Rectorial Committee for the Jubilee Publications
dr hab. Waldemar Baraniewski
Faculty of History, University of Warsaw/
Faculty of Management of Visual Culture,
Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
prof. dr hab. Tomasz Kizwalter
Faculty of History, University of Warsaw
dr hab. Piotr M. Majewski
Faculty of History, University of Warsaw
prof. dr hab. Piotr Salwa
Faculty “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw
prof. dr hab. Henryk Samsonowicz
Faculty of History, University of Warsaw
prof. dr hab. Wojciech Tygielski – the chairman
Faculty of History, University of Warsaw
prof. dr hab. Marek Wąsowicz
Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Warsaw
prof. dr hab. Andrzej Kajetan Wróblewski
Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw
In 2016 we are going to celebrate the 200th anniversary of founding University of Warsaw. Our University is not only the school or the workshop of scholars but also the environment that contributed greatly to human knowledge, culture and ideas during two centuries of Polish history.
On the occasion of the jubilee we are working on the book series titled Monumenta Universitatis Varsoviensis which describes the history and the output of our University as well as recalls the profiles of its most eminent professors.
In the compact form we present also the history and the architecture of the University buildings, as well as the collections that are in our possession or were entrusted to our care.
The documents showing different fields of the social influence of the University and the evidence of everyday life of our community will be also included.
Successive volumes are going to be published from 2016 onwards. We hope they will meet your kind reception and arouse your interest.
Rector of the University of Warsaw 2005–2012
Rector of the University of Warsaw
Warsaw, 19th November, 2012
Monumenta Universitatis Varsoviensis 1816–2016
Dzieje Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 1816–1915
Dzieje Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 1915–1945
Dzieje Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego po 1945
Nauki humanistyczne na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim
Nauki społeczne na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim
Nauki ścisłe i przyrodnicze na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim
Profesorowie Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 1816–1915
Profesorowie Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 1915–1945
Profesorowie Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego 1915–1945
Profesorowie Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego po 1945
Profesorowie Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego po 1945
Profesorowie Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego po 1945
Poczet Rektorów Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Gmachy Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Uniwersytet Warszawski i fotografia 1839–1921
Ludzie, miejsca, wydarzenia
Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Warszawie 1817–2017
University of Warsaw and photography 1839–1921
People, places, events
Monumenta Universitatis Varsoviensis 1816–2016
University of Warsaw Press
Editor in Chief,
University of Warsaw Press
University of Warsaw Press
Index of names – tableaux
Layout of the series
Marcin Władyka /Studio Headme©
Layout of the volume
Layout of the frontpages
ISBN 978-83-235-1791-7 (MUV)
ISBN ePub 978-83-235-2281-2
ISBN Mobi 978-83-235-2289-8
ISBN PDF 978-83-235-2225-6
© Copyright by University of Warsaw Press
THE UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW AND PHOTOGRAPHY [1839–1921]
From the onset of the University of Warsaw, the Kazimierzowski Palace, the seat of the rector, remained its most important building. The varied and tumultuous history of the Palace goes back to the seventeenth century, when Villa Regia, the summer residence of King Zygmunt III, was built on the picturesque Warsaw escarpment. This suburban residence of monarchs from the Vasa dynasty was a centre of scientific experiments and disputes, i.a. pertaining to physics, optics and chemistry, conducted by outstanding scholars from the whole of Europe.1 In the eighteenth century its successive owner, King Stanisław Augustus Poniatowski, opened within the Palace walls the Knights’ School. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the building was entrusted to the Royal University of Warsaw, established in 1816, and the Lyceum of Warsaw. The Kazimierzowski Palace in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street thus witnessed a continuation of the intellectual tradition of the previous centuries. The Royal University survived for only 15 years, until 1831, when the tsarist authorities closed it after the suppression of the November Uprising, in which the academic milieu played an essential part. This is the reason why in 1839, when the invention of the daguerreotype was announced in Paris, Warsaw was a town deprived of a school of higher learning. The birth of photography, however, was noticed by many University graduates, and thanks to one of them the Kazimierzowski Palace became the second example of Warsaw architecture, next to the Visitant church, to be pictured in the new technique.
The idea of photography, i.e. the direct register of an image of Nature on an arbitrarily chosen surface with the assistance of light, goes back to antiquity. However, the foundations of this invention were created by the intensive development of science in the eighteenth century. A breakthrough was brought about by the studies conducted by physicists dealing with the problem of light, assorted accomplishments within the domain of optics connected with progress in the production of glass and the construction of lenses and, primarily, by numerous discoveries within chemistry.2 The phenomenon of copying Nature in a camera obscura, known for centuries, became increasingly irritating due to the lack of opportunities for a permanent record of the copied fragment of reality. In view of the growing need for a precise registration of scientific studies, archaeological excavations or objects d’art, the traditional drawing was no longer satisfactory. Dreams about photogeny finally came true thanks to persons involved not only in science but also in art. More or less at the same time, three Frenchmen and an Englishman devised their own, original photographic techniques. The inventors of photography, regarded at the beginning as the dreamers and visionaries, made the crucial discovery for our civilization.3
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833), a French landowner and an inventor by training and inclination, sought an easy but precise manner of reproducing illustrations.4 In 1827 consecutive experiments finally resulted in the first photograph taken from nature, nota bene preserved up to our times.5 The view from Niépce’s family house in the Burgundian village of Saint-Loup-de-Varennes was photographed on a zinc plate, covered with photosensitive Syrian asphalt. Today, this unique photographic picture is regarded as the first photograph from nature. Niépce called the technique of his invention “heliography”.
Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851), a French painter of theatrical sets and a stage designer, longed to render indelible the views of Nature copied by the camera obscura.6 He was concerned with, i.a. saving time while creating dioramas, that is, images “animated” thanks to an effective play of light producing a three-dimensional illusion. After several years of cooperating with Niépce, and as a result of his own experiments, Daguerre invented a positive photographic technique, in which the foundation was a silver plated copper plate rendered sensitive to the impact of light by means of iodine vapours. The resultant unique image, however, did not offer opportunities for making prints. A photograph taken with the Daguerre method made it possible to obtain a sharp picture, but looking at it was rendered difficult by the mirror-like surface of the plate. The daguerreotype – the name given to a photograph taken in the technique devised by the inventor – had to be kept in a case since the surface was sensitive to the touch and the harmful impact of air. The first daguerreotypes originate from 1835 and show still lifes composed out of assorted collector’s items.
William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877), an English aristocrat, a mathematician, and a member of the Royal Society and the British Parliament, as well as an amateur draughtsman, aspired to faithfully record Nature without the intermediary of the unwieldy human hand.7 He initiated experiments on fixing an image of Nature obtained in an optical dark room, as well as those produced with the camera obscura.8 In 1835 Talbot obtained the first negative, a photograph taken from nature of a window in his family estate of Lacock Abbey, on paper sensitivised to light by using silver chloride. Talbot called his negative-positive method of photography “calotype”, from the Greek kalos – beautiful. The first reason for this name was because he was inspired to invent photography by the love of, and search for beauty, and the second laid in the fact that photographic images reproduced from paper negatives possessed exceptional aesthetic qualities.
The fourth inventor was Hippolyte Bayard (1801–1887)9, a French civil servant working in the Ministry of Finances, and an active member of the Parisian bohemia. Obsessed with winning success and recognition equal to those enjoyed by Daguerre, in January 1839 Bayard made his first experiments at receiving the photographic picture of the nature. Soon, he received a positive image on photosensitive paper, the so-called direct positive print. The themes of his early works were still lifes and self-portraits – the earliest in the history of photography.
Everyone of four inventors followed different motives urging them to conduct research and laborious attempts at “taming light”. All succeeded and created – by means of his own, original technique – a permanent photographic image of Nature: Niépce in 1827, Daguerre and Talbot in 1835, and Bayard in 1839. Why is then the year 1839 considered the symbolic date of the beginnings of photography? Why was Daguerre proclaimed the inventor of photography, and why was his technique, universally applied only to the end of the 1850s, acknowledged to be the most perfect?
A relevant contribution to the establishment of such an opinion was made by Dominique François Jean Arago (1786–1853), outstanding physicist, member of the French Academy of Sciences, and deputy to the French Parliament. In 1839 Arago carried out a worldwide campaign in favour of the daguerreotype process, which he envisaged primarily as “a manner of reproduction, useful for science, the fine arts, and archaeology”.10 Arago, who was, on the one hand, a student of light phenomena and, on the other hand, a political activist, became rapidly aware of the fact that the daguerreotype was an extremely practical invention. He understood that its dissemination would have far-reaching consequences, such as the development of industry, the emergence of new professions, and a rise in employment, all very much required by Europe undergoing an economic crisis. From 7 January to 19 August 1839 Arago systematically displayed the invention in the press. He was capable of involving the highest authorities in the country in support for Daguerre’s invention, and collaborated with the intellectual elites at home and abroad. Furthermore, Arago guaranteed the cooperation of the French Academy of Fine Arts and the journalists, appreciating their significance for an effective promotion of photography. In a word, he consistently and successfully strove towards a culmination, namely, a presentation of the daguerreotype at a joint session held by the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Fine Arts on 19 August 1839. The outcome of presenting the world with the new invention was a universal acknowledgment of daguerreotypy as the first photographic technique. Daguerre was proclaimed the inventor of photography, and France was considered the cradle of one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind. Photography created the beginning of a visual civilisation, within whose range the perception of the external world could no longer take place without its reproduction.
The year 1839, marking a campaign conducted for the sake of daguerreotypy, was recognised as the beginning of the history of a new medium. The practical significance of the daguerreotype foreseen by Arago was rapidly confirmed, and the dissemination of the invention did have far-reaching consequences, both intellectual and economic, the latter being the most desired at the time. A propagation of the new way of reproducing reality became possible also thanks to the support rendered by eminent scientists from all over the world. The authorities promoting the idea of photography included Sir John Frederick William Herschel (1792–1871), the British astronomer, the discoverer of sodium thiosulfate and its usefulness for the process of fixing the photographic image, the inventor of the cyanotype process, a supporter of the experiments performed by his countryman Talbot, but also a great admirer of the daguerreotype technique.11 In Germany great interest in the invention was demonstrated by Heinrich Friedrich von Humboldt (1769–1859), the founder of modern geography and the author of a synthesis about the earth and the universe: Cosmos: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe. In the United States one of the most ardent spokesmen and propagators of daguerreotypy was Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791–1872), scholar and inventor, known as the constructor of the first electromagnetic telegraph, and, first and foremost, as the author of a special code known as the Morse alphabet for communication at a distance. With such powerful patrons, the daguerreotype rapidly made a worldwide career.
The dissemination of photography, especially portraits, travel photographs and reproductions of works of art, was of enormous significance for the creation of social bonds, stronger than the heretofore ones, as well as for shaping new ways of perceiving reality or the popularisation of knowledge. The photographic document proved to be of great usefulness, while the possibility of recording on photosensitive material phenomena unnoticeable by the naked eye became an asset inspiring both science and art.
The daguerreotype, presented as a tool of scientific cognition unifying art and science, became the object of interest of the intellectual elite also in the lands of the former Commonwealth, which in the nineteenth century was absent on the maps of Europe. The first attempts at putting the daguerreotype to practical use were made by scientists working in schools of higher learning.12 Due to their academic knowledge they were capable of making effective use of the published instructions as well as of constructing their own photographic cameras.
Photography, promoted by the scientific-artistic milieu of Paris, met with favourable reception also among a similar environment in Warsaw. In references to the French and German dailies, the local press provided current information about the daguerreotype already since January 1839. One description of the new invention, from the Leipzig weekly “Pfenig-Magazin”, was translated by Antoni Żyszkiewicz (1807–1856), assistant professor at the Zoological Cabinet. His text entitled Daguerrotyp albo malowidła Daguerra działaniem samego światła wykonane was published on 9 February 1839 in “Magazyn Powszechny”. It said about the “magic” of the invention “shrouded by a mist of mystery” and emphasized possibility of “producing all sorts of views without the least effort and knowledge of draughtsmanship, and even without actually placing the hand onto the image; apparently, in this case, will and execution can be regarded as one”.13
In July of the same year Maksymilian Strasz (1804–1885), graduate from the Faculty of Fine Arts and Surveying at the Royal University of Warsaw, acquainted the readers of “Wiadomości Handlowe i Przemysłowe” magazine with the photographic method of Talbot. Interestingly, this educated architect and engineer not only described Sposób przenoszenia przedmiotów na papier, za pomocą kamery obskury, przez wpływ samego światła, but also used this technique to prepare his own calotypes. “Two samples of this experiment” that were submitted in the editorial office of the magazine, have been constantly intriguing the historians of photography.14 These first photographs taken by Strasz, who lived in Kielce then, have not been found so far. In October 1939 Strasz, fascinated with the news about the photography, gave his readers also Opis szczegółowy sposobu wyrabiania dagerotypów.15 This subject he continued a month later, presenting Uwagi nad przedstawieniem przedmiotów w daguerrotypie16. In this way he became the first Pole who popularised the knowledge about two different techniques of photography: the calotype method of Talbot and the daguerreotype of Daguerre, as well as the first Polish calotypist.17
As the first Polish daguerrotypist is regarded Andrzej Radwański (1800–1860), a graduate of the Philosophical Faculty at the Royal University of Warsaw and after its closure a secondary school physics teacher. On 20 October 1839 Radwański displayed his daguerreotype at an exhibition held in the building of the Charity Society in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, the site of the first presentation of the French invention organised in the Kingdom of Poland. His photograph showed the Visitant church in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, which at the time of the Royal University of Warsaw fulfilled the function of the academic church. The description of the photograph in the daily papers tells us that the church was seen in the background. The shot also included the adjoining buildings, including “one of the pavilions of the Kazimirowski Palace in which public schools hold their exhibit days”18, probably the Auditorium Building. A second daguerreotype by Radwański showing the Kazimierzowski Palace enhanced the exhibition a week later. In all likelihood, it depicted the Palace façade, an assumption testified, as in the case of the first work, only by a press note: “the picture presents a view of the Kazimirowski palace, taken on a cloudy and wet day. Nonetheless, the building features well-marked pillars doors, windows, etc. As usual, the clusters of trees are indistinct. The background of the view turns to ivory, and thus differs from the backdrop of foreign pictures of this sort”.19
The two oldest Polish daguerreotypes by Andrzej Radwański, both showing the leading monuments of Warsaw architecture, were not reproduced, and according to the current state of knowledge had not survived to our times. Their loss is a great pity, especially as regards the Visitant church, since the daguerreotype captured a view prior to the repairs initiated in 1847. The fact that Radwański selected for his experiments buildings associated with the University of Warsaw could have been caused by his ties with the Kazimierzowski Palace: he first entered it as a student, then as a worker of the Mineralogical Cabinet, and after 1832 – as a teacher of physics. The Palace, which remained permanently supervised by the “educational authorities”, was the seat of a government school. Radwański not only took photographs, but also constructed his own camera. Moreover, he explained the daguerreotype process in a publication issued in 1850, entitled O istotach nieważkich. Wiadomości z fizyki, in whose preface he declared: “Here one can learn about this miracle of our days, in other words, about the Daguerre technique, i.e. the fixing of images produced by light”.20 At the time, the custom of describing photographs taken with the daguerreotype process as a miracle, a fairy tale or a mystery was widespread across the world, even among the representatives of the scientific circles. This was the way in which the technique was depicted in literature to the end of the 1850s. In 1842 Józef Żochowski (1801–1851), another philosophy graduate at the University of Warsaw, issued a dissertation entitled O dagerotypie earlier than the Radwański publication.21
During the 1840s Karol Beyer (1818–1877), a Warsaw photographer professionally active since the beginning of 1845, created a daguerreotype of the University grounds. His View of the palaces of the counts Krasiński and Uruski taken from the Kazimierzowski Palace and of the upper part of the Evangelical church of the Augsburg Confession seen behind them is known only from a contemporary description in the press.22 A view of the capital, photographed in 1841 by the lithographer Maurycy Scholtz, contains yet another building belonging to the University – the Astronomical Observatory, situated in the Botanical Garden in Ujazdowskie Avenue. The original has not been preserved, but its appearance is known thanks to a lithograph executed by Scholtz upon the basis of the photograph taken by him. This is, as far as we know, the only photograph of the Observatory that documents the original architectural form of the building prior to its redesigning, commenced in 1870 [fig. 1].
The Astronomical Observatory, built for the needs of the University, was used also after the school was closed; its head was the astronomer Jan Baranowski (1800–1879), a graduate of the University of Warsaw. On 28 July 1851, with his assistance, Karol Beyer created a daguerreotype of an eclipse of the sun seen through an Observatory telescope. True, none of the 12 daguerreotypes documenting this astronomical phenomenon has been discovered, but the very fact of their creation proves the early application of the new technique for scientific research.23 Adam Prażmowski (1821–1885), employed at the Observatory as an assistant professor, was unable to participate in this event since at the time he was travelling across France and Germany. It is worth recalling, however, that this outstanding astronomer, regarded as the pioneer of Polish astrophysics, was listed among the first Polish daguerreotypists.24 Up to now, not a single of his photographs has been identified [fig. 2].
