• The exhibition “From Gdynia to the corners of the world. The Gdynia Shipyard and its ships” on the museum ship “Sołdek” is temporary closed from 16/06/2023 until further notice
• On June 8th, 2023 (Corpus Christi) all branches of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk will be closed to visitors
• The "Motława" ferry does not operate due to the river embankment renovation until further notice
• The Crane remains closed to visitors due to renovations - read

Śramkiewicz’s Maritime Subjects

The 10th exhibition of the “Polish Artists and the Sea” cycle presents an artist whose artistic life was largely related to the Polish coast. He taught at the PWSSP (Academy of Arts) in Gdańsk for several dozen years. His works were largely inspired by Gdańsk, the coast and marine themes. He often painted the Old Harbour on the Motława, and landscapes of the shipyards, ports, and coastal beaches. For the exhibition prepared within the 10th Baltic Festival of Science, we have gathered sea-related works of Kazimierz Śramkiewicz from museum and private collections all over Poland. This collection is presented as a set of works created thanks to his imperishable interest in the environment in which he lived.

The works of Kazimierz Śramkiewicz are ranked as realistic painting, however ‘realism‘ must be understood in a very broad sense of the word. The artist never confined himself to illustrating selected segments of reality, but transformed them in his distinctive manner, synthesising decorative shapes formed with the use of sophisticated colours and a variety of textures. This decorative abundance was always subordinated to the discipline of formal structure, with consequently drawn perspective and impeccably caught spatial interrelations of figures. This enhanced the realistic overtone of his works, although the shapes of individual objects were subject to oversimplification and geometrisation. He mainly painted landscape and still lifes, and he particularly valued his works concerning musical themes, whether he depicted concert halls or still lifes with musical instruments. As for landscapes, seascape motives played a very important role: port landscapes, the Old Harbour on the Motława in particular; in the 1970s, he painted the Northern Port then under construction, however his paintings also include pictures of shipyards and landscapes depicted during his travels.

About the Artist:

Kazimierz Śramkiewicz was born on 20 January, 1914 at Poniec (Gostyń county) in Wielkopolska. He used to paint and sketch a lot in his early life, though he saw his future career as an architect, and therefore he started his architectural studies at the Faculty of Architecture of Lwów Technical University in 1932. However his painting interests and talent made Prof. Władysław Lam appoint him his research assistant in the Chair of Drawing and Painting of Lwów Technical University in 1938. And it was in Lwów, in 1939, that the first individual vernissage of Kazimierz Śramkiewicz’s works was organised at the local Fine Arts Association.

Śramkiewicz spent the time of Nazi occupation in Brześć Kujawski, where he worked as a draughtsman. After WWII, he never returned to Lwów, where he had left behind his flat and practically all his works of art. In 1945 he accepted a post of research assistant which was offered to him by Prof. Władysław Lam at the Faculty of Architecture at Gdańsk Technical University. In 1947 he graduated from the Fine Arts Faculty of Toruń University. He still could not make up his mind whether he should devote his life to painting or to architecture. The year of 1946 proved to be a turning point: the first district exhibition of the PZAP (Polish Fine Arts Artists’ Association) was organised in Toruń. As he remarked when interviewed by Hanna Solway in 1994, the success of one of his paintings made him follow a career of an artist. He joined the Academy of Arts in Gdańsk for good. In 1950, he became assistant at the Chair of Drawing and Painting of the University, in 1956 he was conferred the title of private lecturer (Privatdozent), and from 1967 till 1986, he was Professor of the Academy. He died in Gdańsk in 1998.

From 1939, the artist presented his works at over 60 individual exhibitions, and participated in over 250 collective exhibitions both in Poland and abroad. He had his individual exhibitions in Lwów (1939), in Tri-city (numerous) and scores of places in Poland. At the turn of 1968 he had his individual exhibition in Leningrad (currently St Petersburg). The Hermitage Museum purchased one of his paintings for its collections. He also exhibited his works in Bremen (1982, 1987), Fürth (1982) and Hanover (1983). His interest in maritime topics resulted in his participation in seascape exhibitions in Poland (Katowice – 1949, and thrice in Warsaw – 1960, 1963, and 1964) and numerous European cities (Genoa – 1951-52, Rome – 1952, Rostock – 1962, Plymouth, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh – 1968). Besides, Kazimierz Śramkiewicz took part in Polish art exhibitions, among others, in Moscow, Budapest, Prague (1951-52), London (1952), Venice (1952), Montreal (1962), Tokyo (1965), Tunis (1962), Nancy (1967), Kalmar (1968) and the USA (1956). His works were awarded several times: twice for his seascapes during the 2nd and the 5th Nationwide Exhibition of Marine Arts in Warsaw (1960 and 1964).

Similarly to our previous exhibitions in the series, the catalogue produced in our Museum accompanies the exhibition..

“Kazimierz Śramkiewicz – Maritime Subjects” X exhibition from the series “Polish Artists about the Sea”
The Granaries 26.05-02.09.2012