History

HELENA MODJESKA ART AND CULTURE CLUB


OUR HISTORY

Established in 1971, Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club is an a-political organization, dedicated to the promotion of the Polish cultural heritage, as well as Polish arts and sciences in California. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, with the IRS Tax Determination number EIN 20-3491956, the Club sponsors important cultural events in Los Angeles and its environs. During the past four decades of its existence it has made a significant contribution to the enrichment of the ethnic mosaic of Southern California. Financed by membership dues and individual donations, the Club invites eminent guests from Poland and organizes meetings with artists, actors, film directors, scholars, journalists, musicians and government officials. It presents concerts, film screenings, performances and exhibitions.

Invitation to Christmas party in the 40th anniversary year, 2011. 

The Club collaborates with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and such well-known Los Angeles cultural institutions as the Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California. Other partners have included UCLA, Art Center College of Design, the Autry Museum, Jacaranda-Music on the Edge, L.A. Master Chorale, Bowers Museum, and Polish American organizations in San Diego, San Francisco, and Riverside. The Club’s members are Polish-American professionals who wish to learn more about and promote Polish culture. Members include college professors, managers, artists, musicians, doctors, lawyers, and business owners, who personally participate in the organization of events and theatrical performances.

Krystyna Kuszta, Barbara Krafftówna, Jolanta Zych, Tadeusz Podkanski.

During more than forty-six years of activities, the Club organized hundreds of cultural events, among them public meetings and interviews with distinguished representatives of Polish arts and sciences (including Nobel Prize winner, poet Czesław Miłosz and Oscar winner, film director Andrzej Wajda); lectures by eminent scholars, politicians, and athletes (e.g., Prof. Leszek Balcerowicz; and Irena Szewińska, Olympic medal winner); film screenings; classical music and jazz concerts; as well as presentations of theatrical plays, and cabaret shows. Thousands of Southern California residents, including Americans and Polish-Americans, had an opportunity to participate in the Club’s events.

 For its activity in promoting Polish culture, the Club and its volunteer presidents have received numerous state awards from Poland, including the Medal from the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland „For Meritorious Contribution to Polish Culture” for the club and over 20 of its past presidents and board members; as well as the 2009  Special Award from the Union of Polish Stage Artists, and the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for its founder, actor, director and writer Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetyński. For its 40th anniversary in 2011, the Modjeska Club received a Resolution of the City Council of Los Angeles, a large scroll from the five Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles, and congratulations from the State of California Assembly and Senate.

Andrzej Wajda with Modjeska Club Board

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS OF THE MODJESKA CLUB

Over the years, the Modjeska Club hosted numerous distinguished guests who discussed their contributions to the arts or research and represented the following domains of Polish culture:

Theater and Film:
Piotr Adamczyk, Jerzy Antczak, Grażyna Auguscik, Filip Bajon, Jadwiga Barańska, Balbina Bruszewska, Ryszard Bugajski, Marek Chodaczynski, Piotr Cyrvus, prof. Janusz Degler, Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetyński, Jan Englert, Paulino Garcia, Robert Gliński, Stanisław Gorka, Artur Gotz, Jerzy Grotowski, John Z. Guzlowski, Mark Alan Hilt, Agnieszka Holland, Marta Honzatko, Alina Janowska, Krzysztof Janczar, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Zbigniew Kamiński, Emilian Kamiński, Janusz Kamiński, Dorota Kędzierzawska, Jan Kidawa-Błoński, Jerzy Kopczewski, Tomasz Kot, Barbara Krafftówna, Szymon Kusmider, Jan Machulski, Lech Majewski, Maria Mamona, Jan Matyjaszkiewicz, Barbara Myszyńska, Jan Nowicki, Anna Nehrebecka, Daniel Olbrychski, Marian Opania, Stephanie Powers, Jan Pietrzak, Małgorzata Potocka, Beata Poźniak, Marek Probosz, Mark Robson, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Omar Sangare, Zofia Saretok, Beata Ścibakówna, Andrzej Seweryn, Anna Seniuk, Justyna Sienczyłło, Jerzy Skolimowski, Stefan Szlachtycz, Danuta Stenka, Jerzy Stuhr, Danuta Szaflarska, Jolanta Siemieniewska and Cabaret Starszych Panow of Club PIE, Grażyna Szapołowska, Joanna Szczepkowska, Włodzimierz Staniewski;  Teatr Gardzienice, Teatr Provisorium, Teatr ZAR, Teatr Fantazja from Sydney, Australia, Teatr Polski of Toronto (2 times), Jerzy Trela, T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T, Henryk Tomaszewski, Andrzej Wajda, Marcin Walewski, Stefan Wenta, Wrocławski Teatr Lalek, Ophra Yerushalmi, Krzysztof  Zanussi,  Janusz Zaorski, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Magda Zawadzka,  Wiktor Zborowski and Artur Zmijewski.

