Stanisław Wyspiański and the Polish Arts and Crafts movement

  • 11 May 2019
  • 14:30 - 15:30
  • Free. No need to book.


Art historian Julia Griffin introduces the Polish Młoda Polska (Young Poland) movement and the work of its foremost representative, the artist, designer and writer Stanisław Wyspiański (1869–1907).

Like William Morris, Wyspiański was a polymath, whose prolific output included church and domestic interior decoration. He designed patterns, wall paintings, stained glass, furniture, textiles, book arts and stage sets. Wyspiański was instrumental in the foundation of the Polish Applied Arts Society (1901), the equivalent of Morris’s Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society.

Drawing on nature and the folk tradition, Wyspiański played a significant part in developing a distinctive national style, characterised by a ‘return to crafts’. The talk will focus on his famous decorative scheme at the Franciscan Church in Kraków (1895–1904), which invites comparisons with the work of Morris & Co.

Julia Griffin studied Victorian art at the Courtauld Institute of Art and is currently completing a PhD, ‘The Making of Kelmscott Manor (1871-1938)’, at Central Saint Martins, London. Her appointments have included Principal Curator of Guildhall Art Gallery, Collections Manager of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Assistant Curator of Watts Gallery, Curator of Aldourie Castle, and Curator of Piłsudski Institute of London. Julia’s publications focus on British and Polish art of the 19th century. She is a Freeman of the City of London.