Uniwersytet Rzeszowski
Centrum Dokumentacji Współczesnej Sztuki Sakralnej
pl. Ofiar Getta 4-5/35, 35-002 Rzeszów
tel. +48 17 872 20 98

Danuta Czapczyńska-Kleszczyńska

Corpus Vitrearum Polska

Association for Stained Glass Art “Ars Vitrea Polona”


In 1902, a stained glass studio was established in Warsaw by Franciszek Białkowski and Władysław Skibiński. The cooperation between them soon ran its course and by1905, the two artists were already running two independent companies, producing stained-glass windows intended mainly for Roman Catholic churches throughout the Kingdom of Poland.

“The Białkowski & Co. Artistic Stained Glass Studio”, awarded at multiple Polish and international exhibitions, produced figural and decorative stained glass designed by the owner himself and by other artists, such as Jan Kanty Gumowski (Żyrardów), Konrad Krzyżanowski (Brześć Kujawski, Limanowa), Eligiusz Niewiadomski (Konin), Jan Henryk Rosen (Lviv, the Armenian Cathedral and the Church of St Mary Magdalene), Edward Trojanowski (Lubraniec). The atelier was closed down in c. 1930.

We only know of a few sacred stained-glass decorations produced by the other workshop discussed in the article, the “Skibiński Artistic Stained Glass Studio” (Kalisz, Czarnia, Opatówek, Mełgiew, Czarnożyły. Ciechocinek). At least some (e.g. those in Kalisz) were designed by Skibiński himself; the only designer known to have collaborated with the workshop was Włodzimierz Tetmajer (the “Under the Eagles” Chapel in Kalisz). The atelier was shut down in c. 1921, and its stock of glass was bought by the owner of the S.G. Żeleński Cracow Stained Glass Studio, who later frequently enlisted Skibiński’s services as an experienced stained-glass artist.

The purpose of this article was to present preliminary conclusions concerning the two ateliers and to inspire scholars to conduct further research on the little known subject of the Warsaw stained-glass industry in the 1st half of the 20th century.

Keywords: Franciszek Białkowski, Władysław Skibiński, Warsaw, Poland, 20th c., stained glass


The history of many stained-glass studios in Warsaw in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century still remains uncharted.[1] One such studio is the atelier owned by Franciszek Białkowski and Władysław Skibiński (both of whom later worked independently), founded at the threshold of the 20th century.

Biographical information about the owners is scant. A graduate of the Warsaw Drawing School, Franciszek Białkowski was born on 3 December 1871 and died on 25 April 1928; he lived the life of an artist and painter. “Educated at foreign institutions, he came to specialize in decorative arts, and, in particular, the composition and production of stained glass. His atelier enjoyed wide popular renown”.[2] Białkowski’s contemporaries emphasized that the professional training he received abroad allowed him to “elevate stained glass to the dignity of art”.[3] Even less can be said about Władysław Skibiński; facts as basic as the dates of his life still remain unconfirmed. He is probably the same person as the W. Skibiński who discussed the paintings of Jan Styka at a Poznań exhibition in 1895,[4] and a certain Skibiński of unknown name, a decorator who, ten years later, gave a talk about the “nature and production of stained-glass images” at a Warsaw painting school for women, Conti,[5] and the author of a stained-glass work entitled Autumn.[6]

It may be assumed that Franciszek Białkowski and Władysław Skibiński began to co-operate in 1902; the two artists presented their joint works already as early as 1903 (more details below). Seeing himself as the sole successor to the company, Białkowski later dated its establishment to 1902 as well. Moreover, an article published in 1912 reported that Białkowski’s company had been in operation for ten years.[7] “The art and painting workshop of F. Białkowski and W. Skibiński” was based in Warsaw, at 48 Polna Str.[8] At the beginning of 1903, stained-glass windows from the “workshop of Franciszek Białkowski and Skibiński” were showcased at an exhibition organized by the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in Warsaw.[9] A year later, the same gallery displayed a stained-glass window manufactured by “Białkowski i S-ka” [Białkowski & Co.], intended for the palace of the Tyszkiewicz family in Spińczyce near Berdyczów. The press reported at that time:

