An Exhibition of Historic Significance
The exhibition highlights Poland's place in history as a meeting ground for artists and intellectuals of many nationalities; as a center for rich and diverse forms of royal patronage that incorporated Italian, Dutch, and French influences; as a hub of international trade that produced a pluralism of taste; and as a nation that defended and nurtured its cultural heritage in the face of a geopolitical order that shattered its national independence throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Adding poignancy and power to this exhibition is Poland's determination over the past 50 years to recover and restore national treasures that were stolen or displaced during World War II. The exhibition tells, for the first time, the story of the fate of important collections of European paintings in Poland as well as works by late 19th-century Jewish artists. A number of these paintings are on view for the first time since recovery and conservation.