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Arts & Entertainment - Campus & Community

Polish Resistance Art Posters to Be Displayed in Drexel’s Rincliffe Gallery

January 20, 2017

Plakat Polski.

The Frank Fox Polish Poster Collection at Drexel University and the Kenneth F. Lewalski Polish Posters Collection, housed in Westphal’s URBN Center at Drexel, together represent one of the largest surveys of Soviet-era Polish posters in an institution in the United States. These posters, which creatively and cunningly expressed public dissent in Soviet-dominated Poland, will be on display in the Rincliffe Gallery as part of a new exhibit, Plakat Polski: Selections from The Frank Fox Polish Poster Collection and Kenneth F. Lewalski Polish Posters Collection.

Polish poster art and design emerged at the end of World War II and reached its height during the Cold War era. The explosion of creativity expressed through the Polish School of poster design has had a lasting and significant impact on the history of 20th century graphic design.

The artists and designers who belonged to the Polish School served as social and political commentators during the Soviet-dominated years from 1945 to 1989. The allusions and metaphors in many of the posters they created for film, theater, opera, the Polish circus and music often made implicit statements on the totalitarian state. Sly and ironic, many Polish posters passed through the official state censors to be displayed on the streets of Warsaw, Krakow and other cities across Poland.

8th International Poster Biennale, Waldemar Swierzy, 1980, Frank Collection.
8th International Poster Biennale, Waldemar Swierzy, 1980, Frank Collection.

The Frank Fox Collection, donated to Drexel University in 2007, contains approximately 2,500 posters that range in date from the 1930’s through the 1990’s. The Kenneth F. Lewalski Collection of 140 posters was donated in 2009.

The exhibition was curated by Mark Willie, a Teaching Professor, Graphic Design, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

The exhibition is on display in the Rincliffe Gallery on the third floor of Main Building at 3141 Chestnut St. from Jan. 27through March 31. An exhibition opening will be held on Jan. 27 from 4–6 p.m. in the Rincliffe Gallery and Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery.

The Rincliffe Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Gallery is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Lynn Clouser, assistant director of The Drexel Collection, at 215.895.2414 or lcc48@drexel.edu.

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