This interesting work combines the virtue of technical artistry and a beautiful, tasteful idea in order to illustrate (on the left side) the following ancient legend: at the end of the 13th century, during a fierce battle against the crushing Tatar invasion near the town of Berdyczów, an early forbear of the Tyszkiewicz family made a solemn vow: if he survives the horrific massacre, he will erect a church on the site. No sooner had he made the vow than an angel took him by the hair and whisked him away from the battlefield over the heads of astounded Tatar troops. Count Tyszkiewicz soon forgot his promise; punished with baldness, he remembered it and hastened to build a church in Berdyczów. The right side of the window depicts the original structure. It is adorned with the image of the Mother of God. The armours of troops bear the emblem of Leliwa, the coat of arms of the Tyszkiewicz family. The count himself is clad in gold and blue (his ancestral colours) and a crimson delia. The far background fades away into a beautiful perspective of purple.[10]

It is known that Franciszek Białkowski and Władysław Skibiński were commissioned by Józef Mehoffer to make a replica of two stained-glass works, Faith, Hope, Love and Caritas, which he designed in 1901 for the tomb chapel of the Grauers in Opawa. The works decorated the interiors of the painter’s successive apartments and are now on show at the Józef Mehoffer’s House.[11] One bears an inscription: MADE BY/F. BIAŁKOWSKI AND W. SKIBIŃSKI/ FROM A CARTON BY/ JÓZEF MEHOFFER. Whether the atelier only produced the replicas or the earlier original stained-glass windows in the Opawa chapel as well remains a moot question. If the latter is true, a question is in order: why did the artist commission the windows to the workshop run by Białkowski and Skibiński rather than to the also young Cracow Stained Glass Studio of Władysław Ekielski and Antoni Tuch?[12]

The “Białkowski & Co.” also produced stained-glass windows for the left arm of the transept at the neo-Gothic church of St Stanislaus in the neighbourhood of Wola, Warsaw (built to the design by Józef Pius Dziekoński in 1894–1904).[13] Other than that, we only know of one more stained-glass project the two artists carried out together: the stained-glass windows at the manor house of Maria Stecka and Jan Stecki near Lublin, built in the Zakopane style to the design by Stanisław Witkiewicz. According to a note the owner passed on to Witkiewicz, “the two windows in the vestibule are fitted with stained glass artwork of our design [peacock feathers in a Hutsul “pretzel” pot], made by Mr. Białkowski and Mr. Skibiński from Warsaw”.[14] At this juncture, it is worth noting that the literature on the subject often attributes the design to Stanisław Witkiewicz himself.[15]

The cooperation between Franciszek Białkowski and Władysław Skibiński soon ran its course, and by 1905 the two artists were already running two independent companies.


The Artistic Stained Glass Studio of F. Białkowski

“Białkowski & Com Artistic Stained Glass Studio” was first located in a tenement house at 59 Jerozolimska Str. in Warsaw, where Białkowski temporarily stayed,[16] before it was moved to his own private house at 42 Stępińska Str.[17] It produced “painted and mosaic windows for churches, residential houses, staircases, palaces, etc.”, both “decorative and figural” in style.[18] After becoming an independent artist, Franciszek Białkowski would claim that his atelier had been established in 1902, which clearly indicates he saw himself as the sole successor to the legacy of the Białkowski and Skibiński company. It must be noted, however, that after World War I, he reported the foundation date of his independent studio as 1913.[19] At that time, his atelier was represented in the Piotrków Gubernia and the Radom Gubernia by “the Skalmierski Brothers” from Częstochowa.[20] Franciszek Białkowski’s studio probably continued to operate after his death in 1928. This claim is supported by the appearance of the company in the local address book for 1930; a stained-glass window has also survived, signed F. Białkowski and dated as late as 1931.[21] Białkowski produced his own designs and those by other artists, as indicated by a posthumous biographical note: “Alongside his own compositions, F. Białkowski popularized the works of Mehoffer, Wyspiański, and others”.[22] His studio boasted a host of awards from further unspecified international exhibitions, including events in Paris, Brussels, and Kiev.[23] At an agricultural-industrial show held in Częstochowa in 1909, for instance, “Białkowski, Warsaw” won a gold medal for its “artistically produced stained-glass windows”.[24] It is worth noting that the S. G. Żeleński Cracow studio was only awarded a diploma of recognition at that time.

