Stanisław Jacek Magierski’s Lublin | exhibition

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Stanisław Jacek Magierski was born in 1904 in Lublin and died there in 1957. He came from a well-known Lublin family. His grandfather Franciszek Magierski came to Lublin from the Poznań region in mid-19th century and as a merchant ran “Magazyn Mód, czyli sklep z ubiorami luksusowymi” (A Fashion House, or a luxury clothing store) at Krakowskie Przedmieście 143 (currently 25). He then passed the store on to his son – Jan Marek Magierski, Stanisław’s father. Jan Marek Magierski converted the store into “Magazyn Materiałów Aptecznych i Farb” (Pharmaceutical Materials and Paints Store), successfully maintaining the family business until his premature death. The 14-year-old Stanisław had to drop his dreams about becoming an artist, musician or a painter. After several years, he took up pharmaceutical studies at the University of Warsaw, and in 1927 took over and expanded  the declining family business. His artistic interests did not allow him to keep the business enclosed in the rigid framework of pharmacy and soon the store’s services broadened to include the supply of photochemical materials. He opened a new photographic laboratory, completely furnished by Agfa, one of the leading companies of the time. Stanisław Magierski’s store supplied materials for nearly everyone interested in photography in Lublin, both professionals and amateurs. Magierski’s company provided not only professional laboratory services. The owner also offered his extensive knowledge in the field of photography and photochemistry, was involved in patronage, and was friends with many prominent representatives of contemporary artistic Bohemia. He came up with a variety of cultural initiatives.

At the turn of 1936 and 1937, he contributed to the establishment of Lubelskie Towarzystwo Fotograficzne (Lublin Photographic Society). However, Stanisław Magierski was not just an animator of the photographic milieu of the interwar Lublin, but was himself an active and successful photographer. He took part in the First Polish Exhibition of National Photography, which took place in Warsaw in 1938, where he received an honorary diploma. He also took part in a photography exhibition in Birmingham, where he received a distinction. His favourite photography themes included landscapes and portraits. He is famous for his depictions of Kazimierz Dolny and Lublin’s Gypsies. However, Magierski was most of all concerned with on-going documentation of contemporary Lublin – the changing shape of the city, including its less frequently photographed parts, such as Wieniawa or the Czechówka river valley. He also documented important events and celebrations. The photographs, predominantly from the years 1934–1936, are of great historical value. A few years before the outbreak of World War II, Stanisław Magierski recorded a 7-minute film presenting the celebrations of the 3rd May Day, that took place in front of the now defunct hotel Victoria at Krakowskie Przedmieście street. The film also includes shots of the streets of the Old Town and Podzamcze area. It is the only amateur film about Lublin from the interwar period. During the occupation, he was an active member of the Underground, under the nom de guerre Jacek II. He wrote poems, song lyrics and composed music to them. He is the author, among other things, of a song which was famous during the occupation and popular in the 1960s. It was called “Dziś do ciebie przyjsć nie mogę or Kołysanka Leśna”. In 1944, he documented Nazi crimes in the Lublin Castle. He also took a series of photographs depicting the concentration camp in Majdanek. After the war, he was oppressed by the authorities and detained, among others, in the Lublin Castle. He lost the family business. He died at the age of 53.

(Source: “Leksykon Lublin” by “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre)

A large number of Stanisław Magierski’s photographs are kept in the depository of Hieronim Łopaciński Voivodeship Public Library in Lublin. The photographs on display come from the Magierski family collections stored in the archives of the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre

When: 30.05.2019 – 24.06.2019 
Where: The Hartwig Alley 
Outdoor exhibition, available at all times. Free.