Scientists interested in the practical application of the daguerreotype process included Marcin Zaleski (1796–1877), an author of townscapes, since 1844 a professor of painting at the School of Fine Arts. Zaleski created daguerreotypes in as early as 1840, and subsequently used them for composing paintings. Already in July 1840 “Kurier Warszawski” presented the artist as a painter “using Daguerre for collecting views”, and addressed to him, in his capacity as an expert, a question about the possibility of applying the new technique for “taking portraits”.25 Unfortunately, also in Zaleski’s case we do not have at our disposal a single preserved daguerreotype. An analysis of his canvases, which frequently depicted architecture, entitles us to assume that his studio could have contained photographs useful for composing vedute and the recreation of historical interiors. Hence, Zaleski may be considered the first Polish artist to have implemented the opinion voiced by the French painter Paul Delaroche (1797–1856), who during a promotion of the daguerreotype in Paris described this manner of documenting reality not only as useful but as outright indispensable in an artist’s studio due to the excellent faithfulness of the registered image.
The development and expansion of photography were connected primarily with the universal need for portraits, stemming from tradition but also supported by a fashion created in the mid-nineteenth century as part of bourgeois culture, and defined with the concept of biedermeier. The character stic cult of the home and the family yielded a particular predilection for collecting the images of those near and dear. Daguerreotypy enabled increasingly wide social circles to enjoy portraits less costly than paintings or miniatures. In the 1840s numerous members of the intelligentsia, including University professors and students, were the clients of the daguerreotype studios in Warsaw, where it was possible to have one’s photograph taken in two open air ateliers – the Maurycy Schultz studio in the garden of the Radziwiłł Palace in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, and the Antonin Wysocki (1796–1877) atelier in the garden of the Duckert Palace in Długa Street.26 Unfortunately, the modest number of daguerreotypes preserved on Polish territory makes it possible to cite equally scarce monuments. By way of example, prior to 1852, the Karol Beyer atelier produced a silver plate portrait of Adrian Krzyżanowski (1788–1852), earlier a professor of mathematics at the Royal University of Warsaw27 [fig. 3, 4]; in about 1848 Tytus Chałubiński (1820–1889) and his wife had their portrait taken by one of the Warsaw daguerreotypists. At the time, Chałubiński was the head doctor at the Evangelical Hospital28; in subsequent years, he lectured at the Medical and Surgical Academy [fig. 5].
Portraits of the graduates of the first University and the lecturers of the later Main School can be also discovered among daguerreotypes created abroad. In 1846 this technique was used in Paris for one of the few extant portraits of Frederic Chopin (1810–1849), who attended lectures at the Main School of Music in 1826–182929. In turn, Włodzimierz Dybek (1824–1883), later a professor at the Medical and Surgical Academy, and then the Main School of Warsaw, was portrayed as a student with 16 friends from the University of Berlin in a daguerreotype group portrait from 1845 [fig. 6].
Daguerreotypes were still created in the 1850s, but from 1851 a new negative-positive technique, making it possible to obtain any number of prints on paper from a glass negative, was gradually winning a growing group of adherents. Ee earliest portraits, copied on salt paper prior to 1855, include those attributed to Karol Beyer: a plein air portrait of a group of artists connected with the School of Fine Arts, a satirical portrait of the above-mentioned astronomer Adam Prazmowski or a likeness of Kazimierz Stronczynski (1809–1896), a graduate of the University of Warsaw, lecturer, and one of the official guests at the ceremonial inauguration of the Main School [fig. 7].
The oldest photograph, copied on paper, of the Kazimierzowski Palace [Album I.1], seen in the background, comes from a panorama of Warsaw, taken from a lantern of the Evangelical church of the Augsburg confession in 1858.30 This panorama is attributed to Karol Beyer who before 1859 took also a picture of the Staszic Palace – the seat of the Medical and Surgical Academy [Album I.2]. The vast collection of preserved positives from the second half of the nineteenth century includes distinctive panoramas from 1862 and 1865, taken from the tower of the church of the Holy Cross towards the grounds adjoining the Kazimierzowski Palace [Album I.3, II.3, III.3, IV.3]. On the other hand, there are no early photographs of the Auditorium Building, the Former Museum Building, and the Mineralogical Cabinet. The same holds true for the sculpted decorations of the University buildings and their interiors. A similar feeling of dissatisfaction is produced by the photographic iconography of the interiors of the library and the antiquities cabinet in the Kazimierzowski Palace as well as the zoological and physical cabinets, known exclusively from press woodcuts, drawings and illustrations [fig. 8]. The number of photographs of the Astronomical Observatory is small [Album I.4, II.4, III.4]. The extensive list of missing early photographic sources for the history of the University buildings should be treated as a challenge for those researchers who would like to explore archival and museum resources at home and abroad, still unexamined from this particular angle.
Photographic studios, whose number grew in the 1850s, were opened usually in the town centre. Since Krakowskie Przedmieście Street was regarded as the grandest, the area around the Kazimierzowski Palace attracted as many as 11 out of a total of almost twenty photographers working at the time in Warsaw. In the early 1860s, when the number of the ateliers grew threefold, they multiplied also in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. Photographic studios were situated in the houses of the Missionaries (1 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street), Józef Grodzicki (7 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street) [Album I.5], and the Visitant nuns at the corner of Karowa Street (40 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street), the Europejski Hotel (13 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street), as well as the Potocki Palace (15 Przedmieście Street) and the Tarnowski Palace (42/44 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street). In 1901 the latter was replaced by the Bristol Hotel, which also contained a photographic studio. In nearby 67/69 Nowy Świat Street an atelier was located in the Andrzej Zamoyski Palace, and further to the south, Konrad Brandel (1838–1920) rented a studio in 57 Nowy Świat Street.
Brandel, like another outstanding photographer of that time – Aleksander Karoli (1838–1916)31 was a graduate of the Non-Classical Gymnasium. He was a pioneer of medical and microscopic photography on the territory of Poland, working for many years in this field. Innovative approach to photography brought him an exceptional honour i.e. the official title of the photographer of the University of Warsaw.32 Among the graduates of the Medical and Surgical Academy the profession of photographer was chosen for instance by Michał Trzebiecki (1830–1905) [Album I.6, II.6]. The staff of the photographic studios, which employed operators, posers, retouchers and colourists, was composed also of the students and graduates of the School of Fine Arts. The draughtsman and graphic artist Michał Gajewski (1820–1854), the draughtsman Józef Kajetan Janowski, and the painters Juliusz Kossak (1824–1899) and Mateusz Zarzecki (1825–1871) coloured positives in the Karol Beyer studio. Władysław Heliodor Gumiński (1822–1898) and Władysław Bakałowicz (1833–1903) worked for Karol Geisler, and Ludwik Mulert (1818–1875) was employed by Grzegorz Sachowicz (1819–1877). Atelier portraits required a painterly finish, since the clients, accustomed to miniatures, still preferred coloured works to photographic copy prints maintained in shades of brown and ochre. Colour was added also to townscapes, photographs intended for scientific publications, and reproductions of works of art so that they would resemble the original [fig. 9].
In photography the 1860s are characteristic for the expansion of the small copy print of a carte de visite format [Album I.7, II.7, III.7, IV.7, V.7, VI.7, VII.7, VIII.7, IX.7, X.7], which played a significant role in, i.a. transmitting knowledge about the national past and the cultivation of memory about eminent Poles. Albums were filled not only with family portraits but also with reproductions of illustrations and paintings depicting famous historical figures. The popularized illustrations included scenes from the November Uprising and likenesses of persons associated with the upsurge, which provided an opportunity for recalling within this context the history of the University of Warsaw. Contemporaneity also brimmed with dramatic events documented by photographers, and then propagated via photographs. The foreign press received information about the events, which transpired in Warsaw in February 1861 and whose participants included the students and professors of the Medical and Surgical Academy and the School of Fine Arts, not only from journalists’ accounts but also from drawings and photographs. In Warsaw, censors prohibited the publication in “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” of the photographs of the Five Fallen, killed during the demonstrations of 27 February 1861, and the portraits of the members of the Municipal Delegation. Meanwhile, thanks to their distribution in all the partition areas the photographs of these events became universally known documents and moulded patriotic stands. They also testified to the political involvement of the students and the lecturers [Album I.8, II.8, III.8, IV.8], a situation that soon repeated itself at the time of the January Uprising [fig. 10]. This fact influenced the very onset of the history of the Main School, opened in 1862. The closing of the School by the Russian authorities in 1869 comprised the last act in the accounts settled by the Russian partitioner with the Polish intelligentsia after the fall of the January Uprising.
The daily and illustrated press proved to be enormously interested in the Main School, with which hopes, ultimately fulfilled, were attached for the intellectual renascence of the Polish youth. Numerous articles and communiqués informed about the School’s activity and published woodcuts showed likenesses of the scientific staff and the School buildings. The majority of the engraved illustrations were executed upon the base of photographs, and pertinent information was included in the accompanying notes.33 Popular tableaux – compositions made out of numerous portraits – presented all the professors or the whole year of the students or graduates of a given faculty. The dailies also advertised portraits of the lecturers of the Main School or the School of Fine Arts, available to the wider public and sold in bookstores or studios:
“The shop window of the P. Trzebiecki studio in Rymarska Street features new photographs, including a portrait of P. Kaniewski, Director of the School of Fine Arts, sitting in front of his celebrated painting depicting a meeting in the vicinity of Rome between the Holy Father and the family of Rector Mianowski of the Main School”34; “Any day now the P. Trzebiecki studio near the Europejski Hotel will feature a portrait of Doctor Korzeniowski [Hipolit Korzeniowski of the Medical Faculty], taken with a camera known as a megascope”.35
The considerable production of portraits of Polish scientists is evidenced by the number of the preserved prints, both individual and arranged in albums. Memory about the Royal University of Warsaw was sustained by the photographic reproductions of drawings or paintings featuring the likenesses of its former professors, offered to clients:
“Having found out that a photographic portrait of Franciszk Arminski, of sacred memory, the first Director and founder of the Astronomical Observatory in Warsaw, had been executed last year in the studio of Mr. Sachowicz, we would now like the studio to distribute the likeness of this man of merit in a larger number of cartes de visite”.36
At the time of the Main School the daily papers informed in detail about the social activity of the lecturers, including the popular lectures given for the residents of Warsaw. Such events were documented by the local photographers, although not always successfully. Upon certain occasions glass plates with the negatives were broken immediately after the photographs were taken, and the documentation was irretrievably lost:
“At the last lecture given by Prof. Pęczarski [Nikodem Pęczarski of the Mathematical-Physical Faculty] at the Merchant Club, P. Trzebiecki, the owner of a photographic studio, took photographs with magnesium light, both of the persons who attended the lecture and of the lecturer and the persons assisting him on stage; the two photographs, and one in particular, were excellent, but while leaving the Club they were broken due to the carelessness of the person carrying them, thus depriving us of interesting documents”.37
After the closure of the Main School in 1869 and the opening of the Russian University, which for assorted reasons was still attended by numerous Poles, the manner in which the press presented the activity of the Warsaw school of higher learning changed conspicuously. Nonetheless, the journalists were capable of making use of current events in order to recall, naturally between the lines, the former Polish academy. This was the case at the time of the great demonstration during the funeral of Professor Polikarp Girsztowt (1827–1877) of the Medical Faculty at the Main School, who stayed on as a member of the staff after the Russification of the University [fig. 11]:
“The funeral of Professor Girsztowt, of scared memory, was eloquent proof that our society is capable of appreciating true merits. A crowd of more than 10 000 mourners accompanied the humble coffin, which contained the ashes of a man of deed, useful work, and profound knowledge. Young people hurried with particular zeal to honour the memory of a teacher and a true friend, who not only showed them the light of knowledge, but was also able to stir and fire with his example a passion for work and learning”.38
The procession, led by the University students along Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, was joined by the Warsaw population, and the scale of this social event is evidenced by a woodcut published on two centrefold pages of “Tygodnik Ilustrowany”. Celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the didactic and literary work of Professor Józef Kowalewski (1801–1878) provided an opportunity for recalling also his school. This eminent expert on Oriental studies and the Mongolian language was the dean of the Philological-Historical Faculty of the Main School, a post he then retained at the Russian University [fig. 12].
The transformations affected also commemorative photographs, traditionally commissioned by each year of the students to mark their graduation. In 1862–1869, at the time of the Polish Main School, such photographs were always dedicated to the “beloved Rector” and the professors [Album I.9, II.9, III.9]. Later mementoes did not feature likenesses of the Russian rector, and the group of the professors was limited to the Polish lecturers still working at the University. The most numerous extant photographic tableaux are those of the Faculty of Law, which always had more students than any other departments. This sort of documentation of the history of the University comprises a veritable treasure house of unique portraits of a large number of the students whose likenesses cannot be found elsewhere. Another custom of the Main School alumni was to celebrate the graduation anniversaries, which provided an impulse for meetings held with old friends and joint visits to a photographic atelier. Consequently, we are able to compare portraits of persons who were photographed as students with those taken more than ten or even several score years later.
The outcome of the appreciation shown by the Warsaw scientific milieu for the assets of the faithful image offered by photography was the application of photographs in the research conducted by professors representing assorted specialisations. This approach, which produced illustrated publications, became universal in the 1860s, but already in 1855 it was postulated that “for the sake of the skills, each larger school should have a photographer, similarly to an anatomy demonstrator, a laboratory worker for chemical experiments, etc.”.39
Sources concerning photographers permanently employed by the University during the discussed period remain unknown. On the other hand, records were made of the cooperation between the professional studios and the scientists. In 1859, Karol Beyer, the precursor of Polish scientific photography, took pictures of stuffed birds from the collection of the ornithologist Władysław Taczanowski (1819–1890), who somewhat slightly later became the custodian of the Zoological Cabinet of the Main School. The colour prints were to illustrate a study entitled O ptakach drapieżnych w Królestwie Polskim pod względem wpływu, jaki wywierają na gospodarstwo ogólne, although only a few copies ultimately contained 25 tables with the original photographs of the exhibits. In turn, Teodor Willnow collaborated with Dr. Ludwik A. Neugebauer (1821–1890), professor at the Medical Faculty, for whom he took photographs of anatomical specimens either from nature or reproduced from various publications. In this way, the author gathered illustrations for his Anatomia opisowa ciała ludzkiego podług Józefa Hyrtla przez Dra Ludwika Adolfa Neugebauera, published in 1860. Representatives of the humanities also appreciated the value of illustrations. Hipolit Skimborowicz (1815–1880), the librarian of the Main School library, as well as the initiator and custodian of its Museum of Antiquities, added thirty reproductions of title pages from the rarest Polish Bibles to his Ph.D. thesis De Bibliis earumque partibus singulis in Polonicum versis aut in Polonia editis, [fig. 13, 14], for which in 1865 he received the degree of doctor of philosophy at the University of Jena. At this stage of research, the Skimborowicz manuscript, with photographs by Karol Beyer, can be regarded as the first supplement, in the history of the humanities, of a scientific study with reproductions of the discussed sources.40 Today, the extant photographs of the old prints are part of the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw. Skimborowicz became interested in photography already in 1847. His guide, entitled Przewodnik dla zwiedzających Częstochowę, contained a lithographic reproduction of a daguerreotype by Karol Beyer, showing a general view of the monastery on Jasna Góra.
Already during the early 1860s photographic registration of all sorts of monuments and exhibits conducted for scientific needs was universally practiced. When in 1864 Egyptian mummies, brought from a scientific expedition carried out by Aleksander (1821–1877) and Konstanty Branicki (1824–1884) and Professor Antoni Stanisław Waga (1799–1890) arrived in Warsaw, their photographic documentation was entrusted to the Karol Beyer studio. The monuments enlarged the collection of the Zoological Cabinet, whose custodians were the Branicki brothers. In turn, Grzegorz Sachowicz took an atelier photograph of “a particle of an aerolite which on 30 January 1868 dropped over the village of Sielce on the Narew”. The exhibit, which was first handed over to the editors of “Kurier Codzienny”, was presented for scientific examination to the chemical laboratory of the Main School. The photograph of the meteorite, commissioned from Sachowicz, was then published as a woodcut in “Tygodnik Ilustrowany”.41
The collaboration of the photographer Karol Brandel with the University resulted in a most spectacular project [fig. 15]. His contacts with the University went back to the time when he attended the Non-Classical Gymnasium (Brandel graduated in 1858), situated in the same building that later housed the Main School.