Selected works from the studio of Franciszek Białkowski

In 1906 (or 1907), the Church of the Holy Virgin and St John the Baptist in Lubraniec near Włocławek “was decorated, in accordance with guidelines given by the late Mr. Pajzderski [Nikodem, the designer of the church – D. Cz.-K.], […] with magnificent stained-glass windows produced by the Warsaw atelier of F. Białkowski, based on cartons designed by Edward Trojanowski, a painter, outstanding Polish colourist and professor of the School of Fine Arts. The windows […] were funded by the former collator, Ms. Elżbieta Piwnicka”.[25] The windows of the presbytery illustrate the following themes: The Eye of Providence, The Heart of Mary, The Heart of Jesus, St Michael the Archangel and The Eagle, a symbol of St John the Evangelist. Those in the nave depict St Elizabeth of Hungary, St Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr, St Hyacinth, and St Casimir; in the transept: St Augustine, St Adalbert, St Hedwig of Silesia, and St Kinga of Poland; and in the rosettes: St Stanislaus Kostka and St Anne teaching Mary.[26]

Between 1907 and 1913, the windows of the side naves of the neo-Gothic church of Our Lady the Comforter in Żyrardów (built in 1900–1903 to the design of Józef Pius Dziekoński) were fitted with monumental stained-glass panels with floral patterns designed by Jan Kanty Gumowski. The artists painted field and garden flowers chosen from the typical Art Nouveau repertoire; the windows were abloom with poppies, mallows, cornflowers, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums. The stained-glass window with the mallow pattern, funded by the parish priest Karol Bliziński, is signed: F. Białkowski.[27]

Works on the stained-glass windows intended for the Church of St Bartholomew in Konin were started a year later and completed in 1910. The main nave was decorated with two figural stained-glass windows, St Isidore [Fig. 1] and St John the Baptist, and two symbolic representations, The Paschal Lamb and The Dove of the Holy Spirit. All four were designed by Eligiusz Niewiadomski and produced by Franciszek Białkowski’s atelier, as evidenced by relevant signatures.[28] Through the stained-glass windows and paintings, Niewiadomski suffused the interior of the medieval parish church of Konin with elements of Art Nouveau in its Young Poland variety.[29] St Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, is shown in peasant dress, kneeling before a roadside village shrine. St John the Baptist, in his turn, is shown in the company of two decorative angels with outstretched wings.[30]

In 1909, the studio produced two stained-glass windows for the presbytery of the neo-Gothic church in Lisków, near Konin (built in 1880–1899). One shows Our Lady of Częstochowa rising over the heads of pilgrims (it was funded by pilgrims on the occasion of the agricultural-industrial exhibition in 1909); the other, financed from “collections”, depicts the Transfiguration of Jesus and the allegories of the faithful. The windows of the nave were glazed with coloured glass; it was not until c. 1983 that a cycle of stained-glass windows entitled The Mystery of the Holy Rosary by Father Władysław Kilian was put in their place.[31]

In 1909, the atelier of Białkowski also embarked on a project intended for the neo-Gothic church of Holy Virgin Mary (currently a cathedral) in Radom (built between 1898 and 1918 to the design of Józef Pius Dziekoński). Franciszek Białkowski was commissioned to produce stained-glass windows for the main nave and the chapels. The other windows were made by the Atelier of St Lucas in Warsaw (presbytery) and the atelier of Michał Olszewski (rosette).[32] One of the geometric windows, with the bust of St Casimir (in the tracery), which was funded by the Workers of the Carriage Department of the Railway Shop in 1909, bears the signature: F. BIAŁKOWSKI.