Film director Lech Majewski with Elzbieta Kanski, Spring 2018.

Literature:
Jarosław Abramow‐Neverly, prof. Jerzy Bralczyk, Olgierd Budrewicz, Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Norman Davis,  Leszek Długosz, Artur Domosławski, Aleksander Janta - Połczyński, red. Julita Karkowska, Jan Kott, prof. Leonard Kress, prof. Roman Koropeckyj, Wieslaw Kuniczak, red. Michal Maliszewski, Czesław Miłosz, Jan Nowak‐Jeziorański, Maria Pilatowicz, prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, Edward Redliński, Michał Rusinek, Harvey Sarner, Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski, Adrianna Szymańska, Olga Tokarczuk, Teresa Torańska, and Adam Zagajewski. 

Classical Music and Jazz:
Piotr Anderszewski, Michał Białek, Adrianna Biedrzynska, Ewa Błaszczyk, Stan Borys, Joanna Bruzdowicz, Jacek Cygan, Halina Czerny‐Stefańska, Diane Davidson with Dixy Co., Urszula Dudziak, Krzesimir Dębski, Barbara Hesse-Bukowska, Erlendis Bartek Gliniak, Guitar Quartet of Pozna, Maciej Grzybowski, Marta Honzatko, Elżbieta Jodłowska, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Kevin Kenner, Adam Kośmieja, Wojciech Kocyan, Róża Kostrzewska‐Yoder, Anna Kostrzewska, Veronika Krausas,  Hanna Kulenty, Roman Maciejewski (2 times), Konrad Mastyło, Wojciech Młynarski, Karolina Naziemiec, Arkadiusz Niezgoda, Darek Oleszkiewicz, Jan Jakub Omsky, Jan Kanty, Joanna Rózewska-Kolasinska, Piotr Rubik, Beata Rybotycka, Andrzej Sikorowski, Krystian Tkaczewski, Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, Joanna Trzeciak, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Grzegorz Turnau, Bartosz Urbanowicz, Magda Umer, Jacek Wójcicki, Marta Wryk, Aga Zaryan, Maciej Zembaty, Krystian Zimmerman, and Marek Żebrowski.

Modjeska Club members and guests at JPL/NASA Auditorium, 2011.

Art:
Magdalena Abakanowicz, Janusz Kapusta, Ewa Matysek-Mazur, Prof dr. hab. Andrzej Mazur, Danuta Künstler‐Langer, Monique Lehman, Prof. dr. hab. Andrzej Rottermund, Stanisław Szukalski, Andrzej Kołodziej. Exhibitions:  Portraits of the Pope John Paul II (Adam Bujak, Grzegorz Gałązka, Arturo Mari, Ryszard Rzepecki), Witold Kaczanowski, Polish Film Poster (with the Autry Museum), Tomasz Misztal, Rafał Olbiński, Prof. dr hab. Jan Wiktor Sienkiewicz, Anna Socha VanMatre, Alina Szapocznikow (Sculpture Exhibition at the Hammer Muzeum), Leszek Szurkowski, Bruno Schultz (a collaboration with the San Diego Muzeum).

