Paris “Kultura” logo 11 November 2019
PEOPLE
Józef Czapski

THE MOST IMPORTANT YEARS

1896 (3 April) Born in Prague to Jerzy Hutten-Czapski and Józefa (néevon Thun-Hohenstein). Spends his childhood at Przyłuki, the family estate near Minsk.
1915 Enters Petrograd Imperial University in St Petersburg to study law.
1917 Enters the Corps des Pages (an elite military academy in imperial Russia). Enlists in the Polish 1st Krechowce Uhlan Regiment.
1918 Leaves the army. Declares willingness to serve as a soldier, but without bearing arms. Entrusted with locating missing officers from his regiment. Discovers they had been made prisoners of war by the Russians and shot dead.
1919/1920 Serves in a Polish armoured train. Takes part in the Polish Kiev offensive. Awarded the Virtuti Militari and commissioned as a second lieutenant. Enrols in the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.
1923 With fellow art students, founds the Kapist group of painters.
1924 Travels to Paris with the Kapists.
1926 Meets, among others, André Malraux, François Mauriac, and Jacques Maritain.
1930 Exhibits with the Kapists at the Galerie Zak in Paris. Travels in Spain.
1931 Further Kapist shows at the Galerie Moss in Geneva and at the Polonia Arts Club in Warsaw.
1932 Own show at the Galerie Vignon in Paris. Returns to Poland.
1933 Works on a book about Rozanov (never published).
1935 In Paris again, where he writes a book about Józef Pankiewicz. Meets Czesław Miłosz. Takes part in the “Salon 35” exhibition in Poznań.
1936 Exhibits his drawings at the ZPAP (Association of Polish Artists and Designers) in Warsaw. His book on the life and work of Józef Pankiewicz is published.
1938 One-man show at the Institute for the Propaganda of Art in Warsaw. Czapski also exhibits in Lwów, Warsaw and Kraków, and in the Polish Pavilion at the International Art Exhibition in Pittsburgh.
1939 Mobilized. Travels to Kraków to join his unit, the 8th Uhlan Regiment. Taken prisoner by the Red Army on 27 September and interned in Starobilsk camp.
1940 Taken from Starobilsk, via the transit camp at Pavlishchev Bor, to Gryazovets camp.
1941 Following the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement of 30 July 1941, Czapski is freed and joins the Polish army being formed in the USSR (General Anders’ Army). Heads the Missing Persons Bureau, charged with locating missing Polish officers and soldiers formerly held captive by the Soviets.
1942 Delivers a report to the Polish military authorities concerning Polish servicemen missing in the Soviet Union. Appointed head of the of Public Relations and Information Department of General Anders’ Army. One of the last Polish officers to leave Russia for Persia. Begins writing Na nieludzkiej ziemi (The Inhuman Land).
1942/1943 With the Polish forces in Iraq, Palestine, Egypt and Italy.
1944 The Italian campaign. Promoted to major and appointed director of the Public Relations and Culture Department of the 2nd Polish Corps in Rome. His Wspomnienia starobielskie (Reminiscences of Starobyelsk) is published.
1945/47 Heads the Paris Bureau of the 2nd Polish Corps.
1947 The first issue of Kultura published in Rome includes an essay by Czapski written after the death of Pierre Bonnard. Czapski moves to 1 Avenue Corneille in Maisons-Laffitte with his sister Maria and the Kultura team newly arrived from Rome.
1948 Demobilized from the Polish army.
1949 The Literary Institute publishes Polish and French editions of Czapski's The Inhuman Land.
1950 Lecture tour in the United States and Canada combined with fundraising for Kultura. In June Czapski attends the Congress for Cultural Freedom in West Berlin with Jerzy Giedroyc.
1950 First post-war one man show at the Galerie Motte in Geneva.
1952 Exhibits at Galerie Bénézit in Paris and at Grabowski Gallery in London.
1954 Relocates to 96 Avenue de Poissy in Maisons-Laffitte with the Kultura team. Further exhibitions at Grabowski Gallery in London and Galerie Bénézit in Paris.
