The HMCT Archive acquired a large collection of Polish posters from designer and ArtCenter College of Design educator Leonard Konopelski in 2020. Much of the work represented was produced by the Polish School of Posters, formed because the Communist regime of Poland (1944-1989) banned film advertisements issued by Western studios, and controlled all advertising imagery used for theatrical and other public events.
Despite the draconian oversight of the Polish government, the School was so successful that it helped shape the global practice of graphic design, and its artists became known throughout the world. Among the most celebrated were Roman Cieslewicz, the first Polish artist to have an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1985); and Franciszek Starowieyski, who also produced work for magazines such as Elle, Vogue, and Opus.
Konopelski’s donation, now established as the Leonard Felix Konopeski Collection, is featured in the Issue #12 of Acid Free magazine.
Cyrk (Circus Poster), Hubert Hilscher, 1973, one of a series made for the Polish circus.