At around the same time, the atelier took on a commission to produce stained-glass windows for the Church of St Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr in Brześć Kujawski, whose renovation and reconstruction in the spirit of the Gothic tradition was planned by a Poznan architect, Tomasz Pajzderski. The works were completed two years later.[33] The cartons, at least those of the six figural stained-glass windows, were designed by Konrad Krzyżanowski.[34] Each window was funded by a different individual, society, or social group. The panels in the presbytery depict the Adoration of the Magi (funded by landed gentry, officials of the local sugar-works and representatives of the city, or the so-called “parish intelligentsia”) and the Annunciation (funded by the employees of the local sugar-works); there are also two “carpet” windows (one funded by Mateusz Jędrzejowski, a citizen of Brzezie, the other donated by the entire congregation). The windows of the nave, on the other hand, show the Name of Jesus [Fig. 2] (funded by Joasia Spychalska from Pikutkowice, a “fifteen-year old maiden of Pikutkowo, who put aside a part of her inheritance for this purpose before her death”), the Heart of Jesus (funded by the Woźniaków family from Pikutkowice), and St Hedwig (funded by the Brotherhood of Mercy), while the windows over the music choir depict St Bridget and St John Cantius (donated by the entire congregation). Moreover, the chapel contains stained-glass representations of Poland at the Foot of the Cross (funded by the Pawłowski family, owners of the Topielec mill), and The Name of Mary, funded by the Tertiaries.[35] Another window, entitled St Stanislaus and funded by Katarzyna Balcerak from Pikutkowo, was destroyed during the Second World War and later replaced.[36] The stained-glass window bearing an inscription “Anunciation” Konrad Krzyżanowski, made by the atelier of Fr. Białkowski in Warsaw was presented at the industrial-agricultural exhibition in Częstochowa in 1909.[37]

The exhibition in Częstochowa also showcased another stained-glass window by Białkowski, St Casimir, produced for the neo-Gothic church of St Peter and St Paul in Zawiercie, based, quite possibly, on the artist’s original design.[38] There is no doubt that the work was produced immediately prior to the exhibition.

In 1910, Białkowski’s studio glazed the neo-Gothic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St John the Baptist in Turek, in Wielkopolska (built in 1905–1913 to the design of Konstanty Wojciechowski and Jarosław Wojciechowski) with cathedral glass.[39] It is only at a later date that the windows were decorated with stained glass by Józef Mehoffer and Stanisław Powalisz.[40]

The archives of the Natural Museum in Drozdów near Łomża, housed in the former estate of the Lutosławski family, store the correspondence from the “Białkowski Artistic Stained Glass Studio” (1910–1911), related to the glazing of the local, neo-Romanesque church of St Josaphat [Fig. 3].[41]

In 1911, the neo-Gothic church in Tereszki, Wołyń, built on the estate lands of count Władysław Grocholski (to the design of a Lublin architect, Bronisław Kochanowski), was decorated with two stained-glass windows produced by Franciszek Białkowski: Blessed Ladislaus of Gielniów, depicting the patron saint of the church founder, and St Michael the Archangel. Both works are only known from reproductions.[42] Blessed Ladislaus, a Bernardine monk piously devoted to the mystery of the Flagellation of Christ, who preached the cult of Christ’s Passion in his homilies, was depicted in a scene of ecstasy which he had once reportedly experienced during a Good Friday sermon. Supported by angels, he rises towards the crucified Christ. An open book lies by his side, symbolizing his writing and his preaching. The Archangel, on the other hand, was shown suspended over the infernal abyss, with outstretched wings and a fiery sword in his hand. Both compositions are very dynamic; their clear drawing was executed with a soft, Art Nouveau flourish. Even the black-and-white reproductions allow to surmise that numerous glass panels of vivid and contrasting colours were used.

