Jan Wiktor Sienkiewicz

Professor Jan Wiktor Sienkiewicz, History of Art Professor and Art Critic
Department of History of Polish Art and Culture in Exile
Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun (Poland)

Jan Wiktor Sienkiewicz is a specialist of history of Polish culture and art in exile from 19th to 21st century. Founder and coordinator of Department of History of Polish Art and Culture in Exile at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. Professor of the Polish University Abroad in London, England.

Since 1989 he concentrates his research on Polish and European art from 19th through 21st century, especially on the Polish art in exile after 1939.

From 1981 to 1987 he studied Law and History of Art at the Catholic University of Lublin. In 1992 he received his Ph.D. and in 1998 he completed his post-doctoral degree in Modern Art.

He works as History of Art professor: first at the Catholic University of Lublin (until 2006), then at the Cardinal Wyszynski University in Warsaw (2006-2009), since 2009 he holds the position of Coordinator (Full professor) of the Department of Polish History of Art and Culture in Exile (the only department of this kind in the world) at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland.

In 2014 he was awarded the title of Professor of Humanities by the Polish President.

Most of Jan Wiktor Sienkiewicz’s publications are dedicated to a question otherwise absent from specialized literature: through recognition, systematic assessment and critical thinking professor Sienkiewicz analyses the role of Polish artists in exile, both in Polish art history and their impact on the artistic life of their new countries.

From 2000 to 2003 professor Sienkiewicz coordinated a grant of the State Committee for Scientific Research entitled “Polish art galleries in London after WWII”. Since 2012, he have been working on a research project called “Cataloguing and analysing the legacy of Polish artists in Great Britain in the 20th century at Toruń’s University Library”.

Professor Sienkiewicz is a member of many Polish and international associations and scientific societies, such as: KUL Academic Association, Association of Art Historians, Czech Association of Art Historians „Za Starou Prahu”, French Institut de Recherches Biographiques in Paris, European Centre of Polish Diaspora in Vaudricourt in France, International Association of Art Critics (AICA), Nicolaus Copernicus’ University Association „Archiwum Emigracji”, Association of Polish Writers Abroad in London, Associazione Italo-Polacca in Padwa, Italy, Polish Institute of World Art Studies, Warsaw.

Recipient of many scientific stipends; among others from: French Embassy in Poland at the Catholic Institute in Paris (1986), John Paul II Roman Foundation at the Pavia University (1992), University Sacro Cuore in Milan (1996, 2004), Margrabina J.S. Umiastowska’s Foundation in Rome (2011,2012), Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome (2012), Polish Embassy in Lebanon, Mission Institute in Würzburg (2013).

In 2009 he received Silver Medal for Long Service presented by the Polish President.

In 2014 he received Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis presented by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage for contribution to and protection of the Polish culture and national heritage.

Author and co-author of over 220 publications, including 35 books, concerning:

  • Polish art in exile, especially from the 20th century,
  • Works of artists of the so-called “Polish London” 1945-1989 (School of Marian Bohusz-Szyszko, Association of Polish Artists in Great Britain – APA and other Polish schools and groups created in Great Britain after the end of the Second World War),
  • History of Polish and foreign galleries of modern art in exile, especially in Great Britain (Drian Galleries, Grabowski Gallery, Centaur Gallery),
  • The works of Polish artists from Wladyslaw Anders’ Second Corps in the Middle East, Egypt and Italy (1942-1947),
  • Italian art of the 20th century, mainly from Milan (including Triennale di Milano and Attilio Alfieri) and Rome (Accademia di Belle Arti),
  • Works of modern artists of Polish descent, including Lithuanians, Ukrainians and Belarusians,
  • Cultural tourism,
  • Role of art in educational and therapeutic processes.