At the beginning of the 1870s Brandel started taking photographs of difficult medical cases for the doctors connected with the University of Warsaw. He documented for example the conjoined twins for the obstetrician Ludwik Neugebauer as well as the pathologies of the patients treated by the doctor Erast G. von Trautfetter, a specialist in dermatology and venereology. In the Library of the University of Warsaw there is a rare publication – an album containing 415 positives presenting drastic medical cases photographed by Brandel in a room designed as a typical studio, as well as several depictions of a medical consulting-room equipment. The photographer offered this extensive and unique album to the University as documentation and a medical aid.42 [fig. 16]. In 1875 Brandel received the title of the “Photographer of the Royal University of Warsaw”, which from that time on he displayed on firm stationery43 [fig. 17], and which honoured his contribution to the documentation of the scientific accomplishments of the professors with whom he collaborated. The Brandel photographic studio continued this sort of work also in the next years, and informed about it in assorted announcements, urging scientists to benefit from its free of charge offer. The announcements show that Brandel had become a specialist in the documentation of diseases, and in 1881 his collection of “more detailed examples of illnesses” reached the “imposing number of more than 700”.44
The cooperation of scientists representing various disciplines and professional photographers developed together with new achievements in the art of photography. An increasingly large group of scientists learned to appreciate the value of the photographic document. They included also those who themselves took photographs useful for their research, such as Jan Stanisław Kubary (1846–1896), who in 1865–1868 studied at the Medical Faculty of the Main School, and whose complicated life, full of dramatic turnabouts, became the reason for leaving the country.45 Kubary settled down in Hamburg, where he worked at the Natural History Museum belonging to Johann C. Godeffroy. As the museum’s envoy, Kubary travelled to the islands of Oceania, where he became a pioneer of ethnological research in this region. In 1877 “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” published Kubary’s accounts together with the woodcuts, which he executed upon the basis of his own photographs of the villages and inhabitants of the Samoa archipelago [fig. 18]. The photographs, the first to be taken by a scientist on the islands of Micronesia, were still used in the 1920s for illustrating specialist European periodicals. Professor Benedykt Dybowski (1833–1930) also employed a photographic camera as a research instrument.46 Dybowski studied at the universities of Dorpat, Wrocław and Berlin, and in 1862 was offered the post of professor of zoology at the Main School. His lectures in Warsaw were few – involved in the January Uprising as a member of the National Government, in 1864 he was arrested and sentenced to death. Ultimately, the verdict was changed to 12 years of exile, which Dybowski spent by Lake Baikal, examining the local fauna and laying the foundations of a new science – limnology. At the turn of the 1870s Dybowski worked on the Kamchatka peninsula, where he, i. a. studied the indigenous peoples and created an invaluable archive of photographs.47 Since he was prohibited to return to Warsaw, in 1884 Dybowski started lecturing at the University of Lwów, where he established a chair of anthropology. Both scientists, Kubary and Dybowski, belonged to the precursors of using photography as a research method.
A successive example of the active participation of the intellectual milieu of Warsaw in European scientific life was the fact that public opinion was instantaneously acquainted with the newest achievements of physics and photography. At the end of 1895 the German physicist Wilhelm C. Röntgen (1845–1923) discovered a new type of invisible radiation, which he called the X-ray. Röntgen published the outcome of his studies in January 1896, and already on 18 February Wiktor Biernacki (1869–1918), a graduate in physics at the University of Warsaw, read in the Medical Society a lecture about X-rays and the possibilities of their application in diagnostics. More, Biernacki illustrated the lecture with X-ray pictures taken by him.48 In the same year, Dr. Mikołaj Brunner (1840–1914) opened the first private X-ray laboratory in Warsaw at the Holy Ghost hospital. Brunner studied at, i.a. the Medical and Surgical Academy, and then worked together with the chemist Jakub Natanson, a professor of the Main School. In 1907 Brunner received a distinction for his roentgenograms, which he presented at a natural history-medical exhibition held in Kraków. Photographs which “x-rayed” living organisms soon revolutionised medical diagnostics.
While discussing the part played by the scientists connected with Warsaw University in the popularisation of innovations in recording images of reality, mention is due to holography. In 1920, Mieczysław Wol&e (1883–1947) became the newly appointed head of the Faculty of theoretical Physics at the University of Warsaw. At the same time, this physicist and constructor, trained in Paris, created the theoretical foundations for optical holography, i.e. the recording and recreation of a three-dimensional image by using wave interference. This theory was realised in experiments carried out at the turn of the 1940s by Dennis Gabor (1900–1979), an English scientist of Hungarian descent, who received the Noble Prize for holography in as late as 1971, when practical application was rendered possible by the construction of a suitable laser (the early 1960s).
The graduates of the Main School also include the first collectors of photographs. At the beginning of the 1850s lovers of the visual arts started to gather photographs deliberately.49 Photographic reproductions of works of art rapidly became an object of interest among persons travelling all over the world and the lovers of Polish historical souvenirs. The most outstanding Polish collectors included the lawyer and man of letters Leopold Méyet (1850–1912), who amassed a collection known as a museum of Polish Romanticism. Méyet possessed invaluable daguerreotype portraits of Adam Mickiewicz, albumen prints with views of nineteenth-century Warsaw, photographs of the monuments of Polish and European architecture, as well as numerous photographic reproductions of works of art. He bequeathed part of his collection to the Museum of Fine Arts in Warsaw, which from 1916 became known as the National Museum. Many photographs presented in our album originate from the Méyet collections [fig. 19].
Aleksander Kraushar (1843–1931), lawyer and historian, a graduate of the Main School, also collected photographic portraits taken from nature and reproductions of works of art. Subsequently, he donated them to the Library of the Society of Care for Historical Monuments (TOnZP), established in 1906. To the extensive programme of the campaigns conducted for the sake of the Polish cultural heritage in the Russian partition area TOnZP added the task of creating a photographic documentation of historical monuments. The extant glass and paper positives commissioned by the Society in 1906–1939 comprise one of the most valuable documentations for the history of Polish art and photography.50
Since the 1880s the development of the photographic technique became the reason for the progress of amateur photography on an unprecedented scale. A light camera with a shutter for taking photographs without the need to use a tripod became universally available. Bolesław Prus (1847–1912) [Album I.10], a former student of the Main School, also became interested in photography. Already as a celebrated publicist writing in the Warsaw press he readily tested all technological novelties, such as the typewriter or the bicycle. In 1898 the writer bought a Kodak camera and soon described his achievements: “I have already taken about a hundred or more photographs, have acquired a great liking for these compositions, and secretly hope that even if I am not as yet the greatest European photographer, at least I belong to those arch-priests of art to whom grateful mankind shall not neglect to raise suitable monuments”.51 In his Kroniki tygodniowe Prus frequently spoke about “one of the most magnificent inventions of the nineteenth century”, as he described photography. He represented the approach of a favourable critic of the state of Polish photography, informed about assorted achievements, wrote accounts of exhibitions and, first and foremost, seriously treated the potential of this medium for the documentation of local culture and history as well as for recording social phenomena.
At the end of the nineteenth century the spatial situation in the grounds of the University of Warsawunderwent a number of changes. The Kazimierzowski Palace now became concealed from Krakowskie Przedmieście Street by the Library of the Imperial University of Warsaw, erected in 1891–1894 [Album I.11, II.11, III.11, IV.11, V.11]. The designers of the new building were the architects Stefan Szyller (1857–1933) and Antoni Jasieńczyk-Jabłoński. The residents of Warsaw reacted unfavourably to this investment, since it deprived the passers-bys of a view of one of the most attractive edifices in the capital. At the same time, the nearby Staszic Palace was “clad” in a Byzantine costume [Album I.12], and the interior was adapted for a Russian Orthodox church. These transformations produced ironic commentaries, but they also gave rise to unrest and were envisaged as a grim reflection of Russian rule in Warsaw. The last important investment of the Russian University was an eclectic gate, which from 1910 cut the University lane off from Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. The gate, designed by Stefan Szyller, was decorated with the statues of Minerva and Urania, placed in special niches, and two towering electrical lanterns [Album I.13, II.13].
In 1915 “the Main School generation”52 witnessed the renascence of the Polish University after the Russians withdrew from Warsaw. The Poles immediately embarked upon organisational work despite the fact that the outcome of the operations on the World War I fronts brought another occupation, this time by the Germans. The inauguration of the University of Warsaw took place on 15 November [fig. 20, 21, 22], with thirty guests invited for a ceremonial service [Album I.14, II.14] celebrated at 9 a.m. in the cathedral of St. John [fig. 23], and then for a meeting held at the Kazimierzowski Palace [Album I.15] in the presence of Rector Józef Brudziński and General Governor Hans H. von Beseler, a representative of the new occupation authorities. The Germans used the establishment of a Polish school of higher learning in Warsaw for propaganda purposes, served by, i.a. large impressions of colour postcards issued to mark the inauguration [fig. 24]. The celebrations of the revival of the University were attended by three living professors of the Main School: Ignacy Baranowski of the Medical Faculty, and Władysław Holewiński and Walenty Miklaszewski of the Faculty of Law and Administration. “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” included pertinent information next to a commentary evoking the past: “We see the grey-haired head of Prof. Miklaszewski moving across the courtyard, and take off our hats just as 25 years ago we took off our students’ caps. […] A moment of reflection. A single glance at the main façade of the Kazimierowski palace. A single moment of an unforgettable vision: the Knight’s school, Kościuszko, Niemcewicz; then the Royal university, Brodziński, Rev. Szweykowski, Lelewel, and the students; later, the Main School, Rector Mianowski, an outstanding pléiade of professors and students who for fifty years shouldered the responsibility for the existence of Polish science, and then we, ’born in servitude, and chained from infancy’, repressed and seething with rebellion amidst the grey and depressing atmosphere of Polish life, and now – the tomorrow of the nation, taking their first steps along a new path towards the sun […] Deus mirabilis, fortuna variabilis!”.53 The journalist writing these words still did not know that as many as six years in the life of the University established at the time of the World War I would be spent inter arma. This situation irresistibly brings to mind the fate of the Main School, founded not only at the time of national servitude, but in addition on the eve of the January Uprising.
From 1915 the Warsaw press meticulously recounted all the facts associated with the University. “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” published extensive photographic services, often presenting questions dealing with the school on the centrefold pages.54 The most frequently shown photographs were those taken by reporters Wacław Saryusz-Wolski (1870–1933) and Marian Fuks (1884–1935), as well as the Warsaw Photographic Agency [Album I.16, II.16, III.16, IV.16, V.16, VI.16]. In May 1916 the topic of the reports were the celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the enactment of the third May Constitution and the part played in them by the academic milieu, and Powszedni dzień akademicki [fig. 25]. “Although this ‘dull day at the University’ might be less interesting for society, the latter has the right to, and wants to, know how the young people are working and profiting from the teaching to which they had been granted access. In the name of this right the photographic camera of Tygodnik Ilustrowany has been allowed into the lecture halls, the anatomical theatre, and the Fraternal Help offices; in a series of photographs we see the daily life of the University – a day of hope and faith in the future”.55
The year 1918 brought the Poles, on the one hand, the restoration of independence and, on the other hand, the necessity of waging a further struggle for its preservation and the integration of Polish lands. In response to an appeal launched by Józef Pilsudski, in November 1918 the Warsaw students established the Voluntary Academic League that was formed at the University [Album I.17]. The press, up to then full of photographs of the teaching staff and accounts about the participation of the students in demonstrations of Polishness, as well as student detachments keeping guard [fig. 26] and undergoing military training, now started to provide illustrated accounts about the war between Poland and Soviet Russia. In April 1919 “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” devoted a whole page to an illustrated report entitled Pogrzeb żołnierzy-akademików poległych w obronie Lwowa [fig. 27], and on 2 August – to Akademicy warszawscy na froncie na Wołyniu. Despite the tragic wartime events the press did not forget the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Main School by the Russians, for the first time recalled officially, in an independent country [fig. 28]. The Polish-Bolshevik war, whose apogee took place in the summer of 1920, was the reason why the 1920/1921 academic year was not inaugurated at the usual time. True, wartime hostilities ended in October, but the students and professors were demobilised in November and December 1920. The inauguration – exceptionally ceremonial, solemn, and suffused with memories about the fallen – was held on 10 January 1921 [Album I.18, II.18, III.18]. The occasion was attended by the whole of Warsaw, with the president of the capital and the state authorities, including the prime minister and the marshal of the Sejm. The press was also present, and the press photographers produced an extensive documentation both in periodicals and albums created for various clients. The last, strongest chord in the establishment of the University of Warsaw was the ceremony of granting it its emblems by Head of State Józef Piłsudski [Album I.19] combined with granting the first “Honoris causa” diplomas (2 May 1921) [fig. 29].
Some of the events at the University of Warsaw could have been witnessed by the outstanding Polish photographer Jan Bułhak (1876–1950), head of the Department of Art Photography in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Stefan Batory University in Wilno. In July 1920, after the wartime evacuation of the University of Wilno to Warsaw, Bułhak, together with other professors from Wilno, found himself in the capital. Facilities for a photographic studio were probably made available in the University grounds in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, as indicated by the contents of an India ink stamp with which he signed his Warsaw photographs [fig. 30, 31]. The period up to April 1921 was used for taking photographs of the capital, with the artist aiming his camera lenses at the most valuable monuments as well as the University buildings and gardens [Album I.20, II.20, III.20, IV.20, V.20, VI.20, VII.20, VIII.20, IX.20, X.20, XI.20, XII.20, XIII.20, XIV.20]. Bułhak also discovered little-known lanes and forgotten nooks, ignored by the local photographers. He presented Warsaw with a valuable historical source and the most magnificent gift possible – a collection of 716 photographs in 13 albums, including unique images of the Kazimierzowski Palace, the Former Rector’s Building and the Mineralogical Cabinet, the University Library (today: Old Library) and the Visitant church.56
Only a few copies of the toned bromide prints by Jan Bułhak with views of the University of Warsaw have survived up to this day. Daguerreotypes featuring the Visitant church and the Kazimierzowski Palace are missing. Interestingly, these two monuments, for long a part of the canon of objects traditionally portrayed by successive generations of artists, inspired both Andrzej Radwański, the first Polish photographer (1839), and Jan Bułhak, the author of the conception of Polish “native photography” (1921).
The conviction about the exceptional value of the photograph as a historical source urged the author to attempt describing and illustrating the connections between the history of the University of Warsaw and the development of an invention of fundamental importance for the emergence of a new visual civilisation. The collected photographs served, on the one hand, showing the oldest photographic likenesses of persons who created the history of the University and depicting the appearance of the buildings in the University grounds in the discussed period. On the other hand, the purpose of this publication was to reflect on the origin of the introduction of photography in Warsaw and the participation in this process of the University milieu. Emphasis has been also placed on the early recognition of the photograph, going back to the early 1850s, as a useful research instrument by the scientists deriving from the University of Warsaw.
In present-day humanities we encounter enormous interest in the possibilities of an intellectual exploitation of the immensely varied meanings of the photographic image. An important place among the philosophical and aesthetic conceptions of defining and interpreting the photograph is held by the motif of memory and evidence. For 170 years the photograph – traditionally understood as a faithful image and an excellent tool for recording reality – has not only facilitated remembering the past but also widened horizons and animated the imagination. The discovery of forgotten photographs has further expanded and enriched the range of knowledge about the University of Warsaw.
1On this subject: Juliusz A. Chrościcki, Naukowo-literackie środowisko Villa Regia, [in:] Ars et Educatio. Kultura artystyczna Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, ed. Jerzy Miziołek, Warszawa 2003, pp. 83–100.
2In chemistry developments of key importance proved to be: the establishment of the photosensitivity of silver nitrate (1727), the discovery of chlorine (1774), iodine (1812) and bromine (1826), and the identification of the properties of the dissolution of silver salts by sodium thiosulphate (1819), used in photohgraphy as a fixing agent.
3About the philosophy, history and development of the invention: Les multiple inventions de la photographie, directeur de la publication Pierre Bonhomme, Paris 1989.
4Paul Jay, Niépce, Génése d’une invention, Chalon-sur-Saône 1988.
5The photograph was discovered by the collector and historian of photography Helmut Gernsheim (1913–1995) and sold together with the whole collection to the University of Texas at Austin.
6Le daguerréotype français. Un objet photographique, ed. Quentin Bajac and Dominique Planchon-de Font-Réaulx, Paris 2003.
7Larry J. Schaaf, The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot, Princeton 2000.
8Talbot described works produced without the photographic camera as photogenic drawings.
9Michel Poivert, Hippolyte Bayard, Paris 2001.
10Anne McCauley, Arago, l’invention de la photographie et le politique, „Études Photographiques” 1997, no. 2.
11Larry J. Schaaf, Out of the Shadow. Herschel, Talbot and the Invention of Photography, London 1992.
12In Lwów the first daguerreotypes were created as early as in 1839 by Jan Gloisner, professor of physics at the University of Lwów, and in Kraków in the autumn of 1840 by Stefan Ludwik Kuczyński (1811 1887), professor of physics at the Jagiellonian University. See: Dawna fotografia lwowska 1839–1939, ed. Aleksander Żakowicz, Lwów 2004, pp. 5–6, 12; Jerzy Koziński, Fotografia krakowska w latach 1840–1914, Kraków 1978, p. 15, 180.
