniversary of artist's death (photography, 2003)

The exhibition „The Great Immortals” organized in on the 10th anniversary of artist's death (photography, 2003))

The exhibition „The Great Immortals” organized in on the 10th anniversary of artist's death (photography, 2003)

The exhibition „The Great Immortals” organized in on the 10th anniversary of artist's death (photography, 2003)

The exhibition „The Great Immortals” organized in on the 10th anniversary of artist's death (photography, 2003)

The folder for the exhibition prepared by Muzeum Pomorza srodkowego 2003
„Mieczyslaw Koscielniak 1912 - 1993, drawings and watercolors”

Ink drawing made in the 80s devoted to the musical and literary themes as well as those inspired by the city of Ustka (where the artist lived from 1979 to 1990) were presented during the exhibition prepared for the 10th anniversary of the artist's death. Drawings and watercolors with the landscapes of Polish cities mainly from the 50s were the other group of works.

The exhibition in Teashop in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

The exhibition in Teashop in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

„Glos Niedzielny” - 24th of August 2003

„Koscielniak's portraits”
The exhibition of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works titled „Portraits” was opened in Baltycka Galeria Sztuki Wspólczesnej in the end of June. On this occasion there was also a promotion of Janina Kupiec's book „What remains after us…”
The opening was attended by all those people who Koscielniak used to call friends. For them he painted their portraits, for them he left those characteristic paint brush strokes with typical - his own - colors. But most often he used to paint the person who was the closest to him, who he always thought and spoke about as his muse - his wife Urszula Koscielniak.
What is interesting for the viewers is the possibility to see the artist while working on one, out of many, portraits as several ago it was recorded on the videotape. (...)
J. Sabat USJK

The exhibition in BWA (photography, 2003)

The exhibition in BWA (photography, 2003)

The exhibition in BWA (photography, 2003)

The exhibition in BWA (photography, 2003)

The Internet information - 28th of July 2004

The constant exhibition bearing name of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak was opened in the City Hall in Slupsk, in room 211, on 24th of September 2003.
The guests were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor - Mr. Ryszard Kwiatkowski, the exhibition was opened by Mrs. Anna Bogucka - Skowrońska - the City Council's leader.

The opening of exhibition Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works in the exhibition hall of the City Hall in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

The opening of exhibition Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works in the exhibition hall of the City Hall in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

The opening of exhibition Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works in the exhibition hall of the City Hall in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

Dr. Klaus Würmell representing German organization Zeichen der Hoffnung from Frankfurt (photography, 2003)

The opening of exhibition Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works in the exhibition hall of the City Hall in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

The opening of exhibition Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works in the exhibition hall of the City Hall in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

Mrs. Beata Zgodzińska - a curator of Muzeum Pomorza srodkowego introduced everybody to Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's art. The whole exhibition was prepared by Mr. Edward Iwański - a city's artist. Artistic part was conducted by Mrs. Danuta Lipska. A concert of the students of State Music School in Slupsk took place during the exhibition.
The exhibition was also attended by the guests from other regions of the country, among the others: Mrs. Jolanta Kupiec - a representative of Auschwitz - Birkenau Museum and an author of the book under title „What remains after us…” devoted to Mieczyslaw Koscielniak, Dr. Klaus Würmell and Dr. Friedrich Barth with their spouses - representatives of German organization Zeichen der Hoffnung (The Sign of Hope) from Frankfurt.

The opening of exhibition Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works in the exhibition hall of the City Hall in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

The opening of exhibition Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's works in the exhibition hall of the City Hall in Slupsk (photography, 2003)

A meeting conducted by the Deputy Mayor - Mr. Ryszard Kwiatkowski - took place during the ceremony of the exhibition's opening. A declaration of constant cooperation among the gallery of museum in Oswiecim and organization Zeichen der Hoffnung (The Sign of Hope) was made.
The opening of the constant gallery, which goes beyond the walls of museum in Oswiecim, and which presents works of Mieczyslaw Koscieleniak, a creator of the broadest documentary of human annihilation during the World War II, particularly in the concentration camp of Auschwitz - Birkenau, will grant easier access to young people to get to know artist's message.
Noticing and understanding this message by the authorities of Slupsk receives special recognition. www.mieczyslawkoscielniak.com - events

„Gosć Niedzielny” - 26th of June 2003

I will tell you...
„I will tell you about father Maksymilian Kolbe…” - with these words Urszula Koscielniak - wife of an outstanding artist Mieczyslaw Koscielniak, a former prisoner of the concentration camp in Oswiecim and a witness of Kolbe's martyrdom - addressed young people attending class IB in Comprehensive High School No. 4 who, for the very first time, met the history not taken from the course books, but living and touching.”
The youth was listening attentively. After that unique lesson, the students shared their opinions:

I will always remember these words: that we should live as to leave good and beauty after us. (Kasia Kazimierczyk) When I was going to that meeting, I did not know that that even would be lodged in my memory and my heart. (Grzegorz Wilkiel) The meeting made it obvious for me that there are people who deserve our special respect. (Adam Kostuj)

But the biggest effect was made by the possibility to meet the history witness - wife of the artist. (...)

The young people participating in the meeting could also get acquainted with the artist's creative activity on the occasion of the exhibition held in the gallery Civitas Christiana. The students valued highly artist's paintings: (...)

