In March 2019, on the 150th anniversary of Józef Mehoffer’s birthday, Dr Wiesław Zadęcki donated a set of his drawings and portraits to the NMK, a wide selection of which is presented at the exhibition.
The donor, who is sadly deceased, was a physicist who at the same time had excellent knowledge of art. He strongly emphasized the fact that he was donating the collection of Mehoffer’s works to the Museum in accordance with the will of his parents, Halina and Stanisław Zadęcki, who had close, friendly relations with the artist. During the war, they lived with their son in Krakow. Wiesław Zadęcki met Józef Mehoffer as a young boy and kept many memories from these meetings which he passed onto us. They are very valuable, as they document a completely unknown theme in the artist’s biography (their transcript is available on the website of Józef Mehoffer’s House, NMK Branch).
Among the drawings featured in the exhibition, the study for the artist’s 1937 oil Self-Portrait, painted for the rectors’ gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, takes a central place. In Zbiniew Mehoffer’s room, where the exhibition is held, an original replica of that image is permanently exhibited.
We were also given portraits of Halina and Stanisław Zadęcki painted by Mehoffer. His other valuable works donated to the NMK include the study of St. Claudius (1912–1913) for the stained-glass window Deacons and Bishops in the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Fribourg, Switzerland, The Boy Nude (1899–1900), a study for the design of a frieze for the Palace of Fine Arts in Krakow, and an image of the artist’s wife Jadwiga from 1929.
Curator and coordinator – Beata Studziżba-Kubalska
Exhibition layout – Magdalena Bujak