13“Magazyn Powszechny” 1839, no. 6: 9 February, p. 44.
14“Wiadomości Handlowe i Przemysłowe” 1839, no. 308: 13 July, p. 1291.
15“Wiadomości Handlowe i Przemysłowe” 1839, no. 336: 19 October, pp. 1403–1405.
16“Wiadomości Handlowe i Przemysłowe” 1839, no. 347: 27 November, pp. 1447–1448.
17In 1857 Strasz issued a kind of manual entitled Fotografia czyli zbiór środków używanych do zdejmowania obrazów za pomocą światła na papierze lub na szkle, ułożony do praktycznego zastosowania, podług dzieł h. de la Sor i Texier, le Graya i Brebissona przez M. [aksymiliana] S.[trasza]. This “essay” was criticised by an anonymous author in the weekly “Przyroda i Przemysł” 1857, no. 41, pp. 327–328. In the twentieth century Maksymilian Strasz used to be regarded as “the father of Polish photography”. National Committee for the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Photography placed his face (an imagined one, nota bene) on the jubilee medal.
18“Kurier Warszawski” 1839, no. 280, p. 1349.
19“Kurier Warszawski” 1839, no. 286, p. 1377.
20This is the second part of Treść nauki przyrodzenia, w sposobie dla każdego przystępnym wyłożyli magistrowie b. uniwersytetu warszawskiego nauczyciele nauk przyrodniczych w Szkołach Rządowych, Warszawa 1850, pp. 456–460.
21Józef Żochowski, Fizyka, t. II zawierający naukę o świetle, elektryczności, magnetyzmie i elektromagnetyzmie, księga III Nauka o świetle czyli optyka, rozdz. XVIII O daguerotypie, Warszawa 1842, pp. 82–91.
22Bolesław Podczaszyński, Kronika sztuk i przemysłu, “Gazeta Warszawska” 1853, no. 6, p. 4.
23Dorrit Hoffleit, Some firsts in astronomical photography, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1950.
24Adam Wiślicki, Fotografia w Warszawie, “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 1863, no. 209: 26 September, pp. 377–379.
25“Kurier Warszawski” 1840, no. 195: 26 July, p. 937.
26Wanda Mossakowska, Antonin Wysocki – warszawsko-krakowski dagerotypista portretowy, “Kronika Warszawy” 1988, no. 1, pp. 115–122.
27The portrait of A. Krzyżanowski is indicipherable due to the state of the preservation of the daguerrotype. See: Wanda Mossakowska, Dagerotypy polskie i polonica w zbiorach krajowych, “Dagerotyp” 2001, no. 7, pp. 1–28.
28Wanda Mossakowska, Dagerotypy w zbiorach polskich. Katalog, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków–Łódź 1989.
29Małgorzata Maria Grąbczewska, Powstanie i historia dagerotypowych wizerunków Fryderyka Chopina – nowe ustalenia, “Muzyka” 2008, no. 3.
30Wanda Mossakowska, Zdjęcia do najstarszej fotograficznej panoramy Warszawy z 1858 roku, “Dagerotyp” 2007, no. 16, pp. 25–65 and illustrated insert.
31Krystyna Lejko, Przyczynek do dziejów fotografii warszawskiej przed I wojną światową – trzy pokolenia rodziny Karolich [w:] Sympozjum z historii fotografii polskiej, Wrocław 1989, s. 20–31.
32Danuta Jackiewicz, Konrad Brandel (1838–1920), Fotografowie Warszawy | Photographers of Warsaw, Warszawa 2015.
33The direct reproduction of the photographic image was made possible by the discovery of autotypy, applied for the first time on 10 March 1877 in the French “Le Monde Illustré”, but used on a universal scale during the 1880s, Pierre Albert, Gilles Feyel, Photography and the Media. Changes in Illustrated Press, [in:] A New History of Photography, ed. Michel Frizot, Köln 1998, pp. 361–362.
34“Kurier Warszawski” 1866, no. 77: 5 April, p. 414.
35“Kurier Warszawski” 1866, no. 233, p. 1366.
36“Kurier Warszawski” 1866, no. 245: 30 October, p. 1434.
37“Kurier Warszawski” 1866, no. 56: 10 March, p. 300.
38“Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 1877, no. 100, p. 321.
39“Dziennik Warszawski” 1855, no. 342.
40Danuta Jackiewicz, U źródeł fotografii jako narzędzia nowoczesnej humanistyki. Praktyka Karola Beyera, [w:] Miejsce fotografii w badaniach humanistycznych (in printing).
41“Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 1868, no. 7: 15 February, p. 89, 90.
42Erast G. von Trautfetter Fotografichieskiy atlas koznikh i wienerichieskikh boliezniey, no place, 1872. In this publication there were eight hand-coloured photographs, including two microphotographs. Second edition in 1886 included 24 coloured photographs.
43Polish photographers Józef Kordysz (1824–1896) and Franciszek de Mezer (1829–1919) held the titles of the photographers of the University of St. Vladimir in Kiev.
44Katalog wystawy przemysłowej urządzonej staraniem Komitetu Przemysłu i Rolnictwa w Warszawie w pałacu Brühlowskim otwartej dn. 26 kwietnia 1881 r. przedmiotów przeznaczonych na Wystawę Moskiewską, Warszawa 1881.
45Witold Armon, Kubary Jan Stanisław, [in:] Polski Słownik Biograficzny, vol. XVI, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków–Gdańsk 1971, pp. 9–12.
46Ludwik Bykowski, Dybowski Benedykt, [in:] Polski Słownik Biograficzny, vol. VI, Kraków 1948, pp. 36–40.
47Kamczatka i jej ludy autochtoniczne w fotografii, tekstach i eksponatach Benedykta Dybowskiego, oprac. Maria Dybowska, Warszawa 2003.
48Wiktor Biernacki, Fotografie otrzymane za pomocą promieni Roentgena, “Pamiętnik Towarzystwa Lekarskiego Warszawskiego”, Warszawa 1896, fasc. IV, p. 255.
49Danuta Jackiewicz, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski i początki kolekcjonerstwa fotografii w Polsce, [in]: Fotografia. Od dagerotypu do galerii Hybrydy. Materiały z sesji naukowej zorganizowanej przez Oddział Warszawski Stowarzyszenia Historyków Sztuki, ed. Danuta Jackiewicz, Zofia Jurkowlaniec, Warszawa 2008, pp. 47–53.
50Na szkle zapamiętane. Fotografie z kolekcji Towarzystwa Opieki nad Zabytkami Przeszłości 1906–2006, Instytut Sztuki PAN, Warszawa 2006.
51Aleksander Głowacki, Listy, prep. Krystyna Tokarzówna, Warszawa 1959, pp. 276–277.
52I cite this expression after: Stanisław Fita, Pokolenie Szkoły Głównej w życiu społecznym i kulturze polskiej, Warszawa 1980.
53Z. D., Juvat meminisse, “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 1915, no. 47: 15 November, pp. 667–668.
54The press was also interested in the Warsaw Polytechnic (Technical University), revived as a Polish school of higher learning in 1915.
55„Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 1916, no. 22: 27 May, p. 260.
56Danuta Jackiewicz, Wizja miasta. Warszawa na fotografiach Jana Bułhaka z 1920–1921 roku, „Dagerotyp” 2007, no. 16, pp. 66–73.
In the album were gathered only the original photographs from the years 1858–1921 which include predominantly portraits of the professors and students of the University of Warsaw as well as assorted University buildings. Taken at the time of the dramatic strife between the Poles and the Russian partitioners concerning the restoration of the University, the photographs illustrate both the successes and the failures. We present the School of Fine Arts (a reference to the Faculty of Sciences and Fine Arts at the Royal University of Warsaw), the Medical and Surgical Academy (evoking the Medical Faculty at the University), the Main School (being, in fact, the Polish University), and the Russified Imperial University of Warsaw. The period of the Polish University, reborn during the First World War and finally stabilised after the Polish-Bolshevik war, was documented by modern press photographs, which found their way also into albums and thus survived in the form of original prints.
The presented photographs allow the reader to become familiar with the appearance of Warsaw from the mid-nineteenth century to 1921. This holds true in particular for Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, at the time the main route of the capital and the site of a complex of the historical buildings of the University of Warsaw. The publication also features other spots associated with the socio-political activity of the representatives of the University, such as: Zamkowy Square, Saski Square (today: Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego Square) and Trzech Krzyży Square, or Marszałkowska Street and 3 Maja Avenue (today: the opening section of Jerozolimskie Avenue).
The majority of the photographs selected to the album come from the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw, which was established as the Museum of the Fine Arts in 1862, the same year as the Main School. The first photographs purchased for the Museum collections in 1863 was titled interior of the Main School aula auditorium, and one of the most valuable collections of photographs was donated to the Museum by Leopold Méyet, a graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University. Originally the photographs shown in the album were often provided with the titles. These titles, stressed here in italics, were left in the captions as a kind of testimony of an epoch, even if they include some inaccurate data, for instance different versions of the names of the buildings. Where obvious mistakes were noticed, they were corrected by putting the proper information in the square brackets.
While creating a photographic narrative about the history of the University during the titular period, the author became convinced that the presentation would expand the heretofore state of knowledge about the sources for the history of the University of Warsaw and, in a wider perspective – of Polish schools of higher learning. The album may encourage researchers to continue telling the story of the University in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street throughout the photographs taken also after 1921. The photographic sources for the interwar years, the times of the Second World War, the communist period and finally for the third Polish Republic are far richer and equally fascinating.
First photographic panorama of Warsaw, taken from the lantern of the Evangelic church of the Augsburg Confession, today in Małachowski Square (formerly: Ewangelicki Square), composed of twelve photographs, one of which shows fragment of the town towards the East. In the foreground: house in 16 Mazowiecka Street, designed in 1848 by Franciszek Maria Lanci for the Krasiński Ordynacja. Further on, the photograph shows the Krasiński Palace (today: the seat of the Academy of Fine Arts) and the Kazimierzowski Palace. The roof of the former Rector’s Building prior to its redesigning is seen to the right of the Kazimierzowski Palace.
This is the oldest preserved photograph of the Kazimierzowski Palace whose interior was used for the ceremonial inauguration of the Medical and Surgical Academy (1857). The establishment of the Academy awoke hopes for the reopening of the University of Warsaw, closed by the tsarist authorities in 1831 as part of the repressions applied after the November Uprising.
On the right: visible part of the Missionary monastery gardens. Almost ten years later this was the site of a new street – Fiodora hrabiego Berga (today: Romualda Traugutta) – linking Mazowiecka Street and Krakowskie Przedmieście Street.
This photograph is part of a series of 24 photographs featured in Album widoków Warszawy, offered for sale by Karol Beyer since 1859.
In the background: the Classicistic Staszic Palace, erected upon the initiative of Rev. Stanisław Staszic in 1820–1823, according to a design by Antonio Corazzi. The founder, who, nota bene, was the initiator of establishing the University of Warsaw, planned the building for the Warsaw Society of Friends of Sciences.
From October 1857 the Palace was the seat of the Medical and Surgical Academy. After the opening of the Main School in 1862, it housed the Mathematical-Physical Faculty (until 1865).
On the right: fragment of the house of Józef Grodzicki, an outbuilding of the Krasiński Palace, buildings of the Missionary monastery, and the church of the Holy Cross.
The Late Baroque church with the Rococo elements was built in two stages: in c. 1728–1736, upon the basis of a project by Carl Antonio Bay, and in 1754–1762 (i.a. the façade gable), in accordance with a project by Giuseppe Fontana (under the supervision of Johann Ehrenfried Staude).
The church adjoining the Visitant convent was intended for the Royal University of Warsaw. The revival of the University, closed by the Russians after the November Uprising, restored the church’s former functions. A Mass inaugurating the activity of the Medical and Surgical Academy was celebrated here on 1 October 1857.
The photograph shows a view of the building after renovation, conducted ten years earlier by the architect Henryk Marconi. In front of the church façade: visible cast iron posts linked with chains, and featuring the date 1850; several posts are preserved up to this day in front of the Visitant convent gate.
The Academy student was photographed in a studio belonging to one of the most acclaimed photographers in Warsaw, the author of portraits commissioned also by Academy professors. At the time, increasingly wide circles followed the fashion of carrying their likenesses in the form of a calling card (carte de visite). A small photograph on stiff cardboard became an accessory indispensable for a young person on the threshold of adulthood. It could be presented to friends and acquaintances, thus simultaneously stressing one’s social status, in this case that of a student of a Polish school of higher learning.
According to written sources Academy students wore green uniforms with blue collars and caps with a blue band.
Władysław Krajewski (1839–1891) was an active member of the Academic Committee and the Committee of the Fraternal Help Association. On 25 February 1861 he was arrested for slapping General Teodor Trepov, the chief of the police, during a street demonstration in Warsaw. Accounts about this event were accompanied by satirical poems, distributed among the inhabitants of Warsaw. Two years later, in January 1863, Krajewski was arrested and sentenced to exile for his participation in the January Uprising.
Photographic studios willingly executed panoramic views of Warsaw with soaring church towers. In this case, the camera lens faced the southeast, and the centre of the shot is composed of the Staszic Palace.
The third anniversary of the Medical and Surgical Academy was celebrated in the aula auditorium of the Staszic Palace on 5 October 1860. This was the last ceremony of its kind, since in the next year the Academy was being transformed into the Medical Faculty of the Main School. There is an inscription on the attic: Imperial and Royal Medical and Surgical Academy.
The house was built in the Italian Renaissance style in 1851–1852 according to a project by Henryk Marconi
The attic was topped by twelve statues executed according to classical models at the School of Fine Arts (1844–1866) by the students of Professor Konstanty Hegel. The photograph shows the figure of Faun and Kid, sculpted by Józef Plocer and modelled on a statue in the Plaster Models Cabinet at the University of Warsaw. Another visible work is the Castor and Pollux group by Feliks Ślaski vel Szlawski
The remaining statues are less distinguishable since the preserved copy print was incorrectly exposed. The photograph was taken several years before the completion of the building and remains the earliest visual document of the edifice, which from the 1850s housed photographic studios.
The house, which stood almost opposite a lane leading to the University grounds, contained a bookstore and a sheet music storehouse belonging to Michał Glücksberg. Today, it is the seat of the Bolesław Prus Main Scientific Bookstore, which sustains the tradition of the useful proximity of a bookstore and a school of higher learning.
Group portrait of 24 students of the School of Fine Arts and professors, sitting in the middle row. First from the left: the sculptor Konstanty Hegel, and then painters: Ksawery Kaniewski, Chrystian Breslauer and Rafał Hadziewicz. The School, which trained painters, sculptors and architects, was established in 1844 and located in the Auditorium Building. Closed in 1864.
Noteworthy features include the dynamically posed students surrounding their teachers, who also struck casual poses. The composition differs conspicuously from the typical static group portrait of the period. The students wear regulation uniforms with red collars and white buttons.
Group portrait of 19 students of the Academy of Fine Arts with Professor Rafał Hadziewicz, a graduate of the Faculty of Sciences and Fine Arts at the University of Warsaw. In the first row, second from the left: Karol Nowakowski (kneeling), organiser of patriotic demonstrations held in Warsaw upon the occasion of the funeral of Katarzyna Sowińska, the widow of General Sowiński, or the anniversary of the November Uprising (1860).
The photograph was taken in a studio in 40 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, i.e. in close vicinity of the Academy. Several students struck a pose on a carpet, a familiar prop from the Beyer studio.
The tsarist authorities arrested Karol Nowakowski (1833–1867) in 1861 twice: for taking part in a patriotic demonstration and for wearing a konfederatka military cap; ultimately, he was sentenced to exile.
The likeness of the student was cut out from a group portrait of the students of the School of Fine Arts, shown together with Prof. Hadziewicz. The painted on cross and floral wreath, added next to Nowakowski’s figure, produced a likeness of a national hero, an opponent of the tsarist system. The photograph, in a practical and very fashionable carte de visite format, was distributed on a mass scale to propagate resistance towards Russian rule and to commemorate the student and the events in which he participated.
The presented positive is a unique photograph, with watercolour under painting, executed in a larger format and contained in an album belonging to Platon Fredericks, the chief of the police in Warsaw. The album, composed of confiscated photographs, was used for the identification of persons sought by the tsarist police.
In this church Archbishop Antoni M. Fijałkowski, the metropolitan bishop of Warsaw, celebrated a funeral service for the Five Fallen, killed by the Russian army during a demonstration held on 27 February 1861. The committee organising the funeral ceremonies included students of the Medical and Surgical Academy and the School of Fine Arts.