Around 1911, the workshop of Franciszek Białkowski reportedly produced stained-glass windows for the neo-Gothic Church of the Assumption of Mary (designed by Józef Pius Dziekoński) in Konstancin-Jeziorna near Warsaw[43] and the church of St Thomas of Villanova in the village of Jabłoń near Parczew (built in 1909–1912, in the style of the English neo-Gothic, to the design of Jan Olearski)[44] and the Assumption of Mary for a further unspecified Roman-Catholic church in New York (known only from reproductions), possibly to the design of the workshop owner himself [Fig. 4].[45] Białkowski is also credited with two stained-glass windows at the neo-Gothic Church of St Martin in Chojnata near Mszczonów, probably based on cartons designed by Eligiusz Niewiadomski.[46]

It is probably in Białkowski’s studio as well that the stained-glass windows for the neo-Gothic Church of St Josaphat in Gęś, near Parczew, were produced between 1912 and 1913.[47] A photograph showing the building’s interior, which I discovered on the Internet, warrants the conclusion that the side windows of the presbytery were fitted with The Nativity and The Crucifixion, both in stylistic harmony with the character of the temple.

In 1913, “Artistic Stained-Glass Studio” of F. Białkowski made figural and geometric stained-glass windows for the neo-Gothic Church of St Bartholomew in Łopiennik near Krasnystaw (built in 1909–1912 to the design of Józef Pius Dziekoński), which were mounted by Antoni Pacholczyk.[48] The glazing was destroyed in a 1943 bombing.[49] In the wake of the war, the Cracow studio S. G. Żeleński renovated some of the windows and made several new ones.[50]

The studio of Białkowski would also take up renovation tasks. Commissioned by the Ministry of Art in Culture in 1920, it started the restoration of the stained-glass windows at the Włocławek Cathedral, which had been destroyed in the Bolshevik war. The works were conducted by Mieczysław Kotarbiński.[51]

Around 1920, the atelier produced stained-glass windows for the neo-Baroque church in Lubochnia near Tomaszów Mazowiecki (built in 1914–1920 to the design of Józef Pius Dziekoński and Zdzisław Mączeński). The designs were reportedly the work of Jan Kanty Gumowski.[52]

The 6th of October 1921 saw the consecration of the newly-built Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Limanowa, a small town in the Island Beskids. The designer of the church, a Warsaw architect by the name of Zdzisław Mączeński, wanted the interior to be decorated with stained-glass windows and commissioned Konrad Krzyżanowski with their design. On the day of consecration, two windows were already in place in the presbytery: The Vision and Miracle of St John of Matha and St Casimir at the Foot of the Cross. Both have been described and analyzed in detail by Józef Szymon Wroński, the author of a monograph devoted to the Limanowa church. The windows were made in the atelier of Franciszek Białkowski, with which Konrad Krzyżanowski had already collaborated in the past. The windows bore a signature of the artist (designed by K. Krzyżanowski) and the producer (made by Fr Białkowski – Warsaw); neither has survived to this day.[53] Upon the painter’s death in May 1922, other artists took over the work on the remaining windows of the church.[54]

Around 1921, Białkowski’s studio produced a set of stained-glass windows for the neo-Gothic Church of the Transfiguration in Garbów near Lublin (built in 1908–1912 to the design by Józef Pius Dziekoński, destroyed in 1915).[55] The windows contain decorative [Fig. 5] and figural representations. The Doubting Thomas shows the Apostle kneeling before Jesus as he shows him his wounds; St John the Evangelist is watching from the side [Fig. 6]. The other window, St Stanislaus, depicts the scene of King Bolesław II the Bold’s admonishment by the Bishop of Cracow, taking place indoors, in the presence of a royal soldier [Fig. 7]. Both representations are surmounted by a neo-Gothic canopy. The large window over the choir contains one more piece of stained glass: an excellent Transfiguration of Christ, stylistically far-removed from the works in the presbytery; while the latter use intense, contrastive colours, the former’s tone is very subdued.

