Polish Poster Collections
The Frank Fox Polish Poster Collection at Drexel University and the Kenneth F. Lewalski Polish Posters Collection, housed in Westphal’s URBN Center at Drexel, together represent one of the largest surveys of Soviet era Polish posters in an institution in the United States. Over the past several years, there have been many opportunities for undergraduates to explore and exhibit this collection.
The Frank Fox Polish Poster Collection at Drexel University
The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University acquired the collection from Mr. Frank Fox, an alumni of the University, in 2007. This collection contains around 2,500 posters and range in date from the 1930’s through the 1990’s. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Included are many rare and early posters produced between 1918 & 1940. Approximately 75 Solidarity posters, Wiktor Sadowski posters, WWII and anti-Nazi potters produced outside of Poland, Polish anti-American posters from the 1950s, eight posters by Strarowieyski signed by the artist, posters for Polish Westerns, jazz posters, posters by Alexiun, Gorowski, and other renowned artists.
Kenneth F. Lewalski Polish Posters Collection
In 2009 the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University acquired the Kenneth F. Lewalski Polish Posters Collection. Kenneth Lewalski was an authority on Polish history that taught for many years at Rhode Island College. Many of the Posters were obtained after Lewalski obtained his Ph.D. in 1960 form the University of Chicago, when such posters were available, and before 1990; many were bought during his research trips to Poland.
There are around 140 posters in this collection, which is strong on posters relating to American jazz performers and theater and film productions. Nearly 20% of the collection is the work of Waldemar Swierzy who designed 1500 posters in his lifetime, 26 of which are in this collection. Included in this 26 are his Jazz Greats series, his Beatles portraits, and his imaginative film works. Other artists featured in this collection are Jan Lenica, Franciszek Strarowiejski, Jan Sawka, A. Pagowski, J. Czerniawski, Roman Cieslewicz, Maciej Urbaniec, Stasys Eidrigovicius, Jan Mlodozeniec, and A. Kilmowski.