The Baroque church was built in 1679–1696 according to a project by Giuseppe Simone Bellotti. The façade was constructed in several stages: before 1691 (lower part) and in 1725–1728, according to a project by Bellotti implemented by Giuseppe Fontana, thoroughly rebuilt in the Rococo style by Jakub Fontana in 1745–1760. The present stairs with a balustrade in 1818 according to a project by Christian Piotr Aigner replaced the original Rococo approach for the coaches and the stairs designed by Giuseppe Fontana (from before 1755). The balustrade is shown without Christ Carrying a Cross, a statute by Andrzej Pruszyński, installed in 1858.
The foreground is composed of the horse-drawn carts carrying barrels for water drawn from a well in front of the Staszic Palace. In Warsaw, water mains, built according to a project by Henryk Marconi, were opened in 1855.
In November 1856 Antoni Melchior Fijałkowski (1778–1861) was nominated archbishop and the metropolitan bishop of Warsaw; in January of the next year he received the pallium during a ceremony held in the cathedral of St. John. The archbishop supported religious-patriotic ceremonies celebrated in Warsaw churches. As a clergyman he was associated with the academic milieu, as evidenced by the recollections of Adrian Głębocki, a student of the School of Fine Arts: “We used to attend Mass celebrated in the Visitant church, where we received the Confirmation sacrament from His Eminence Archbishop Fijałkowski and said our quarterly confessions”.
Tytus Chałubiński (1820–1889), medical doctor and pedagogue, was a head of the internal medicine chair and clinic at the Medical and Surgical Academy and later at the Main School; he also worked shortly at the Imperial University of Warsaw. In 1861, a year particularly tumultuous for Warsaw, he represented the School in the Municipal Delegation, set up after the Russians killed five protesters in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. The task of this group, which for all practical purposes ruled the town up to 4 April, was to calm the prevailing mood, supervise street demonstrations, and negotiate with the governor. Chałubiński played a prominent part in efforts aimed at the realisation of the postulate of restoring a university in the capital.
The sitter’s left arm features a black cotton band with a white border and a white stripe down the middle, an identification sign of members of the Delegation.
On 6 March 1861 Jakub Natanson (1832–1884), a chemist, was invited to join the Municipal Delegation, which included representatives of social organisations, industrialists, financiers and the clergy. Natanson increased the number of the representatives of science, who until then included only Tytus Chałubiński.
After the establishment of the Main School, Jakub Natanson was appointed professor at the Mathematical-Physical Faculty. In 1875 he was one of the founders of the Museum of Industry and Agriculture.
Henryk Kuszkowski, a student of the Medical and Surgical Academy, was co-opted to the Municipal Delegation on 6 March 1861. He was also, as indicated by his top hat with a characterstic badge, a member (constable) of the Civic Guard, created for keeping order during the funeral of the Five Fallen at the Powązki cemetery. For a certain time, the grave of the victims of the demonstration of 27 February was guarded by members of Polish society to prevent it from being immediately destroyed by the tsarist authorities.
The Warsaw press underlined that the students securing peace in the town “won the gratitude of the capital’s population”.
View from the Staszic Palace to the north, showing a street packed with the inhabitants of the capital. Religious ceremonies became an occasion for patriotic demonstrations, attended also by numerous representatives of the academic milieu. In the memorable year of 1861, after the tragic events of February and March, when the Russian governor issued an order to shoot the residents of Warsaw, the Corpus Christi procession held in May gathered an unprecedented number of the faithful.
The series of photographs taken by Karol Beyer documents, with an evocative force characterstic for this medium, both the actual facts and the atmosphere accompanying the religious-patriotic gathering.
The exiles include students of the Medical and Surgical Academy, arrested by the Russian authorities on the night of 15/16 October 1861 for participating in an anniversary of the death of Tadeusz Kościuszko and sentenced to exile to inner Russia. These were the first days of the martial law period proclaimed by the partitioner on 14 October 1861 and never recalled.
Upper row: Maksymilian (Maurycy) Unszlicht, Władysław Garczyński, Stanisław Ambożewicz (Ambroziewicz). Middle row: Leon Wagenfisz, Jakub Feingold (or Frołowicz), Saladyn W. Ramlow (Ramloff), Bernard Goldman, below: Józef Hertz (Herz), Henryk Senator.
The photograph, taken on a stopover in a small provincial town, was then widely circulated among the opponents of the tsarist system. The large number of preserved prints testifies to a mass-scale distribution.
The building was erected in 1851–1853 according to a project by Antoni Sulimowski and Bolesław P. Podczaszyński for the Gentry Institute, active until 1862. From 28 October 1861 to the opening of the Main School (25 November 1862) the building was used for holding foundation courses for candidates to the Main School.
A two-headed tsarist eagle dominates over the central part of the edifice. All government buildings in Warsaw were outfitted with such symbols of Russian rule. From 1863 the building housed a Russian girls’ school – the Alexandrian-Marian Institute. In 1919, after Poland regained independence, it was adopted for the Sejm (Parliament) and later also the Senate. In 1925–1928 the building was expanded by Kazimierz Skórewicz. After the Second World War, transformed according to a project by Bohdan Pniewski, it served the Sejm of the People’s Republic of Poland, and from 1989 – the Sejm of the Republic of Poland.
The palace became known as Kazimierowski (Kazimierzowski) because in 1660 the Villa Regia, once standing on this spot, was rebuilt for King Jan Kazimierz. After numerous transformations in the eighteenth century, the palace was once again redesigned in 1815–1817 according to a project by Hilary Szpilowski. The Kazimierzowski Palace became the seat of the Royal University of Warsaw, established in a document issued on 19 November 1816.
“Since 1815 the Kaźmirowski Palace was intended for scientific institutes. Its location is excellently suited for this purpose. Situated in the very centre of the town, conveniently accessible for the students, it is at the same time not exposed to street noise; the surrounding gardens at the edge of the hillock guarantee a constant supply of fresh healthy air, and it were not for the proximity of the hospital of St. Roch, there would be no reservations about choosing this site for a scientific institution”.
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 26 October 1861]
In the photograph the Palace is shown from the perspective of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. The building is partly concealed by a temporary wooden gate installed in a fence erected in 1840 probably in connection with adapting the Palace for a Non-Classical Gymnasium, open since 1841.
Józef Mianowski (1804–1879), doctor of medicine and graduate of the University of Wilno, worked as a professor of physiology in Wilno and St. Petersburg. In 1862 Mianowski was appointed rector of the Main S cho ol and held this function for the School’s entire duration; in 1867–1869 he was additionally vice-chairman of the Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts.
In 1865 Mianowski became the protagonist of a painting executed by Ksawery Kaniewski, head of the School of Fine Arts, depicting “a meeting of Holy Father Pius IX with the family of Mianowski, rector of the Main School, in the environs of Rome”. This theme testifies to Mianowski’s exceptional position in the Warsaw academic milieu, subsequently confirmed in 1881 by the establishment of a society for the support of Polish science and initiated by former professors of the School. The foundation, which reflected respect for, and recognition of the rector, became known as the J. Mianowski Fund and was treated as a sui generis continuation of the educational mission of the no longer existing Main School.
In 1862 the Main School was established. Continuing the traditions of the Royal University of Warsaw, it was housed in the same place. The Main School had four faculties: the Faculty of Law and Administration, the Philological-Historical, the Mathematical-Physical and the Medical ones. At the time the Kazimierzowski Palace underwent repairs shown in the photograph, which features scaffolding next to the building’s portico.
In the foreground, on the right: fragment of the hospital of St. Roch, and in the background: former Rector’s Building after redesigning completed in the autumn of 1861.
Józef K. Plebański (1831–1897) was an historian educated in Wroclaw and Berlin. In 1861 he lectured at the Main School foundation courses. Next, he was nominated professor at the School’s Philosophical-Historical Faculty. At the inauguration of 25 November 1862 Plebański read in latin a lecture O stosunku nauk historycznych do politycznych, developing an idea of benefits resulting from learning of history. In November 1887 he wrote for „Tygodnik Ilustrowany” a reminiscence about the Main School, entitled Przed dwudziestu pięciu laty.
The photograph, of a carte de visite format, features the professor’s bust in an oval medallion, encircled with an ornamental lithographed frame. This was one of the popular models of the studio portrait.
On Tuesday, 25 November 1862 Archbishop Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński (1822–1895) took part in the ceremonial inauguration of the Main School as an honorary guest next to Rector Józef Mianowski, Kazimierz Krzywicki, director of the Chief Government Commission for Religion and Public Education, and Kazimierz Stronczyński, director of the Education Commission of the Council of State.
“[...] the first public session of the professors of the main school took place in the academic aula auditorium, followed on the next day by an opening of the school courses. Our worthy youth appreciate the importance of this fact and the multiplicity of the duties, which it imposes. In four or five years the present-day several hundred students of the main school will denote an equal number of educated citizens, capable administrators, lawyers, doctors, economists and technicians secured for the country. Our hearts grow to think how much strength can be gained in this way, how we might reinforce the foundations of the public construction whose completion has involved an entire willing society”
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 28 November 1862]
Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński was canonized in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI.
On 27 November 1862 the rector of the Main School together with the professors of all the faculties arrived at the Brühl Palace to introduce himself to Aleksander Wielopolski (1805–1877), who from June 1862 fulfilled the function of the head of the civilian government of the Kingdom of Poland. The restoration of a school of higher learning in Warsaw was indubitably one of accomplishments of this highly controversial politician. It is worth mentioning that Wielopolski himself was a graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw.
In 1754–1759 the former Ossoliński Palace, purchased from the Sanguszko family in 1750 by Heinrich Brühl (1700–1763), a Saxon minister at the court of King Augustus III, was redesigned in the Late Baroque style by Johann Friedrich Knobl. The building, sold by the Brühl family to the state treasury, was restored in 1787–1788 under the supervision of Dominik Merlini. The Palace was successively the seat of the Russian and French embassies, the residence of Grand Duke Constantine, and finally, the seat of the governor of the civilian government of the Kingdom of Poland.
The building, whose name was associated with the Brühl family, was exploded by the Germans after the Warsaw Uprising, and has not been rebuilt up to this day.
In the middle: the western elevation of the Former Museum Building (originally: the pavilion of Fine Arts of the University of Warsaw), rebuilt in 1818–1820 in a severely Classical style by Michal Kado according to a project by Chrystian Piotr Aigner. This was the first Polish building designed for the needs of an art academy and a museum. Today, it is the seat of the Historical Institute at the University of Warsaw.
In the background: façade of the Kazimierzowski palace, on the left – the Seminary Building, and on the right – roof of the Former Rector’s Building and the façade of the former Mineralogical Cabinet prior to its redesigning (!), which took place in 1862–1869.
The column hall in the Former Museum Building (originally: the pavilion of Fine Arts of the University of Warsaw) was planned for displaying the University collection of plaster casts; it was also used as the aula auditorium of the Main School. On 25 November 1862 the hall was the site of the School’s ceremonial inauguration.
Karol Beyer took a photograph of the interior immediately after it was refurbished and the plaster statues removed. The south wall features Emperor and King Alexander I presents a Diploma of the Establishment of the University of Warsaw in 1816, a painting by Antoni Brodowski (1828). The photograph is a unique iconographic source relating to the non-extant canvas.
The hall in the photograph is the only stately interior dating back to the time of the Royal University of Warsaw to have preserved its original form up to this day. For a long time it served as a library storeroom in the Historical Institute at the University of Warsaw. Since 2012 it has performed representative functions as a Column Hall.
The copy print was purchased for the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in the spring of 1863.
The Seminary Building, known as the northern outbuilding of the Kazimierzowski Palace, was erected in 1815–1816 according to a project by Jakub Kubicki. In 1861 Antoni Sulimowski redesigned it in the Late Classical style. In 1816–1831 and 1861–1865 the building served the Government Commission for Religion and Public Education. Today, it houses the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw, and is known as Collegium Iuridicum I.
In the foreground: roofs of the buildings of the hospital of St. Roch, on the left: fragment of the Uruski-Czetwertynski Palace and the roof of the Auditorium Building.
Other visible landmarks include bridges across the Vistula – pontoon and Kierbedź (under construction), and on the right bank: houses of the Praga district.
In the foreground, the panoramic bird’s eye view shows houses no. 20 and 22 in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street and a complex of the buildings of the hospital of St. Roch (no. 24). In the background: University grounds with the Seminary Building (the Government Commission for Religion and Public Education); in the middle, on the right: fragments of the Former Museum Building and the façade of the Kazimierzowski Palace with scaffolding next to the portico. On the left: fragment of the Uruski-Czetwertyński Palace (today: the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies) and bridges across the Vistula: pontoon and Kierbedz (under construction).
The photograph comes from a cycle entitled Widoki Warszawy. Similarly to Karol Beyer and Konrad Brandel, Jan Mieczkowski created an album of views of the capital, which included a „portrait” of the church fulfilling the function of an academic church, adjoining the University grounds. Photographers sustained a tradition, for centuries cultivated by graphic artists and painters, of creating series of views including the most important town buildings.
On the right: elevation of the Tyszkiewicz-Potocki Palace together with outbuildings enclosing the University grounds; on the left: fragment of the Visitant convent.
View of the presbytery with a main altar designed by Giuseppe Fontana and executed by Johann Georg Plersch in 1758–1760. The altar features Visitation of the Virgin Mary, a painting by Tadeusz Kuntze-Konicz, of 1759–1760. On the left: pulpit by Johann Georg Plersch, also from 1759–1760, the most outstanding example of a Baroque boat-shaped pulpit in Poland.
Trzebiecki took this photograph of the interior of the then University church in artificial magnesium light, used worldwide since 1864.
At the beginning of 1863 the sculptor Władysław Oleszczyński placed in the Visitant church a man-size stone statue of Kazimierz Brodziński (1791–1835), one of the most eminent professors at the Royal University of Warsaw. The inscription testifies that the founder of the statue was Eustachy Marylski, the professor’s former student.
This is the way in which a journalist writing for a Warsaw weekly described the event: “With this statue a grateful student gave vent to noble civic emotions so as to revive the memory of a poet-soldier, whose name and accomplishments will never fade in the heart of the nation. [...] Mr. Marylski intended the statue for the church of the Visitant Sisters in which students usually attend Mass, so as to imprint upon their memory the features of this excellent man of letters”.
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 6 June 1863]
The oldest commemorative photograph among those offered to Rector Józef Mianowski on his name day. The photograph shows (in the middle) Dean Walenty Dutkiewicz (at the bottom) and 12 professors (from the left): Józef Kasznica, Paweł Popiel, Stanisław Budziński, Walenty Miklaszewski, Franciszek Maciejowski, Władysław Okęcki, Władysław Holewiński, Antoni Białecki, Antoni Okolski, Józef Oczapowski, Hipolit Chwalibóg, and Zdzisław Korzybski, as well as 92 students.
The tableau was composed of individual portraits, taken earlier in a studio.
Not all the students had their photographs taken while wearing the regulation uniform, and many are shown in civilian clothes. Noticeable non-regulation differences in the cut of the uniform collars and the galloons.
The eastern row of houses shown from the building of the hospital of St. Roch includes the Uruski-Czetwertyński and the Tyszkiewicz-Potocki palaces, the Visitant church, houses no. 36–40, the Tarnowski Palace and the Carmelite church, all the way to the Royal Castle towers in the distance.
Two pairs of posts linked with chains are visible between the hospital of St. Roch and the Uruski-Czetwertyński Palace, at the level of a small street leading towards the Kazimierzowski Palace, not in the photograph. The posts were placed on the site of a gate from the time of Augustus II – a stone triumphal arch, crowned with a tin globe. The gate was pulled down in 1819 to create a view of the Kazimierzowski Palace.
In 1866–1868 a reproduction of the photograph, executed in the woodcut technique, decorated the vignette of the illustrated weekly “Kłosy”, thus popularising the view of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, at the time the most representative street in Warsaw.
This memento, dedicated to Józef Mianowski on his name day, is an invaluable source for the history of the University due to the seventy portraits of the deans and professors of the four faculties of the Main School.
At the top: the Medical Faculty – Dean Aleksander Le Brun and 22 professors. On the left: Faculty of Law and Administration – Dean Walenty Dutkiewicz and 14 professors. On the right: the Mathematical-Physical Faculty – Dean Stanisław Przystański and 14 professors. At the bottom: the Philological-Historical Faculty – Dean Józef Kowalewski and 16 professors. Among the photographs there is a single drawing, showing Augustyn Frączkiewicz from the Mathematical-Physical Faculty (the first dean of this faculty)
On 20 March 1867 “Kurier Warszawski” informed its readers about the “decorative drawing” presented to the rector of the Main School. The fact that the press wrote about this event confirms the rank held by the School and its social position.
“Yesterday, on the name day of Józef Mianowski, the venerable rector of the Warsaw Main School, the professors of all the faculties of this school, headed by their deans, wished him good fortune and offered a decorative drawing composed of sixty portraits of the professors, that is the whole staff of the afore-mentioned institution.
The portraits were executed as photographs taken in the well-known and oldest studio of Mr. Bayer”.
