Henryk Tomaszewski (poster artist)

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Henryk Tomaszewski
Henryk Tomaszewski
Warsaw, Poland, 1914
DiedWarsaw, Poland, 2005, age 91
OccupationGraphic designer
Known forPoster design

Henryk Tomaszewski (pronounced tom-a-SHEV-ski) (June 10, 1914 – September 11, 2005) was an award-winning poster artist and the "father" of the Polish Poster School.


Henryk Tomaszewski was born in Warsaw, Poland on June 10, 1914, to a family of musicians.[1]

In 1934, he enrolled in the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 1939. During World War II and the Nazi occupation of Poland, Tomaszewski earned a living through his painting, drawings, and woodcuts which were later destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising. In 1947, he began creating posters for state-run film distribution agency Central Wynajmu Filmow with fellow designers Tadeusz Trepkowski and Tadeusz Gronowski. Postwar shortages of supplies made Tomaszewski rework film posters and introduced bold colors, abstract shapes, and filmmaking techniques to convey the film's mood rather than rely on portraits of the film's stars. He also created posters for the circus and art exhibitions, among others. His poster designs were animated and witty, leading him to become the "father" of the Polish Poster School in the postwar era influencing international poster designers.[1][2][3] His work was also part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1948 Summer Olympics.[4]

He became a professor from 1952 until 1985 at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.[1]

In 1975 Henryk Tomaszewski was granted the title of Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by Royal Society of Arts in London and since 1957 was a member of Alliance Graphique International (AGI).[citation needed]

Tomaszewski was the father of acclaimed contemporary Polish graphic artist Filip Pagowski.[1]

He died on September 11, 2005, in Warsaw, Poland of progressive nerve degeneration.[1]

Major awards[edit]

  • 1948 - Five Golds Medals, International Poster Exhibition, Vienna (Austria)[5]
  • 1963 - First Prize, International Biennal of Arts, São Paulo (Brazil)[5]
  • 1965 - Gold Medal, Leipzig (DDR)[5]
  • 1966 - Silver Medal, International Poster Biennal, Warsaw (Poland)
  • 1967 - Gold Medal, National Polish Poster Biennal, Katowice (Poland)
  • 1970 - Gold Medal, International Poster Biennal, Warsaw (Poland)[5]
  • 1975 - Silver Medal, National Polish Poster Biennal, Katowice (Poland)
  • 1975 - HonRDI, Royal Designers for Industry
  • 1979 - First Prize, 3rd Poster Biennale, Lahti (Finland)
  • 1981 - First Prize, International Poster Exhibition, Fort Collins (USA)
  • 1986 - Excellence Award, ICOGRADA
  • 1988 - Silver and gold medals, International Poster Biennal, Warsaw (Poland)
  • 1991 - Bronze Medal, International Poster Triennial, Toyama (Japan)
  • 1994 - Silver Medal, International Poster Triennial, Toyama (Japan)
  • 1994 - Bronze Medal, International Poster Biennal, Warsaw (Poland)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Heller, Steven (2005-09-14). "Henryk Tomaszewski, Leader of the Polish Poster School, Dies at 91". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  2. ^ Boczar, Danuta A. (1984). "The Polish Poster". Art Journal. 44 (1): 16–27. doi:10.2307/776669. ISSN 0004-3249. JSTOR 776669.
  3. ^ Crowley, David (1994). "Building the World Anew: Design in Stalinist and Post-Stalinist Poland". Journal of Design History. 7 (3): 187–203. doi:10.1093/jdh/7.3.187. ISSN 0952-4649. JSTOR 1316115.
  4. ^ "Henryk Tomaszewski". Olympedia. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Czestochowski, Joseph S.; Wilanowie, Muzeum Plakatu w (1979-01-01). Contemporary Polish Posters in Full Color. Courier Corporation. ISBN 9780486237800.

External links[edit]