Politics and Economics:
Prof. Leszek Balcerowicz,  Konsul Roman Czarny, Ambassador Przemysław Grudziński, Maciej Henzler, First Lady Maria Kaczyńska, Jan Karski, Jacek Kalabiński, Konsul Generalny Krzysztof Kasprzyk, Krzysztof Kozłowski, prof. Andrzej Korboński, Antoni Macierewicz, Aleksander Małachowski, Adam Michnik (3 times), Leszek Moczulski, Ks. Biskup Tadeusz Pieronek, Małgorzata Piętkiewicz‐Jedynak, Witold Osiatyński, Ambassador Janusz Reiter, Col. Stanisław Skalski (ace in the Battle of Britain), Władysław Siła-Nowicki, Jerzy Surdykowski, Bronislaw Wildstein,  Janusz Zawadzki, and Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski, Meetings with Polish Survivors of Soviet Deportations to Siberia in WWII (Sybiriacy, twice).

Sciences and Discoveries (Travel):
Artur Bartosz Chmielewski, Andrew Dowen, Witold Fraczek, prof. Krzysztof Górski, Dr. Góryński, Prof. Beth Holmgren, Dr. Bogusław Kuszta, David Lehman, Edward Piłatowicz, Maria Piłatowicz, Bogdan Plewnia, Edi and Asia Pyrek, Witold Fraczek, Dr. Witold Sokołowski, and Marek Tuszyński.



HELENA MODJESKA PRIZES  

In 2010, in order to commemorate its patron, famous Polish actress Helena Modrzejewska (Modjeska) and honor the achievements of distinguished Polish actors, the Modjeska Club established the Annual Modjeska Prize awarded to recognize the contributions of actors to Polish culture.  The first Modjeska Prize was awarded in October 2010 to eminent actor Jan Nowicki.  The second Modjeska Prize of 2011 was divided between Anna Dymna and Marian Dziędziel. The third was awarded to Barbara Krafftówna in 2012.



AWARDS FOR THE MODJESKA CLUB 

The following list includes awards and honors for the Modjeska Club and its members who have made a significant contribution to the promotion of Polish culture in California.

1997 – Medal from the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland, „For Meritorious Contribution to Polish Culture”
2009 – Special Awards from the Union of Polish Stage Artists ZASP, „For the promotion of Polish culture abroad”
2011 – Proclamation and Resolution of the City Council of Los Angeles, signed by the entire City Council and senior officials
2011-12 – Commendations by the County of Los Angeles, signed by Supervisor Michael Antonovich and the entire Board of Supervisors


Individual Awards for the Club’s Presidents and Members of the Board:
  • 2012 – Medals from the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland  „for the promotion of Polish culture abroad” for 18 members of the Board, former presidents, founders and other active members of the club (listed in chronological order of their involvement with the club): Wanda Baran, Franciszka Tuszyńska, Stephanie Powers, Stefan Wenta, Jan Gąssowski (past president), Tadeusz Podkański, Vitold Tchaikovsky (past president), Sophie Tchaikovsky  (past president), Tadeusz Bociański (past president), Edward Piłatowicz (past president), Maria Piłatowicz, Jolanta Zych (past president), Krystyna Kuszta, Krystyna Okuniewski, Andrzej Maleski (past president), Danuta  Żuchowska, Dorota Olszewska (past president), Elżbieta Kańska (past president), and Dr. Maja Trochimczyk (president).
  • 2012 – Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetyński (1910-1989), Modjeska Club founder, actor, director, and writer, received posthumously the Cavaler Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Club 
  • 2011-2012 – Dr. Maja Trochimczyk (President since 2010), Resolution of the City Council of Los Angeles, and Commendation by the County of Los Angeles’ Board of Supervisors on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Modjeska Club and for 15 years of volunteering in cultural organizations in LA.
  • 2009 – Dorota Olszewska (Club President in 2006-2008), an award from the Union of Polish Stage Artists (ZASP) „For the promotion of Polish culture abroad”
  • 2003 – Jolanta Zych (Club President in 1998-2006), the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for promoting Polish culture abroad
  • 2000 – Tomasz Kachelski (Club Treasurer for many years),  the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for promoting Polish culture abroad
  • 1998 – for their contributions to promoting Polish culture abroad, the following individuals received Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland:
                      • Tadeusz Bociański (President in 1983-1989, also served on the Board)
                      • Zofia Czajkowska  (Vice President in 1984-1994, President in 1994-1995)
                      • Maria Piłatowicz (Vice President and Board member for over 16 years)
                      • Edward Piłatowicz (President in 1996-1998, Board Member in 1981-1986)
  • 1994 – Witold Czajkowski (President in 1990-1993), for his contribution to the promotion of Polish culture abroad, received the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland from the President of the Republic of Poland.

