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Art/Science Forum Edited by Susannah Gardiner The Higher School of Art and Design in E6di: Tradition and the Present I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND At the same time, following con- doctrines that werebasedon thevaluesof the rationalist way of thinking; therefore they were accepted as the foundation upon which ‘visualconsciousness’should be built. TOrealize the goal of bringing art closer to everyday life, three faculties t bdi, lying in central poland, is known for its rapid development into the textile centre of the country, which took place during the years 1820-1930. Within this short period of time a small village became a metropolis, a ‘melting pot’ of habits, customs and needsthat resulted in the specificculture of this city. The two world wars and their consequences did not destroy t b d i , which retained its position as the foremost Polishtextile centre, being often compared to Manchester and Osaka. The development of modern industry stimulated the development of those branches of science that were basic to progress in technology and production techniques. Thus the Polytechnical School was created, with the Textile Faculty as its most important branch and the Higher School of Art and Design meant to prepare designers for the textile industry [11. The Higher School of Art and Design wascreated in 1945, at a time of political, economic and cultural change in postwar Poland. At the time,tbdi was functioning as the capital of the country; famous artists and scientists came to live in the city and engaged in rebuilding the foundations of culture and science in the war-destroyed country. The School was founded at the initiative of such artists as Wtadysfaw Strzemiliski(see Fig. I), Ludwik Tyrowicz and Stefan Wegner. In the beginning, the character of the School was similar to that of a traditional fine-art academy. The intention of its founders, however, was to organise a fully modern school that would train artist-designers who would be able to use modern production techniques and thus fulfill the society’s needs. Drawing on the educational Fig. 1. Wtadydaw Strzeminski. AfrerImage-Woman in the Window,oil on canvas, 73 X 61 cm, programme of the ~~~h~~~ and the 1948. (Collection: Muzeum Sztuki,f6di) StrzemYski (1893-1952), painter and art theoretician, was one of the foundersof the School and of the collection of the Modem Art Museum (Muzeum teaching methods Of Kasimir Sztuki) in f6di. In the years 1945-1950 he was a lecturer at the School. Strzemiiski formulated his the founders stressed Specialisation in a own ‘unism’ theory-a type of abstract painting based upon absolute optic unity of the whole chosen art discipline as particularly compositionandagreementofform withthe two-dimensionalsurfaceof the canvas.He expressedhis necessaryfor industrial massproduction. views in his theoretical works “Unism in Painting” (1928) and ‘Theory of Vision” (1958). temporary trends in art, the development O f ‘visual consciousness’ was considered the basic element of an artistic education. The Lbdi avant-garde long had viewed cubism and constructivism as artistic 0 1988 ISAST PergamonJournals Ltd. Printed in Great Britain. 0024-094X/88 $3.00+0.00 LEONARDO, Vol. 21, NO.1, pp. 79-82,1988 Fig. 2. Higher School of Art and Design in todi, Gallery. Exhibition of students’ course works, 1977. (Photo:GrzegorzBojanowski)The gallery is locatedon the first and second floorsof the building. Shown are worksfrom the Studioof Tapestry (led at the timeby the late Janina Tworek-Pierzgalska) and the Studio of Sculpture (led by Mieczyslaw Szadkowski). For the realisation of their projects, students receive materials bought by the School, and the works are kept in the School Archives for 5 years. were created: Textile, Cinematographic and Space Design. In 1952the decision was made to try to link art schools in Poland to the needs of their communities.Therefore, the duty of the t 6 d i School, because of the town’s manufacturing history, was to prepare designers for the textile industry. 11. THE SCHOOL TODAY After 1956, as a result of certain political changes, school authorities were given new autonomy in decisionmaking. In response to changes in the art world and increasing artistic activity at the School, a variety of reforms of the School’s programme and teaching methods were undertaken. Thus...


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