In 1925, the workshop was commissioned to produce stained-glass windows for the Church of St Casimir in Pruszków near Warsaw, designed by Czesław Domaniewski; the construction of the church started in 1903 and lasted until 1938. Alongside ornamental windows (signed STAINED GLASS F. BIAŁKOWSKI), a stained-glass image was also produced for the transept, a representation of St Casimir by Karol Maszkowski.[56] Iza Żeleńska recounts that Białkowski executed the window “so badly that a special committee composed of independent artists and the church board judged that it bore no resemblance to the carton and demanded it to be corrected at B.’s sole expense; it could not be accepted in its submitted form. I have the impression that they cut B. down to size there”.[57] Żeleńska’s interest in the matter and her biting remark on the difficulties surrounding the work on Maszkowski’s design is perhaps not to be wondered at, considering that the owner of the Cracow Stained-Glass Studio had had high hopes for securing the Pruszków tender (the designer often collaborated with her workshop) before, in the end, it was awarded to Białkowski.[58] The Cracow studio was commissioned with producing only a few ornamental windows for the church. The window depicting St Casimir against the backdrop of Vilnius and Cracow was funded by Maria Markiewicz and Józef Markiewicz, owners of the Komorów estate.[59] Other windows were financed from voluntary donations by the staff of the Majewski & Co. Pruszków Pencil Factory.[60]

In 1926–1928, the studio produced stained-glass windows for the Armenian Cathedral in Lviv; they were designed by Jan Henryk Rosen, an artist also credited with the paintings inside the church. The presbytery showed Scenes from the Life of St John the Baptist, The Tree of Jesse, Deo Ignoto, and Mons Pius (funded by an Armenian pawn-bank to celebrate the 25th jubilee of Bishop Józef Teodorowicz); the nave was decorated with St Paul and St Augustine. Only some of the original windows have survived; in 2001, a couple were uncovered in the cellars of the cathedral.[61] They are now being successively renovated and reconstructed.[62] Some bear the signature of the painter and the producer (F. Białkowski W-wa; Made by F. Białkowski and dates: 1926 and 1928).[63] One of the windows, St Augustine, was badly damaged with stones and renovated by the S. G. Żeleński Cracow Stained-Glass Studio in 1937. Thanks to a letter Father Wiktor Kwapiński sent to the Cracow workshop regarding the matter, it was possible to reconstruct the theme of this completely defaced stained-glass window. It is worth mentioning that of all the output of Białkowski’s studio, the stained-glass complex of the Armenian cathedral has so far been the subject of the most thorough research.

Jan Henryk Rosen also authored the carton of a stained-glass window devoted to the sacrament of the Holy Baptism, intended for the (now defunct) baptistery by the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Lviv.[64] The date (“1931”) inscribed on the window, now stored in the collections of the Lviv Art Gallery, indicates that it was created after the death of the workshop’s owner. It is signed: F. Białkowski i S-ka W-wa.

Towards the end of its existence, in c. 1930, the workshop produced stained-glass windows for the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Goworów, in the district of Ostrołęka.[65]

The inclusion of Białkowski’s company in the Polish Adress Book for 1930 confirms that the workshop continued to operate even after the death of its owner.[66]

Białkowski’s “Stained-Glass and Mosaic Studio” specialized mainly in church commissions; it should be noted, however, that its output also encompasses stained-glass windows intended for secular purposes.[67]

