On February 8 the elegant headquarters of the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City hosted a special event celebrating the centenary of Poland’s regained independence with a lecture entitled “Paderewski and World Politics,” given by PMC Director Marek Zebrowski. Zebrowski’s lecture was illustrated with dozens of rare photographs from the Polish Music Center’s Paderewski Archive: the Paso Robles Collection.
Stating at the outset that, “Paderewski’s contributions to Poland’s independence have largely been forgotten,” Zebrowski suggested that this year’s independence celebrations provide an ideal occasion for restoring Paderewski’s historical role as one of the founders of modern Poland. The lecture traced Paderewski’s political career from the unveiling of the Grunwald Monument in Kraków in 1910 through his role in President Wilson’s peace plan for Europe after World War I, to the Front Morges in the 1930s and Paderewski’s effort in aiding Poland during the early years of World War II.
“Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski are widely recognized as fathers of Poland’s independence,” Zebrowski said. “Unfortunately, Paderewski’s role is better-known in America than in Poland. Dmowski has a large traffic circle named after him in Warsaw, and Piłsudski has a number of monuments all across Poland, while Warsaw still does not have a street named after this great pianist, humanitarian, and Polish patriot.”
For more information, please see the online article in Nowy Dziennik—Polish Daily News(in Polish).
Marek Zebrowski will also be featured in a talk about Paderewski at a fundraising dinner and lecture at the University of Washington in Seattle on March 17. More information about this event hosted by the UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee can be found at: www.polishstudiesuw.org.
[Photo source: thekf.org]