[“Kurier Warszawski”, 20 March 1867]
In the middle, at the top – Dean Aleksander Le Brun (1803–1868). From the left: professors Henryk Fudakowski, Piotr Seifman, Adam Gliszczyński, Ignacy Baranowski, Włodzimierz Brodowski, Roman Pląskowski, Michał Pilcicki, Teofil Wisłocki, Tytus Chałubiński, Henryk Hoyer, Władysław Tyrchowski, Wiktor Szokalski, Ferdynand Werner, Antoni Kryszka, Ludwik Hirszfeld, Polikarp Girsztowt, Józef Rose, Hipolit Korzeniowski, Witold Narkiewicz-Jodko, Henryk Łuczkiewicz, Bronisław Chojnowski, Władysław Orłowski.
In the middle: Dean Walenty Dutkiewicz (1798–1882). At the top, from the left: professors Teodor Dydyński, Józef Oczapowski, Stanisław Budziński, Józef Kasznica, Władysław Holewiński, Antoni Białecki, Walenty Miklaszewski, Zdzisław Skłodowski. At the bottom, from the left: Zdzisław Korzybski, Antoni Okolski, Franciszek Maciejowski, Paweł Popiel, Hipolit Chwalibóg, Władysław Okęcki.
In the middle: Dean Stanisław Przystański (1820–1887). At the top, from the left: professors August Wrześniowski, Karol Jurkiewicz, Julian Bayer, Jan Baranowski, Jerzy Aleksandrowicz, Nikodem Pęczarski, Tytus Babczyński, Kazimierz Kopytowski. At the bottom, from the left: Augustyn Frączkiewicz, Władysław Zajączkowski, Władysław Dudrewicz, Roman Wawnikiewicz, Julian Łubieński, Erazm Langer.
In the middle, at the top – Dean Józef Kowalewski (1801–1878). From the left : professors Adam Bełcikowski, Karol Estreicher, Stefan Pawlicki, Jan Papłoński, Jan Wolfram, Józef Kazimierz Plebański, Józef Przyborowski, Aleksander Tyszyński, Henryk Struve, Julian Kotkowski, Zygmunt Węclewski, Antoni Mierzyński, Henryk Lewestam, Louis Lambert, Franciszek Kuszel, Jan Zejdowski.
The Warsaw milieu honoured Ambroży Grabowski (1782–1868), historian, bookseller and chairman of the Society of Friends of Fine Arts in Cracow, with a commemorative diploma in the form of a tableau. His portrait is accompanied by the likenesses of 75 representatives of the intellectual elite of the capital. The writers, publishers, booksellers and publicists include 14 women, i.a. Paulina Kraków, Eleonora Ziemięcka, Narcyza Żmichowska, Maria Ilnicka and Jadwiga Łuszczewska (Deotyma). Numerous portraits of representatives of the Main School: Rector Józef Mianowski and professors: Jan Papłoński, Karol Estreicher, Józef K. Plebański and Józef Przyborowski from the Philosophical-Historical Faculty; Walenty Dutkiewicz and Wacław A. Maciejowski from the Faculty of Law and Administration; Jan Baranowski from the Mathematical-Physical Faculty; and Polikarp Girsztowt from the Medical Faculty.
The composition is enhanced by a view of Warsaw seen from the district of Praga; the photograph was taken in 1862, at the time of the construction of the Kierbedz Bridge.
The building was erected in 1861 according to a design by Józef Orłowski for a hospital whose history goes back to the mid-fifteenth century. Since 1864 it housed the clinics (therapeutic, surgical and oftalmological) of the Main School, and from 1869 it was also used by the Imperial University of Warsaw.
The hospital was located in a street, which rarely attracted the attention of photographers. The presence of a new building, however, provided a pretext for taking open-air photographs, which documented changes in the architecture of the capital.
View from Fiodor Berg Street (today: Romuald Traugutt Street) shows the front of the tenement house belonging to the complex of the Hospital of St. Roch, adjacent to the University grounds. Architecture of the building, with the Renaissance decoration, is the result of work of Henryk Marconi who enlarged and thoroughly renovated this complex in 1845–1851. Since 1811 the hospital served in sequence to the medical school called the Academic-Medical Faculty, then to the Faculty of the Medical Science of the Royal University of Warsaw and – after the Main School was established – also to its Medical Faculty.
In the ground floor of the building on the left a bookshop and a paper storehouse can be seen. Over the gate opening there is an inscription: Hospital of St. Roch / Больница С. Роха.
At present, the building is the seat of a Warsaw University student organisation, the Polish Culture Institute, a Workplace Safety Inspectorate, the Internal Control Department at the University of Warsaw, a Complex of Public Health Care Centres for Schools of Higher Learning and the university bookshop.
The centre of the composition features a portrait of Józef Mianowski, the rector of the Main School, surrounded by photographs of 18 professors: Hipolit Chwalibog, Henryk Struve, Józef K. Plebański, Teodor Dydyński, Walenty Miklaszewski, Stanisław Budziński, Paweł Popiel, Antoni Okolski, Franciszek Maciejowski, Józef Kasznica, Walenty Dutkiewicz, Władysław Holewiński, Antoni Białecki, Lewandowski, Józef Oczapowski, Władysław Okęcki, Zdzisław Korzybski, and Witold Załęski. Numerous students wear the regulation uniform, but with considerable nonchalance: the uniforms are unbuttoned, or only one or two buttons are done up.
The regulation student uniform introduced in 1864 was navy blue with silver buttons and white stripes on the collars and cuffs. Black or charcoal trousers and a round cap completed the apparel. Originally, the students boycotted the obligatory uniform, but a persuasive rector and a special government donation ultimately convinced them, as testified by the preserved commemorative tableaux.
Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846–1916), one of the most important Polish authors, studied at the Medical Faculty and then the Philological-Historical Faculty of the Main School. He was one of the “graduates” who actively cultivated the memory of a Polish school of higher learning at the time of Russian rule in Warsaw. In 1881 Sienkiewicz belonged to the members-founders of the J. M. Mianowski Fund. In June 1903, he was requested to make the first toast at a graduates’ banquet held in the concert hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic to mark a Graduates’ Convention organised upon the fortieth anniversary of the Main School. In 1905 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for the novel Quo vadis. Henryk Sienkiewicz died on 15 November 1916, the first anniversary of the revival of the University of Warsaw.
Aleksander Głowacki (1847–1912), outstanding writer and chronicler of Warsaw, who wrote under the pen name Bolesław Prus, studied at the Mathematical-Physical Faculty of the Main School (1866–1868). As a publicist he readily voiced his opinion about the generation of Poles educated at the School. Głowacki played a prominent part in moulding views about photography, which he regarded as a modern medium of great use in an artist’s workshop and as the “most magnificent invention of the nineteenth century”.
The photograph was taken during the graduation of the last class of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Main School. A portrait of Rector Józef Mianowski is surrounded by the likenesses of 14 professors and 104 students. The graduates wear student uniforms and only two appear in civilian clothes. By putting on uniforms for this photograph the students demonstrated their attachment to the Polish school on the eve of its closure.
View of the Kazimierzowski Palace after the closure of the Main School in 1869 and its replacement by the Imperial University of Warsaw, with Russian as the language of instruction. The act of closing the Polish university was a consequence of the dismissal of the Government Commission for Religion and Public Education (in 1867) and thus a deprivation of the limited educational autonomy, which the Poles achieved for the Kingdom of Poland in 1861.
In 1866 and 1869 allegories of science, executed by Faustyn Cengler, were placed on the Palace attic.
General view of the Kazimierzowski Palace when it was the seat of the Imperial University of Warsaw.
The photograph, from the Widoki Warszawy / Vues de Varsovie album, was placed in a decorative frame, designed specially for the Konrad Brandel Photographic Studio. It was sold either singly or in an album of the monuments of Warsaw architecture.
According to “Kurier Warszawski”, Captain Brunell, a French aeronaut who arrived in Warsaw at the beginning of 1872, invited “all those seeking extraordinary experiences to take an airborne journey”. The balloon, called Jules Fevre, was “assembled in the main hall of the local university”, where it was admired for a few days. Curious crowds also gathered to witness the launch. The first passengers were three journalists, including Feliks Fryze, a graduate of the Main School and an editor of “Kurier Warszawski”.
The photograph shows the Observatory building after it was redesigned in 1870–1871 by Bolesław P. Podczaszyński. The brick walls with a triad of illusionistic windows in the middle of the second tier were replaced by wooden walls with an observation slit. The western dome was pulled down in order to install a larger, cylindrical kiosk for a new telescope. The Observatory, whose architecture had been originally granted a palatial appearance, was spoiled by the introduction of a design dictated by functional reasons. In the foreground: view of the University Botanical Garden.
The photograph comes from a popular album series entitled Widoki Warszawy / Vues de Varsovie.
The University church is shown together with adjoining buildings. On the left: the neo-Renaissance elevation of a Visitant town house, erected in 1855–1857. The B. Wosinski Swiss watch shop located here in 1863–1873 advertises Patek watches. On the right: fragment of an outbuildlng of the Tyszkiewicz-Potocki Palace.
In accordance with a traditional depiction of architecture in art, the passer-by seen in front of the church emphasises the scale of housing in this part of town.
The photograph comes from a series of albums entitled Widoki Warszawy / Vues de Varsovie, a presentation of three examples of architecture associated with the university in Warsaw.
This commemorative tableau originates from the period of the Russification of the university in Warsaw. Only some of the professors of the Main School stayed on as lecturers, and the students included those who could not afford to study abroad. Commemorative photographs taken in Warsaw studios by applying a montage of the positives continued to be popular, but after 1869 the tableaux did not feature portraits of Russian rectors.
The portraits of 46 students are intertwined with a drawn decoration composed of architectural motifs, legal books, fasces, plant tendrils and laurel branches. In the middle: photograph of the Kazimierzowski Palace, with a quotation from Oda do młodości by Adam Mickiewicz displayed above. The composition is crowned with a figure of themis.
After the closure of the Polish university such mementoes of student days, enhanced with patriotic motifs, were as a rule addressed solely to the students, while omitting the professors of the Imperial University of Warsaw.
The photograph, taken in the summer, shows the Observatory behind the plants of the Botanical Garden. The popular carte de visite format was used for a wide popularisation of knowledge about historical monuments and current events – small 6x9 photographs were a cheap and eye-catching souvenir from a trip.
This unique photograph by an unidentified author shows the beauty of the University Botanical Garden on a sunny summer day in the mid-1870s. Unfortunately, the “striking colour photographs of rare plants in the Botanical Garden”, taken by the “Kloch i Dutkiewicz” Photographic Studio in 1867, have still not been found.
The photograph shows a paved lane known as Uniwersytecka, leading from Krakowskie Przedmieście Street to the University fence, with the Kazimierzowski Palace in the background. On the right: fragment of the elevation of the hospital of St. Roch, on the left: the Uruski-Czetwertyński Palace.
The tableau commemorates the Non-Classical Gymnasium (1839–1862), which continued the tradition of the Warsaw Lyceum. The composition is crowned with four portraits of the Gymnasium professors, the most important being the headmaster, Jan Pankiewicz (1816–1899), a pedagogue who earlier taught in the Faculty of Construction at the School of Fine Arts (second on the right). The other teachers are Jerzy Aleksandrowicz (1819–1894), later the director of the Botanical Garden (second on the left), and Karol Jurkiewicz (1822–1908), a naturalist connected to the Main School (first on the left). The tableau also features the likenesses of 35 graduates celebrating the anniversary, including two historical group portraits from 1860. The other depictions are of two examples of architecture: the Kazimierzowski Palace – the first seat of the Non+Classical Gymnasium, and a building specially erected for the needs of the school, which in time became known as the “Main School building”. The composition is supplemented with objects associated with chemistry and physics, evoking the subjects taught at the Gymnasium.
The Late Classicistic building was erected for the Non-Classical Gymnasium in 1841–1842 according to a project by Antonio Corazzi. When the Gymnasium was closed in 1862, the building housed the Main School, whose name was then used for describing the edifice. To the right: fragment of the so-called Tekla Rapacka house in 8 Obozna Street.
The photograph was taken at a time when the University of Warsaw was known as Imperial, as evidenced by the Russian state emblem and the name of the University written in Russian and displayed on the façade. The photograph of the building is a part of the tableau 8.
The thoroughly repaired building is now the seat of the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw.
The collective portrait of 17 men was taken in the atelier of the photographers Aleksander Karoli and Maurycy Pusch. In the centre there is Antoni Waga – a zoologist but also a writer and a pedagogue. He is sitting in the armchair decorated with an eagle and an accompanying stuffed bird is the evidence of zoological interests of the professor. Waga studied in the Philosophical Faculty of the Royal University of Warsaw. In the same faculty Samuel Bogumił Linde – Polish linguist, pedagogue and director of the Library of the University – was a lecturer. The painted portrait of this eminent man was sticked to the copy of the photograph which means that he patronizes the group. It seems the personages gathered around professor Waga are the ensemble related to “Biblioteka Warszawska”, a scientific monthly edited in Warsaw in 1841–1914.
The most numerous preserved commemorative photographs are those of the graduates of the Faculty of Law and Administration. One of the reasons was the popularity of this course, usually attended by more than 200 students. By way of example, in the 1863/1864 academic year their number totalled 290. The anniversary meetings testify to the strong bond between the graduates of the Main School.
In the photograph one can see nine of the 14 professors teaching in this faculty in 1869, the last academic year of the Main School. Professors Antoni Okolski, Hipolit Chwalibóg, Witold Załęski, Stanisław Budziński, Władysław Holewiński, Walenty Miklaszewski, Teodor Dydyński, Władysław Okęcki, and Antoni Białecki continued to lecture at the Imperial University of Warsaw.
The centre of the composition shows the Auditorium Building.
A comparison of the two tableaux, of which the first was executed to mark the graduation of law students in 1869 and the second – upon the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of that event, leads to interesting conclusions. In both photographs one can see the portraits of J. Śliwiński, Z. Sulimierski, W. Smoleński and S. Taylortaken at twenty-year interval which are valuable contribution to the iconography of these men.
This building was erected before 1822 according to a project by Michał Kado. The severe Classical style of the architecture harmonised with the layout of the University grounds, known as the Kazimierzowski Palace. The building was located symmetrically in relation to the Former Museum Building, on the other side of the entrance to the courtyard. In 1846–1865 it was the seat of the School of Fine Arts. The photograph of the building is a part of the tableau 8.
Today, the Auditorium Building , after being used for many years by the Medical Academy, is the seat of the Faculty of Journalism and Political Science.
The tradition of organising lectures by academic professors for the population of Warsaw goes back to the beginnings of the Main School. As a rule, the lectures were held in the Aula Auditorium of the Main School, the Merchant Club in Senatorska Street, or the Civic Club in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. After the Polish university was closed down and replaced by a Russian university, use was made of the most stately and largest interior in the capital, namely, the Great (Alexandrian) Hall in the Warsaw Town Hall. The lecture shown in the photograph was attended by numerous women. In the first row, to the left of the middle: Professor Walenty Miklaszewski from the Faculty of Law (sitting).
Former students of the Medical Faculty gathered in the studio to have a traditional photograph taken and to recall the times of the Polish university. From the left, standing: A. Knaap, J. Świecianowski, S. Janowski, L. Wichliński, T. Walewski, P. Borkowski, J. Miklaszewski, W. Garztecki, J. Wasiewicz, J. Goliński; sitting: A. Kostecki, T. Pągowski, B. Starzyński, Rev. A. Rogowski, W. Gajewski, Dr. Henryk Dobrzycki, A. Zaborowski, W. Gatkiewicz.
The sitters include Henryk Dobrzycki (1843–1914), author of reminiscences about this particular faculty of the no longer existing Polish university, published in 1890 in “Przegląd Literacki”, and a foreword to the second volume of Szkoła Główna Warszawska (1862–1869), issued in Cracow in 1901.
The Cour d’Honneur in front of the Palace was filled with a large lawn, surrounded with shrubs and trees and featured in numerous photographs. The plants growing in the courtyard were dominated by lilacs, whose beauty was often described in “Kurier Warszawski”, which stressed the “freshness and balsamic qualities of the air around the Kazimierzowski Palace”. The photographs make it possible to learn about the state of the upkeep of plants in the University grounds during different periods.
In 1869–1915 the Kazimierzowski Palace was the seat of the Imperial University of Warsaw. The Palace façade featured an inscription in Russian: “Императорский Университеть” (Tsarist University), and a Russian state emblem topped the portico.
This is one the last photographs showing the seat of the University from the front. A new library, whose construction began in 1891, concealed the outline of the Kazimierzowski Palace, up to then visible from Krakowskie Przedmieście Street.
The building of the new library erected in the courtyard in front of the Kazimierzowski Palace was the most important construction investment of the Russian university. Built in 1891–1894 according to a project by Stefan Szyller and Antoni Jasieńczyk-Jabłoński in the Italian Renaissance style.