1955 Exhibition in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Czapski travels to South America, where he meets Witold Gombrowicz. He exhibits in Rio de Janeiro.
1956 Exhibits in Amiens and again at Grabowski Gallery in London.
1957 Exhibitions at the National Museum in Poznań and at the TPSP in Kraków.
1960 His collected essays on art, Oko (The Eye), are published by the Literary Institute. Exhibits at Grabowski Gallery in London.
1961 Exhibitions at Sagittarius Gallery in New York and at Galerie Bénézit in Paris.
1962 Exhibition in Toronto.
1964 Exhibits at Grabowski Gallery in London and at Galerie Bénézit in Paris.
1965 Meets Anna Akhmatova in Paris. Awarded the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation Prize.
1966 First publication in Kultura of extracts of the diary Czapski kept since his internment in Starobilsk. Exhibits at Galerie Desbrière in Paris and at Galerie Motte in Geneva.
1967 Exhibition at Galerie Desbrière in Paris.
1968 Exhibition at Grabowski Gallery in London.
1969 An expanded edition of The Inhuman Land is published in London.
1970 Exhibitions at Grabowski Gallery in London and at Galerie Desbrière in Paris.
1971 Retrospective Exhibition at Galerie Motte in Geneva.
1972 Awarded the Godlewski Foundation Literary Prize in Zurich. Exhibits at Galerie Motte in Paris.
1974 Monograph on Czapski by Murielle Werner-Gagnebin, Czapski, la main et l'espace, is published in Lausanne. Exhibitions at Galerie Lambert in Paris and Grabowski Gallery in London. On 15 November Czapski and Jerzy Giedroyc meet Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Zurich.
1975 Exhibition at Librairie-Galerie Galaxie in Paris.
1976 Exhibition at Barbara and Richard Aeschlimann’s Maison des Arts Plexus in Chexbres, Switzerland.
1977 Exhibitions at Galerie Dédale in Geneva and Librairie-Galerie Galaxie in Paris.
1978 Exhibition at Galerie Briance in Paris. Czapski’s Wspomnienia starobielskie (Reminiscences of Starobyelsk) is published in Poland by underground publishing house Nowa.
1981 Death of Maria Czapska. The Literary Institute publishes collection of Józef Czapski's essays, Tumult i widma (Tumult and Phantoms). Exhibition at Galerie Briance in Paris
1983 Collection of Czapski's essays – Patrząc (Seeing) – selected and with an afterword by Joanna Pollakówna, published in Poland by Znak publishing house.
1985 Ten Czapski paintings exhibited at the Paris Biennale.
1986 Oficyna Literacka, a publishing house in Kraków, publishes Dzienniki, wspomnienia, relacje (Diaries, Recollections, Accounts) edited by Joanna Pollakówna and Piotr Kłoczowski. Exhibition at the Archdiocesan Museum in Warsaw.
1990 The first official publication of Czapski's of The Inhuman Land published in Poland by Czytelnik. Exhibition at the Archdiocesan Museum in Warsaw. Exhibitions at BWA Gallery in Nowy Sącz and at Kordegarda Gallery in Warsaw. Great retrospective exhibition at Jenisch Museum in Vevey, Switzerland. Znak publishes Czytając (Reading), a volume of essays selected and edited by Jan Zieliński.
1991 The exhibition “Dziennik Józefa Czapskiego” (Józef Czapski’s Diary) is held at the National Museum in Poznań.
1992 The exhibition “Józef Czapski. Malarstwo ze zbiorów szwajcarskich” (Józef Czapski’s Works in Swiss Collections) is held by the National Museums in Kraków, Poznań and Warsaw. Józef Czapski is appointed honorary professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.
1993 (12 January) Józef Czapski dies in Maisons-Laffitte. He is buried in the cemetery in Le Mesnil-le-Roi. 
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