Krzysztof Zanussi with Jolanta Zych and Andrzej Maleski

        LIST OF CLUB PRESIDENTS 
Dr. Maja Trochimczyk (2018-2020)
Andrew Dowen (2012-2018)
Elzbieta Kanska (2012)
Dr. Maja Trochimczyk (2010 - 2012)
Andrzej Maleski (2008-2010)
Dorota Olszewska (2006-2008)
Jolanta Zych  (1998-2006)
Edward Piłatowicz (1996-1998)
Zofia Czajkowska (1994-1995)
Witold Czajkowski (1990-1993)
Tadeusz Bociański (1983-1989)
Jerzy Gąssowski (1979-1982)
Andrzej Mikulski (1978, died in 1978)
Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetyński (1971-1978)

Prof. Norman Davies with Club Board and Activists, 2012 and an anniversary poster 
by Lech Majewski.

HONORARY MEMBERS OF THE MODJESKA CLUB

Eminent Artists: Jerzy Antczak, Jadwiga Barańska, Stefan Wenta (2012), Stephanie Powers (2012); Former Members of the Consular Corps with Spouses: Roman Czarny, Krzysztof and Marta Kasprzyk, Maciej and Renata Krych, Wojciech Siewierski, Jan Szewc, Tomasz Trafas; Former Club Presidents and Board Members with Spouses: †Tadeusz and Elżbieta Bociański, Teresa Domańska, Jerzy Gąssowski, Dr. Bogdan & Krystyna Kuszta, Tomasz Anna Kachelski, Krystyna Okuniewski, Edward & Maria Piłatowicz, Tadeusz and Jolanta Podkański, Jacek & Eva Swider, Witold & Zofia Tchaikovsky, Adam and Jolanta Zych.

Andrzej Seweryn with Andy Dowen, President, fall 2017.




From the Club's archives: An envelope with the Club’s anniversary stamp and design by sculptor and artist Stanisław Szukalski (1893-1987), celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus, Mikołaj Kopernik (19 February 1973, stamp issued on 23 April 1973). Szukalski also designed a Monument to Modjeska that the Club planned to build in the 1970s.

The evolution of  the Club’s emblem, a Polish crowned eagle. Top right: Design by Stanisław Szukalski (1970s), Center: design by Leonard Konopelski (1980s).

Club Logo Design by Ewa Swider, 1996.

The club has not forgotten its patron, Helena Modjeska. A play about Modjeska with replica costumes of the actress from the collection by Chris Chiepły presented Ewa Boryczko (2012). Prof. Beth Holmgren, Modjeska's biographer gave a lecture about her achievements at Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. Several times the Modjeska Club attempted to create a monument to its patron. Projects of monuments were designed by Stanisław Szukalski in the 1970s and by Tomasz Misztal (two projects in the early 21st century). Even though none of these monuments have been built, it is important to remember about them. 
Project of Modjeska Monument by Tomasz Misztal


To find out more, read an article by Maria Pilatowicz in the Cosmopolitan Review, 2015:
http://cosmopolitanreview.com/modjeska-club/


Congratulations to Anna Dymna from the City of Los Angeles
for winning the Modjeska Prize in 2011, with Maja Trochimczyk, President.


 

No comments:

Post a Comment