The façade was crowned with Apotheosis of Science, a sculpture by Hipolit Marczewski. The lower tier niches, flanking the entrance, featured statues of Sophocles (on the right) and Demosthenes (on the left) by the same sculptor. The busts of famous classical figures decorating the façade (three busts) and the eastern elevation (seven busts) were executed by Marczewski and Jan Woydyga.
The presented series of unsigned photographs of the Library comes from an album offered in 1897 to Rector Grigoriy Zenger by Antoni Jasieńczyk-Jabłoński, the University architect.
This is the only unchanged architectural space in the building, whose interiors were thoroughly redesigned in 2003–2005.
The photograph shows a no longer existing interior. The space of the former first-floor reading room was rearranged after the building was redesigned according to a project by the architects Przemysław Woźniakowski and Jarosław Grzegory. Today, it houses lecture rooms and a capacious hall.
The outstanding Polish academic painter Henryk Siemiradzki (1843–1902) was commissioned to execute this canvas in 1891 by a private person, who then presented it to the University. The painting, carried away by the Russians during the First World War, returned to Poland in 1927. During the Second World War it was lost and its fate remains unknown.
The seven-floor book warehouse, located in the back of the Library, included an iron grate with low tiers, shelves accessible without ladders, and latticework floors-ceilings. This construction, pioneering in Polish conditions, referred to technical solutions applied in libraries in London and Paris, and was distinguished for its functional and modern features.
The historical grate was removed in the course of redesigning the interior of the building. Fragments of the original construction were preserved as “witnesses” of the warehouse’s former appearance. Part of the grate is kept in the Old Library (in auditorium) and another fragment is displayed in front of the new University Library in Dobra Street.
The windowless eastern elevation of the Library deserves particular attention. Seven consoles featuring the busts of famous classical figures, executed by Hipolit Marczewski and Jan Woydyga, were placed between Corinthian semi-columns. The tympanum displays a bas-relief by Woydyga, which the press of the period described as Allegory of Science or Juno Presenting the Sciences to the Gods on Olympus. According to recent findings made by experts it is Athena, the Guardian of Sciences with Personifications of the Sciences or Athena Presenting Science to the Gods on Olympus.
The photograph shows the architects Stefan Szyller and Antoni Jasienczyk-Jablonski, who designed this modern European building, standing in front of the Library.
On 5 December 1899 a meeting of the former lecturers and students of the Main School, which initiated preparations for commemorating the 500th anniversary of the revival of the Jagiellonian University, took place at the home of Henryk Sienkiewicz in 24 Wspólna Street. Participation in this celebration of Polish science was, on the one hand, a sign of the recognition by the Warsaw scientific milieu of the oldest Polish school of higher learning, and, on the other hand, a recollection of the role played by the Main School in the Russian partition area.
On 7 June 1900 a delegation of the former Main School appeared at a ceremony held in Cracow with a gift and an anniversary address read by Henryk Sienkiewicz, and signed also by Henryk Hoyer, Aleksander Czajewicz and Paweł Popiel.
This photograph comes from an album of 33 views of Warsaw, executed for a private commission. Each photograph is hand signed, and the depiction of the University Library is accompanied by a commentary expressing the universal opinion of the capital’s population about the unfortunate location of the building, which concealed a view of the historical Kazimierzowski Palace, up to then seen from Krakowskie Przedmieście.
The Classical Staszic Palace was redesigned in 1892–1895 by the architect Vladimir Pokrovski to become the Russian Orthodox church of St. Tatiana of Rome. The resultant building is an example of the Byzantine-Rus’ style – an architectural creation totally alien in the Warsaw landscape. In this manner, the Russians damaged the Palace, which closed the perspective of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street and acted as a suitable backdrop for the statue of Nicolaus Copernicus by Bertel Thorvaldsen. The residents of the capital, on the one hand, ridiculed the new appearance of the Palace and, on the other hand, regarded its transformation as a symbol of the tragic fate of the Polish nation.
The building at the corner of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street and Fiodora Berga Street, erected in 1867–1868 according to a project by Bolesław P. Podczaszyński, and after 1885 extended to the church elevation, housed the third Boys’ Gymnasium. Today, it is the seat of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology and the Faculty of Journalism and Political Science at the University of Warsaw.
The photographer who took the picture of this fragment of the town stood at the level of the small street leading from Krakowskie Przedmieście to the University grounds.
A convention of the graduates of the Main School, commemorating the fortieth anniversary of its establishment, took place in 1903. According to a custom universal at the time, studio photographs of groups of the graduates of particular faculties were taken. The frame of the presented photograph was signed by: Adam Antoni Kryński, Edward Rontaler, Edward Bogusławski, Feliks Witkowski, Hipolit Wójcicki, Mikołaj Skalski, Franciszek Juskowski, Gabriel Centnerszwer, Ignacy Stołągiewicz, Władysław Mazurowski (?), Franciszek Szymański, Hipolit Chromiński, Jakub Wiewiórski, Kazimierz Wasilewski, Edward Grabowski, Stefan Okołów, Bronisław Bieńkowski, Władysław Nowca, Teodozjusz Opatowicz, Włodzimierz Koc, Stanisław Falęcki, Jan Matulewicz, Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, Henryk Goldberg, Aleksander Świętochowski, Józef Radziukinas, Henryk Struve, Antoni Mierzyński, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Władysław Nowicki, and N.N.
In 1935 Jadwiga Korniłowiczowa and Henryk Józef Sienkiewicz, the writer’s son, donated the photograph to the National Museum in Warsaw.
The title of this photograph testifies to a continuation of the old custom of using the term Kazimierzowski (formerly – Kazimierowski) Palace to describe the University grounds as a whole, and thus also the various buildings situated therein. In this case, the name was used in reference to the Auditorium Building.
The photograph originates from an album presenting the seat of the Warsaw School of Drawing, opened after the Russian authorities closed the School of Fine Arts.
Today, the Auditorium Building is used by the Faculty of Journalism and Political Science.
This is a panoramic view of the Warsaw Escarpment along which picturesque residences were situated. Here, the Vasa royal court built the Villa Regia on the site of the present-day Kazimierzowski Palace, the most important building of the University of Warsaw, visible among plants on the left; above: soaring towers of the church of the Holy Cross.
In the foreground: buildings on the right bank of the Vistula.
This commemorative photograph was composed of the portraits of students and five professors as well as the views of three University buildings. The professors include Teodor Dydyński, Władysław Holewiński and Adolf Pawiński, three Poles who earlier lectured at the Main School and then worked at the Imperial University of Warsaw.
Each building recalls different periods in the history of the school: the Kazimierzowski Palace – the Royal University of Warsaw, the building of the former Non-Classical Gymnasium – the Main School, and the Library – the times of the Russian University.
Classicistic iron gate and fencing were obtained for the School in about 1867. They originated from the Prymasowski Palace, which they separated from Senatorska Street. The historical fence, installed between the Kazimierzowski Palace and the pavilions flanking it, closed a passage to the University garden, and today remains a decorative part of the University layout.
The Holy Mass celebrated on 15 November 1915 by the Warsaw Metropolitan Archbishop Aleksander Kakowski inaugurated the activity of two Polish schools of higher learning – the University and the Polytechnic (Technical University). Honorary guests included former professors of the Main School: Ignacy Baranowski from the Medical Faculty, and Władysław Holewiński and Walenty Miklaszewski from the Faculty of Law and Administration. After Mass the participants of the ceremony walked in a procession across the town towards the University.
A photograph commemorating this event was published on the title page of “Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, issue no. 47, 20 November 1915.
In 1836–1840 the church was redesigned in the English Gothic style according to a project by Adam Idzkowski. In 1947–1956 the cathedral, reduced to ruins at the time of the Second World War, was rebuilt under Jan Zachwatowicz in a style referring to the tradition of Gothic architecture in Mazovia.
In the foreground, on the left: fragment of the Mannerist-Baroque Jesuit church of the Holy Virgin Mary of Mercy.
The Russian university was evacuated from Warsaw on 7 July 1915 (finally to Rostov-on-Don, where it existed as the Russian university to 1917), and tsarist armies left the capital on 5 August. Warsaw now found itself under German occupation. A University Commission established on 11 August was entrusted with the task of reactivating a school of higher learning. A compromise achieved with the German occupant made it possible to open a Polish university and inaugurate the academic year of 1915/1916.
The photograph shows the Kazimierzowski Palace, deprived of the attic and the statues decorating it as a result of the repairs preceding the inauguration.
Józef Brudziński (1847–1917) was a paediatrician and neurologist who worked in the hospitals of Lodz and Warsaw. In 1908 he was one of the founders of “Przegląd Pediatryczny”, and from 1910 – a member of the Warsaw Scientific Society. In 1912 Brudziński achieved the recognition of an independent Polish section by the Association Internationale de Pédiatrie. His accomplishments in research into meningitis brought him general recognition. In 1915 Brudziński joined the initiative of creating a university in Warsaw and was appointed its rector. At the time, the town remained under German occupation until Poland regained independence on 11 November 1918.
The 125th anniversary of the enactment of the Third May Constitution, celebrated under the patronage of the renascent University, involved a ceremony of unveiling a memorial plaque in the University Botanical Garden. The plaque was installed in a niche in the historical foundations of the church of Divine Providence, whose construction had been initiated a year after the adoption of the Constitution and never completed. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Rev. Antoni W. Szlagowski (1864–1956).
“A May dawn has broken, one of the most beautiful that Polish spring could offer Warsaw. [...] On this brisk morning the first to awake were the students who hurried to the ruins in the Botanical Garden for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, installed in a niche in the historical ruins. The ceremony, organised under the auspices of the University, which correctly assumed care of this esteemed monument, was uplifting and deeply moving”.
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 6 May 1916]
In the middle: woman wearing a white headdress – this is the first female student of the University of Warsaw so clearly recorded in a photograph.
“After Rev. Canon Szlagowski celebrated field Mass on an improvised altar amidst fresh spring plants, the heads of those gathered bowed to honour a monument of the past, the sonorous voice of His Magnificence, the rector of the University, Dr. J. Brudziński, resounded, and the veil dropped – the letters of an inscription engraved for future generations became visible on a stone tablet”.
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 6 May 1916]
The presented event took place in the morning; later, the students took part in a procession of the residents of Warsaw to celebrate an anniversary, which at the time of the Russian partition could not even be mentioned.
On the original plaque there is an emblem of the University of Warsaw. Today, a niche in the historical ruins features a new plaque, next to which representatives of the University traditionally place flowers on 3 May.
“Punctually at 11 a.m. after a Mass celebrated in the arch-cathedral by His Eminence Archbishop Kakowski, members of the Sokól organisation and the municipal schools started the procession. The students were followed across the town by the Roman Catholic clergy and the representatives of Protestant churches and the Jewish rabbinate, the Civic Committee, the Municipal Council, the Central Welfare Council, the Anniversary Committee, political organisations, social institutions, associations, and guilds”.
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 6 May 1916]
“A colourful procession winds down Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, Nowy Świat Street, Ujazdowskie Avenue, Bagatela Street, Marszałkowska Street, and Zbawiciela Square”.
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 6 May 1916]
Photograph of the view was taken by a reporter working for “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” from the Staszic Palace towards Hotel Bristol.
Warsaw University students wearing white caps marched in an orderly square, led by a group of professors.
White student caps with a black peak and an amaranthine rim are obligatory up to this day.
“Academic students marched in the procession in disciplined and imposing order under the old blue University banner, fortuitously found in the attic of the Kazimierzowski Palace”.
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 6 May 1916]
The interior of the Great Hall in the Town Hall, the former Jabłonowski Palace in Teatralny Square. The redesigning of the Town Hall was completed in 1870. From that time its interiors contained the stately halls used both for public lectures held by University professors and assorted official gatherings.
At the time of the Second World War the German occupant reduced the Town Hall to ruins. The solid of the edifice was rebuilt in 1997, but the historical interiors were not restored.
Warsaw University students took a lively part in all the events that transpired in the capital and the country in the tumultuous 1915–1920 period. The fact that Dr. Józef Brudziński held two important functions simultaneously – he was rector of the University and chairman of the Municipal Council – was beneficial for the students’ activity.
52 years after the tragic event, “its victims were commemorated with an oaken cross, a symbol of the passion of Christ and the tormented Polish nation”. The ceremony gathered the inhabitants of the capital, including a large representation of the University. A speech was given by Dr. Józef Brudziński, chairman of the Municipal Council, who also held the post of rector of the University of Warsaw.
In the middle, turned towards the camera held by Wacław Saryusz-Wolski: reporter Marian Fuks at work.
The gate was crowned with an emblem from the time of the Royal University of Warsaw in the form of a crowned eagle holding laurel and palm branches in its talons, and surrounded by five stars symbolizing the University faculties. Placing the eagle in such a conspicuous place carried a symbolic message, and was particularly significant for the Polish nation, still deprived of an independent state.
The Main Gate of the University was erected in Krakowskie Przedmieście in 1910 according to a project by Stefan Szyller. Its eclectic architecture is enhanced by the statues of Athena and Urania by Zygmunt Langman. The historical appearance of the gate, destroyed during the Second World War, was restored in 1984.
The gathered students include also female students.
The population of the capital, gathered in the Royal Castle courtyard, awaited the public reading of tte Proclamation of the Allied Monarchs, i.e. the so-called Act of 5 November. The document was issued by the Central Powers to announce the establishment of an independent Polish Kingdom. The listeners enthusiastically reacted to the promises contained in the Act, which, however, already a few months later proved to be illusory. In the background: large group of students of the University of Warsaw wearing white caps.
Students of the University of Warsaw marched in a procession of the population of the capital, which set off at 4.30 p.m. from 3 Maja Avenue towards the Town Hall in Teatralny Square. A ceremonial session of the Municipal Council was to take place at 6 p.m.
View of the centre of Warsaw from Bankowy Square to the west, the Staszic Palace to the south, the University grounds to the east, and the Nalewki district to the north. Buildings visible in the University grounds include: the Auditorium, the Former Museum, the Library as well as the roofs of the Former Rector’s Building and the Main School.
Photograph taken from an aeroplane by a German pilot.
On the right: Former Rector’s Building, in the background: fragment of the façade of the Kazimierzowski Palace.
Former Rector’s Building was erected in 1815–1816 according to a project by Jakub Kubicki as the southern of two side wings, standing perpendicularly to the solid of the Kazimierzowski Palace. It contained the living quarters of the rector and professors of the University and the Warsaw Lyceum. In 1861 the building was adapted to the requirements of the Government Commission for Religion and Public Education according to a project by Antoni Sulimowski. The elevations were decorated with two Corinthian pilasters and the side projections were crowned with triangular frontons. The sculpted compositions in the tympanums were executed by the stucco mason Ferrante Marconi.
Today, the building is the seat of the Institute of Art History and the Institute of Oriental Studies.
Antoni Kostanecki (1866–1941) graduated in economy in Berlin, and in 1889 received his Ph.D. degree. From 1901 worked at the University of Freiburg, and from 1910 – at the Polytechnic of Lwow. In 1915 Kostanecki became an employee of the University of Warsaw, where he lectured in economy at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences. In 1917/1918 and 1918/1919 he was the second rector of the restored University after Józef Brudziński. When Kostanecki was appointed to this post at the beginning of 1917, the University was already under Polish administration.
The plaque over the entrance to the Main School building was unveiled in June 1919 in the presence of Rector Antoni Kostanecki. The event was one of the highlights of the fiftieth anniversary of the closure of the Main School by the tsarist authorities. The ceremony was attended by three generations: the last two living professors of the Main School – Walenty Miklaszewski and Teodor Dydyński, its graduates, and the students of the resurrected University.
In 1816 Michał Szubert (1787–1860), a botanist educated in Paris, was the head of the University Botanical Garden lying next to the Kazimierzowski Palace. In 1818 he was appointed to the Chair of Botany and Forestry at the Royal University of Warsaw, and became dean of the Mathematical-Physical Faculty. From 1825 Szubert held the function of director of the University Botanical Garden in Ujazdowskie Avenue, which he created in 1818.
A statue of the botanist in the form of a herme was executed by Franciszek Roth, a student of Faustyn Cengler. A ceremonial unveiling took place in the Garden on 3 May 1917, and was attended by professors and students. The event showed that Professor Szubert’s successors remembered his contributions to his Warsaw Alma Mater, which after years of servitude could be finally commemorated.
Up to this day the Botanical Garden remains part of the University structure, and the statue stands among picturesque lanes.
The Classicistic building of the Astronomical Observatory was erected in the Botanical Garden of the Royal University of Warsaw in Ujazdowskie Avenue in 1820–1824 according to projects by Michał Kado and Hilary Szpilowski. The possession of its own observatory placed the University of Warsaw among European schools of higher learning best prepared to conduct special research in the realm of astronomy.
Today, the Astronomical Observatory is a part of the Faculty of Physics.
View of the escarpment and garden elevation of the Kazimierzowski Palace in a composition by the outstanding Polish photographer, a resident of Wilno until 1945.