These works contain much wisdom. (Jacek Tomczak)

I am grateful for that meeting. It all made a great impression on me. (Kasia Dajczek)

I am impressed, it is very fascinating. I have never heard anybody speaking so earnestly as Mrs. Urszula Koscileniak. (Tomek Lis)

I have been to many exhibitions, but none of them was so moving and so interesting for me. (Karolina Prokop)

Mrs. Urszula Koscielniak could not hide her contentment because of that uncanny lesson, too. J. Sabat USKJ

„Glos Koszaliński” 2003r.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his pontificate and the 83rd birthday, John Paul II received a gift from the pilgrims from diocese of Koszalin and Slupsk, among the others, a graphics work of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak.

Making the Pope a gift of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's work (photography, 2003)

Artist's wife, in order to draw Mieczyslaw Koscielniak closer to bigger number of people, set an Internet site, which was constructed by Kacper Kosowicz. As it results from the number of visitors and comments in a guestbook, the site reached its goal.

The comments from the guestbook - 28th of July 2004

„It is a very beautiful monument to honor Mieczyslaw. We often return to our memories from Ustka.” j.krzewicki@wp.pl

„Having been brought up on beautifully illustrated literature for children and youth, until this day I treasure my great masters of illustration: M. Koscielniak, J.M. Szancer, A. Uniechowski, S. Rozwadowski and many others. I conduct art classes with the wonderful young people and very often in our conversations we focus on books, illustrations and their best creators. Last year we hosted Bahdan Butenko. For a very long time we spoke about old illustrators he had known personally. Of course I spoke about Mieczyslaw Koscielniak as one of my most favorite draughts men, about his original stroke, which distinguish him from the others. I have several books with Mieczyslaw Koscielniak's illustrations, but for years I have been a maniac searcher for „Zawisza Czarny” - a comic book of his authorship. As a boy I used to buy „swiat Mlodych” where it was published. I am grateful for having allowed me to get to know Mieczyslaw Koscielniak better as he is a very important person for me.” panromek-pe@o2.pl

„Thank you very much for that site. I think we have no right to forget about what happened in Oswiecim and about heroism of the people who sacrificed their lives. I am 22 years old and I do not know anything about yoke of war, but I read about it in my spare time, trying to remember about those who are gone, those who survived. I know that the strength of human life is tremendous, what you, Mr. Mieczyslaw, proved and for what I am thankful.” www.eweusz1@wp.pl

„From the very beginning I would like to thank Mrs. Urszula Koscielniak and authors of this site for having brought such an incredible man and artist as Mieczyslaw Koscielniak nearer to me. Biography of Mieczyslaw Koscielniak shows that it comes so easy to destroy the life, sometimes in imperceptible way, not only of one human being, but of thousands of them. Simultaneously, it gives hope that it is possible to defend ourselves against brutality of life. The story told by Mieczyslaw Koscielniak is the testimony of the fact that sensitivity, the good, sacrifice and responsibility for the other people can defeat the evil. It shows that the beauty can be seen everywhere, and that „a Good Person” is not „a Unique Phenomenon” - it just needs to be learnt to see a good person in those people who we interact everyday. Thanks to this site, ideals of the artist can reach many. They are not just empty slogans; they are born as a result of real experiences. That is why I trust in these words: There are not so difficult moments as to give up human ideals. There are not so difficult moments as not to see any hope.” joanna.kowalska@mafnet.gov.pl

„Ziemia Kaliska” 17th December 2004

„Painful graphics works”
Presented works come from the collection of Adam and Kazimierz Koscielniak, two sons of the artist. These kinds of collections are not created accidentally. One always passes on the most important things to the closest.
And for that reason, the exhibition makes such a shocking impression. Koscielniak's graphics works not only talk about crimes or cruelty, but also about pain of living, eternal fears and nightmares, endless hesitation and disappointment, dark hopelessness, all-embracing sadness, and inevitable fading. These graphics works are deeply painful.” (BS)

„The official site of the City Council's Office in Slupsk” - 18th of June 2006

German Chancellor - Gerhard Schroeder and Urszula Koscielniak at the exhibition's opening ceremony

Former Ambassador of the Republic of Poland - Dr. Andrzej Byrt - was one of the guests opening the exhibition

The exhibition titled „Art in Auschwitz 1940 - 1945” was opened in Berlin, in New Synagogue which hosts The Centre of Judaism. The exhibition was organized on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of camp's liberation which falls on this year. The opening was made by German Chancellor - Gerhard Schroeder. The exhibition consisted of 140 works of art from the collection of Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz - Birkenau in Oswiecim, presenting still lives, landscapes, caricatures, but first and foremost, portraits. Among the work presented, there were works of an outstanding artist - Mieczyslaw Koscielniak.

The visitors to the exhibition

The visitors from Poland

Mieczyslaw Koscielniak is highly valued as an artist abroad; the exhibitions of his works take place in Germany, the USA, even Japan. He is less known in his own country. For that reason Mr. Maciej Kobyliński - The President of The City of Slupsk decided to change the situation and obliged subjected departments to immediate realization of the undertaking which will remind and honor Mieczyslaw Koscielniak, in order to preserve the memory of an artist, prisoner and in last years of his life, a citizen of Slupsk.
Urszula Koscielniak - wife of the artist who lives in Slupsk - was present at the opening and as a guest of honor, together with Gerhard Schroeder, she watched works gathered in New Synagogue in Berlin.

Mariusz Smoliński The City Council's Office spokesman, www.um.slupsk.pl

The exhibition met huge interest of the media

Urszula Koscielniak is interviewed by German television