The Polish Cultural Club of Greater Hartford Inc. will sponsor a special premiere and reception celebrating two new Polish folk art exhibits at the Polish Center of Discovery and Learning at Elms College in Chicopee, Mass., on April 30.
Both collectionsto be featured in “An Exclusive Sunday at the Museum” were donated by Krystyna Słowikowska Farley and the estate of Bernard Pajewski, both from New Britain.
Pajewski died last November at 89.
The first exhibit showcases 32 exquisite original costumes representing various regions of Poland. They are the gift of Farley, who will be the guest of honor during the program. Born in Poland and experiencing life-altering events during World War II recalled in “Far From Home,” a book detailing her experiences, Farley for 60 years has dedicated time to celebrate and recognize Polish history, culture and arts in the United States. She was for many years the leader of a Polish dance group and today, at age 91, is known for her passion, wit and elegance, according to organizers.
Staś Radosz, executive director of the Polish Center, will discuss specifics of the costume exhibit with lectures scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
The second exhibit is a recent acquisition from the estate of Pajewski, who amassed the largest collection of Polish folk art in the United States inside his Cape Cod home. Three trucks were required to transport the collection to the Polish Center.
Pajewski owned about 25 szopki (castle-like nativity scenes) – some 7 feet tall with moving mechanisms and electric lights, some prize winners from the annual szopka competition in Kraków. Over 200 carved wood folk sculptures, kilim tapestries, icons, maps and books, among other items, are also included in the acquisition.
“Thanks to Mr. Pajewski, these treasures will be preserved and displayed for generations to enjoy,” said Radosz.
Marek Czarnecki, internationally renowned iconographer and Polish historian, will share comments on the szopki, as well as on some of the folk art objects.
The event will begin at 1 p.m. and is open to the public. A $15 fee includes admission to the museum, an exclusive viewing of the two new exhibits, a lecture by Radosz, commentary by Czarnecki and an elegant wine, hors d’oeuvres and dessert reception.
The center, at 33 South St. in Chicopee, is handicapped-accessible. It is about a 45-minute drive from New Britain.
The museum is normally closed on Sundays but will be open for showings to guests who have made reservations in advance. For more information, contact Nancy at 860-568-2044, Anna-Mae at 860-521-7621 or visit www.polishculturalclub.org . For more information on the Polish Center of Discovery and Learning, visit www.polishcenter.net .
Christopher Fortier can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.