Polish Arts Club to Examine Amber Artworks
Program by Art Historian from Gdansk Spending 12 Days in Buffalo
The public will have an opportunity to meet Jacek Bielak, an art historian from the University of Gdansk, at the Polish Arts Club’s monthly meeting Feb. 11.
After arriving in Buffalo Feb. 5 for a 12-day residency at SUNY Buffalo, he will present a program entitled, “The History of Amber Art Works in Gdanskfrom the 15th-to the 18th-Century with Some Notes on Contemporary Design”.
Those who have attended events such as Cheektowaga’s Polish American Arts Festival in July have seen examples of art works made of amber. Having written his doctoral dissertation on the subject, Dr. Bielak says that the gemstone “is a very specific product of nature found in large deposits in the Baltic Sea Region”. “Its characteristics provoked artists and craftsmen to produce various types of artworks since the Neolithic Era until nowadays. The beauty and charm of Baltic Amber was observed by Pliny the Elder. The 40-milion-year-old fossilized resin fascinated monarchs and ordinary people.”
In an email to the Polish Arts Club, he wrote that he will “focus on the Early Modern Period, giving examples of amber artworks preserved in museum collections”. “However”, he continued, “it is also important to show that even today Gdansk is an important amber industry centre. It produces modern jewelry which is designed by Polish Artists.” His power point presentation will include a number of photographs illustrating amber art.
Dr. Bielak received a master’s degree in Art History from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan in 1995 and earned his doctorate from Gdansk in 2008. His dissertation won him an award for young researchers writing on Prussian, Mazurian and Warmian culture. He recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard and he presently holds a rank equivalent to assistant professor at the Institute of Art History at Gdansk.
His research interests are in the areas of national identity and visual culture in early modern Europe, history of architecture from the 16th- to the 19th-century, cultural transfer in early modern Europe, materials and objects in transnational perspective, theory and historiography of art and the methodology of the Humanities.
The program will begin at 7 pm and it will be held at the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Rd., Snyder. A social hour with refreshments will follow. The Harlem Road Community Center is handicapped accessible.
For more information, call 434-4984.