The commemorative plaque placed on the garden elevation of the Kazimierzowski Palace recalled the Knights’ School, which existed in the Palace in 1765–1794, and its graduate, Tadeusz Kościuszko. The plaque was unveiled in the early morning of 15 October 1917 as part of the celebrations of the Kościuszko Anniversary held in Warsaw in the presence of University students. The consecration was performed by Canon Dr. Antoni Szlagowski after a field Mass on a garden terrace. Nota bene, in the academic year of 1927/1928 Antoni Szlagowski held the function of rector of the University of Warsaw.
“This year the press devoted particular attention to the Kościuszko celebrations of 5 October. University students were to be seen everywhere – in the cathedral of St. John, Zamkowy Square, the Old Town Market Square where Artur Oppman spoke about Kościuszko, and Teatralny Square where the president of Warsaw, Prince Zdzisław Lubomirski, gave a speech after unveiling a plaque on the town hall. The Visitant church, where a ceremonial Mass was celebrated, was also full of young people”.
[“Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 20 October 1917]
Today, the plaque is placed in the hall of the Kazimierzowski Palace.
Main School building deprived of the stucco and the akroterion, which originally crowned the fronton. Today the seat of the Institute of Archaeology. In the background, on the left: fragment of the former building of the Mineralogical Cabinet, redesigned after 1862 so as to include physical and chemical laboratories.
A tympanum with a sculpted decoration crowned the façade of the Main School. Some researchers maintain that this was a composition entitled Aristotle among Students by Pawel Maliński, while others that it was Aristotle and Plato among Students by Ignacy Vincenti.
After the First World War the situation in reborn Poland remained strained. The Polish-Bolshevik war broke out on February 1919, and in June 1920 inner political conflicts and social tension led to, i.a. a strike of the workers of public utility institutions.
In the photograph: University student – volunteer of the Social Self-help Association, which organised replacements at the time of the strike of the municipal workers. The copy print was purchased for the National Museum in Warsaw collection in May 1921.
In July 1920, as a result of changes along the Polish-Bolshevik front, Jan Bułhak, head of the Department of Art Photography at the Stefan Batory University in Wilno, was evacuated to Warsaw together with other members of the University staff. The outstanding photographer was entrusted with the photographic studio of the Science-School Department in the Ministry of Military Affairs. He worked at the University of Warsaw, as testified by the India ink stamp used for signing photographs taken in Warsaw.
Female students of the University of Warsaw served in the medical units and in the Academic Committee for Students Soldiers Aid. The photograph shows an aid station for volunteers leaving for the front localized in 53 Nowy Świat Street.
The copy print was purchased for the National Museum in Warsaw collection in May 1921
On 3 July 1920 the State Defence Council established by the Sejm issued a declaration calling the Poles to volunteer for army service. Once again, young people responded to the appeal wholeheartedly. The photograph was published in “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” on 7 August, together with four other photographs comprising a report about student volunteers: Morning toilet (photo: WAF), Registration (photo: the Marian Fuks Photographic Agency), Sawing wood for the field kitchen (photo: WAF) and Peeling potatoes (photo: the Marian Fuks Photographic Agency). University students wearing white caps are visible in all the photographs. Soon, on 13–16 August, these young people took part in the historical battle of Radzymin.
The copy print was purchased for the National Museum in Warsaw collection in May 1921.
The armed hostilities of the Polish-Bolshevik war ended on 18 October; the final peace treaty was signed on 18 March 1921.
The capital became the site of official ceremonies in honour of the fallen. The procession passed the University gates on its way to the Statue of the Fallen for the Homeland, placed in 3 Maja Avenue. In the photograph the procession is led by state dignitaries, from the left: Marshal of the Sejm Wojciech Trąmpczyński and Prime Minster Wincenty Witos; behind the prime minister: General Wacław Iwaszkiewicz, and behind the Marshal – the French General Henri A. Niessel; first on the right: President of Warsaw Stanisław Nowodworski.
The copy print was purchased for the National Museum in Warsaw collection in May 1921.
The provisional monument commemorating soldiers fallen in the Polish-Bolshevik war of 1920 was a sarcophagus surmounted by a statue of a crowned eagle and flanked by four obelisks.
In the background: towers of the Poniatowski bridge, on the right: building of the former Accounts Chamber, which in the interwar period served as the seat of the Ministry of Communication.
The copy print was purchased for the National Museum in Warsaw collection in May 1921.
Stanisław Józef Thugutt (1862–1956) began his studies at the Imperial University of Warsaw in 1881 but continued and graduated in Dorpat (today Tartu in Estonia). He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry there, in the Faculty of Mineralogy and Geology. Thugutt came back to Warsaw in 1904 and in 1908 he joined the Warsaw Scientific Society. Since 1915 he was the professor of the University of Warsaw and in 1918 became its vice-rector.
At present the Stanisław Józef Thugutt Geological Museum is located in the Faculty of Geology of the University of Warsaw.
Persons honouring the fallen during the Polish-Bolshevik war included a large group of students of the University of Warsaw together with Rector Stanisław Thugutt (in the centre), who thus paid their respects also to students who died in battle.
On the left: Library building, on the right: fragment of the Former Rector’s Building.
Fragment of the western elevation of the Former Rector’s Building. This photograph is an example of one of the artist’s favourite ways of recording architecture, seen through tree trunks and branches casting shadows on the elevations. In this manner, Bułhak realised the principles of photographic pictorialism.
Building of the former Mineralogical Cabinet, redesigned in 1862 to serve chemical and physical laboratories. Fragment of the façade with a decoration by Faustyn Cengler in the shape of six allegorical figures depicting the sciences (1869). From the left: Medicine, Physics and Chemistry, Botany and Geology, and Astronomy.
Today, this is the site of a new building, erected after the Second World War – the seat of the Faculty of Polish Philology.
Today, the building seen in the photograph contains the offices of the Technical Administration director at the University of Warsaw.
Photograph from the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw, which at the time was housed in 15 Podwale Street. In 1920 the Museum purchased from Jan Bułhak 83 photographs of the capital.
The Visitant church fulfilled the function of a University church until 1928. Subsequently, academic pastorate was entrusted to the post-Bernardine church of St. Anne in Krakowskie Przedmieście Street.
Bułhak included photographs of the Visitant church in Kościoły, the eleventh volume in a series of thirteen albums containing views of the capital.
Jan K. Kochanowski (1869–1949), medievalist and palaeographer, from 1907 member of the Warsaw Scientific Society, and in 1908–1912 – lecturer of the Society of Scientific Courses. Kochanowski began working at the University in 1919 after Poland regained independence.
One of the first cavaliers of the Order of Polonia Restituta, established in February 1921, and for many years a chancellor of the order’s chapter.
The ceremony of presenting the students with a field gun as a sign of appreciation for their heroic stand during the war against the Bolsheviks and to honour the fallen took place in Saski Square on the day of the inauguration of a new academic year. Due to the fact that a large number of the students and lecturers remained in active service until the demobilisation conducted in November and December 1920, the academic year started in January 1921.
In the background: houses in Czysta (today: Ossolińskich) Street, destroyed during the Second World War.
The copy print was purchased for the National Museum in Warsaw collection in May 1921.
At the time the function of the garrison church was fulfilled by a former Russian Orthodox church built by the Russians in 1894–1912. The monumental edifice did not vanish from the landscape of the Polish capital until 1926.
Group portrait taken in the University garden situated in the back of the Kazimierzowski Palace, to commemorate the inauguration of the 1920/1921 academic year, exceptional in the history of the University due to the Polish-Bolshevik war. The inauguration took place on 10 January 1921.
The copy print was purchased for the National Museum in Warsaw collection in May 1921.
The gun, presented to the University by the military authorities to honour students fallen in the Polish-Bolshevik war, was placed in the garden of the Kazimierzowski Palace.
After the Second World War the gun was removed from the University grounds. A ceremony of reinstalling this memento of the heroism of the University graduates was held on 15 August 1990 in the presence of Joanna Onyszkiewicz, the grand daughter of Marshal Józef Piłsudski.
Garden elevation of the Kazimierzowski Palace. The tympanum crowning the projection is decorated with the statues of Hercules (on the left) and Athena (on the right) by Johann Georg Plersch.
In the centre: field gun presented to the University by the military authorities to honour students fallen in the Polish-Bolshevik war.
Student activity in the Polish capital did not cease after the inauguration of the 1920/1921 academic year, which due to the political situation did not take place until January 1921. The students continued to react to current events, and in this case attended meetings held in support of the incorporation of Upper Silesia into the Republic of Poland. The meetings were a response to an appeal made by Wojciech Trqmpczynski, marshal of the Sejm and chairman of the Central Plebiscite Committee.
The copy print was purchased for the National Museum in Warsaw collection in May 1921.
This complex of buildings erected on a site belonging to the University since 1819 always attracted the attention of artists who immortalised its landscape in paintings, drawings and etchings. In 1839 they were joined by photographers, who used a new technique for transmitting the beauty of the historical layout and the changes transpiring within the seat of the University. Originally, the centre of the layout was dominated by the Kazimierzowski Palace, which in 1894 was completely concealed by the Library raised in front of its façade.
During the first such a solemn public ceremony at the University in the independent Polish state, the University received the insignia from the first Marshal of Poland and the Chief of State Józef Piłsudski. The University emblems i.e. scepters for the rector and the deans of the faculties (“carved in wood”) as well as the chains of the rector and the deans (“made of wrought silver from Olkusz”) were the gift of the Warsaw guilds. The rector gown edged with the ermine was founded by the owners of the fur trading company (Arpad Chowańczak) and the fashion house (Bogusław Herse). In the photo there are these gifts presented earlier by the guild leaders and accepted by the rector Jan Karol Kochanowski.
After the Marshal’s death the University of Warsaw received a new name the Józef Piłsudski University in Warsaw, accepted by the Senate of the University on 9 June 1935. This name was in force to 1945.
The 1920/1921 academic year ended the tumultuous renascence of the University, which coincided with the First World War and the Polish-Bolshevik war of 1920. The history of the University of Warsaw in independent Poland comprises a new chapter, in which the photograph, conceived as an historical source, was even more important. This state of things was affected not only by the development of the University but also by the expansion of press photographs and the illustrated press during the interwar period.
The positive was printed from a cracked glass negative. Negatives on such a fragile base were used universally to the end of the 1930s despite the existence of roll films and small format cameras. Attention is also due to the author of the photograph – Ada Janczewska was one of the as yet little-known female documentarians of the architecture of Warsaw.
Archiwum Państwowe m.st. Warszawy [APW], Archiwum Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Biblioteka Narodowa [BN], Biblioteka Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego [BUW], Instytut Sztuki PAN [IS PAN], Muzeum w Piotrkowie Trybunalskim, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie [MNW], Muzeum Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego [MUW], Muzeum Warszawy [MW], Muzeum Wojska Polskiego [MWP], Muzeum Ziemi PAN [MZ], Muzeum tatrzańskie w Zakopanem, Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe [NAC]
„Przyroda i Przemysł”
„Wiadomości Handlowe i Przemysłowe”
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INDEX OF NAMES
Aigner Chrystian Piotr
Ambożewicz (Ambroziewicz) Stanisław
Arago Dominique Francois Jean
Baudouin de Courtenay Jan
Belloti Giuseppe Simone
Beseler Hans H. von
Chałubińska Antonina z Kozłowskich
Chrościcki Juliusz A.
Copernicus Nicolaus zob. Kopernik Mikołaj
Daguerre Louis Jacques Mande
Deotyma zob. Łuszczewska Jadwiga
Feingold (lub Frołowicz) Jakub
Feliński Zygmunt Szczęsny
Fijałkowski Antoni Melchior
Godeffroy Johann C.
Grąbczewska Małgorzata Maria
Gumiński Władysław Heliodor
Herschel Sir John Frederick William
Hertz (Herz) Jozef
Humboldt Alexander von
Janowski Jozef Kajetan
Knobel Johann Fredrich
Kochanowski Jan Karol
Kościesza Jaworski Józef
Kryński Adam Antoni
Kubary Jan Stanisław
Kuczyński Stefan Ludwik
Lanci Franciszek Maria
Le Brun Aleksander
Linde Samuel Bogumił
Maciejowski Wacław A.
Mezer Franciszek de
Morse Samuel Finley Breese
Neugebauer Ludwik A.
Niemcewicz Julian Ursyn
Niepce Joseph Nicephore
Niessel Henri A.
Pinson Stephen C.
Planchon-de Font-Reaulx Dominique
Plebański Jozef Kazimierz
Plersch Johann Georg
Podczaszyński Bolesław P.
Poniatowski Stanisław August
Prus Bolesław zob. Głowacki Aleksander
Ramlow (Ramloff ) Saladyn W.
Rontgen Wilhelm C.
Romanow Konstanty Pawłowicz
Sienkiewicz Henryk Józef
Sui Claude W.
Szlagowski Antoni W.
Ślaski vel Szlawski Feliks
Talbot William Henry Fox
Trautfetter Erast G. von
Unszlicht Maksymilian (Maurycy)
Waga Antoni Stanisław
Waza Jan Kazimierz
Waza Zygmunt III
Wołłowski Jan Kanty
INDEX OF NAMES – TABLEAUX
Studenci Kursu IV Wydziału Prawa i Administracyi w roku 1865/6 Rektorowi Szkoły Głównej i Profesorom Swego Wydziału. Warszawa, 19 Marca 1866 r., fotografia Michała Trzebieckiego, 1866, MNW [Tableau 1]
Cohn H. (A.?) J.
Grzędziński (Grżędziński?) E.
Jachowicz E.[ryk Józef Wojciech]
Kirszroth = Prawnicki-Kirszrot Józef (?)
Kraushaar = Kraushar Aleksander (?)
Mauersberg W. = Mauersberger Wiktor (?)
Niemirowski A. [Adam Aleksander]
Piątkowski W.[iktor] Jan
Urbanowski F. (P.?)
Pierwszemu swemu Rektorowi Profesorowie Szkoły Głównej D. 19 Marca 1867, fotografia Karola Beyera, 1867, MNW [Tableau 2]
Frączkiewicz Aug. (fot. rys.)
Le Brun Aleks.
Ambrożemu Grabowskiemu d. 31 Grudn. 1867 r. na pamiątkę rocznicy 60-ciu lat autorstwa 70-ciu lat księgarstwa Koledzy i Przyjaciele ofiarują, fotografia Konrada Brandla, 1867, MNW [Tableau 3]
Chomentowski W. [Chomętowski Władysław]
Deotyma [Łuszczewska Jadwiga]
Dmochowski F.[ranciszek] S.[alezy]
Dzwonkowski [Adam Stefan Aleksander?]
Estrajcher K. [Estreicher Karol Józef Teofil]
Gebetner [Gebethner Gustaw Adolf]
Girsztoft [Girsztowt Polikarp]
Hösick [Hoesick Ferdynand Wilhelm]
Jakubowski Ks. [Adam Kacper?]
Jenikie [Jenike Ludwik]
Kleczewski Kobylański Kraków [Paulina]
Maciejowski W.[acław] A.
Odyniec [Antoni Edward]
Plebański [Józef K.]
Sennewald [Gustaw Karol?]
Sotkiewicz Ks. [Antoni Ksawery?]
Studenci kursu IVgo Wydziału Prawa i Administracji Rektorowi i Profesorom 1868, fotografia zakładu „Kloch i Dutkiewicz”, 1868, MNW [Tableau 4]
Plebański Józef K.
Domaszewski J.[an Wacław]
Studenci Kursu IVgo Wydziału Prawa i Administracji w R. 1868/69. Na Pamiątkę, fotografia Michała Trzebieckiego, 1869, MNW [Tableau 5]
profesorowie (niepodpisani na fotografii):
Andrychewicz W. = Andrychiewicz Władysław (?)
Kamiński J.[an Maurycy]
Wojcicki (Wójcicki?) T.
Studenci kursu IV Wydziału Prawa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, fotografia Aleksandra Kowalińskiego, 1874, MNW [Tableau 6]
Przewuski E.[dward (?)]
Po dwudziestu pięciu latach 27/6 1885, fotografia firmy „Karoli i Pusch”, 1885, MNW [Tableau 7]
Poniżej czterech niepodpisanych wizerunków profesorów znajdują się dwa owalne portrety niezidentyfikowanych mężczyzn (również profesorów?)
Na pamiątkę zjazdu w dniu 29 Czerwca 1889 roku Kolegów i Magistrów Prawa i Adm. Szkoły Głównej Warszawskiej z R. 1869., fotografia Waleriana Twardzickiego, 1889 [Tableau 8]
Kamiński J. M.
Tableau dla upamiętnienia dziesięciolecia ukończenia Wydziału Prawa i Administracji, fotografia Aleksandra Karoliego, 1906, MNW [Tableau 9]
Czeraszkiewicz I. [Jan]
Kurnatowski I. [Jerzy Karol]
Popowski S.[tanisław Kasper]
Sluzkowski (?) L.
Zachert F. I.