The stained-glass studio of Władysław Skibiński

After his split from Franciszek Białkowski, Władysław Skibiński opened the “Skibiński & Sobotwoski Stained Glass Atelier” at 5/7 Sienna Str. in Warsaw.[68] Skibiński consistently quoted 1905 as the year the company was established in all successive address books. Press notes informed customers that the workshop “produces painted and mosaic stained-glass windows for churches, stylish glazing for churches and private buildings, artistic stained glass for staircases, oriel windows, dining rooms, plafonds, window shutters, as well small stained-glass ornaments for furniture, and other works in the designated area”.[69] In 1907, at the latest, Skibiński is listed as the sole owner of the atelier, which means that his cooperation with Mr. Sobotowski (whose name remains unknown) was very quickly terminated.[70] In the period after 1908, Skibiński’s atelier moved at least twice. In 1920, it was located at 13 Three Crosses Square [Plac Trzech Krzyży], two years later – at 3 Smolna Str.[71] Władysław Skibiński’s studio is sometimes referred to in the sources as a “factory”, which is likely to indicate the scale of its output.[72] This is borne out by the assessment of Iza Żeleńska, who describes it as “the largest of Warsaw ateliers”.[73] The atelier continued to appear in the address books of Warsaw and the industry up until 1922. It was then closed down and “the entire stock of glass […] c. 1,500 m2” was taken over by Iza Żeleńska, whose strategy of buying out moribund companies consistently boosted the status of the Cracow Stained Glass Studio in a difficult post-WWI period for art and industry.[74] It must be noted that in the next years, Żeleńska often enlisted Skibiński’s services; he taught her employees the art of painting on glass and sometimes participated in the making stained-glass windows; a case in point were the windows designed by Józef Mehoffer for the Świętokrzyska Chapel at the Cracow Cathedral, made for the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris (1925).[75]

Our knowledge of Władysław Skibiński’s studio is just as scant as that of his life. At present, we know only of a few productions which come from the workshop. The earliest among them (apart from the secular stained-glass window mentioned in the introduction) can be found in the Church of St Nicholas (now a cathedral) in Kalisz. In 1907, prelate Jan Nepomucen Sobczyński commissioned “Skibiński (from Warsaw) to design stained-glass windows. They were made in the style of Art Nouveau, characterized by colourfulness and vegetal ornaments”.[76] Władysław Skibiński is also the author (designer and producer) of figural stained-glass windows in the nave, and, most likely, the glazing in the presbytery, decorated with lilies and geometric plaiting; the windows typify the style of Art Nouveau, whose features can most clearly be discerned in the floral patterns that accompany human figures. The figural representations are organized in three sections: the main image, framed in a semicircle, occupies the centre; symbolic elements are placed below, in an architecturally framed rectangular field, and above, in a circle inscribed in an ogive. The stained-glass windows show St Kinga of Poland against the backdrop of the castle in Nowy Sącz, with an Eagle, the emblem of Poland in the finial, and, below, the emblem of Hungary held by an angel [Fig. 8]; St Casimir, accompanied by the image of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn (top) and Pogoń, the emblem of Lithuania (bottom) [Fig. 9]; St Francis of Assissi kneeling in front of a roadside chapel with a crucifix, an angel with an inscription plaque suspended above him, and a cross surrounded by a crown of thorns below; the image of St Augustine comes with a depiction of his famous vision (a boy pouring the water from the sea to a puddle), with the Dove of the Holy Spirit hovering on the other side; St Joseph at his carpentry workshop with the emblem of Kalisz overhead and a menorah underfoot; St Thomas the Apostle, accompanied by an image of Our Lady; the Crucifixion (Mary and St John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross), with the scene of the Entombment below, and a chalice with the Eucharist above. Władysław Skibiński also made two stained-glass windows for the Chapel of Our Lady the Comforter (also known as the “Under the Eagles” Chapel) to the design of a Cracow artist Włodzimierz Tetmajer, which depict Our Lady of Częstochowa and Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn against a decorative background of a rose wreaths with vivid, contrasting colours [Fig. 10]. Both images of Mary are endowed with patriotic meaning; Tetmajer used traditional Cracow beads to replace the pearls in the representation of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn and arranged them in the shape of a moon’s sickle from the Vilnius painting under the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa. The chapel was also decorated with paintings touching on religious and patriotic themes, such as the Allegory of Poland and the images of Polish saints, which sparked an angry reaction from the authorities. In 1913, four years after the windows were completed, the parish priest was forced to paint over the images which aroused the fiercest objections of the governor. The repressions also targeted the stained-glass windows of the chapel: the Polish Eagle and the Lithuanian Pogoń had to be removed.[77] It seems that Władysław Skibiński had a hand in designing Tetmajer’s cartons; in his letter to Father Sobczyński, the latter wrote:

I came to an agreement with Mr. Skibiński; I promised to create a new cycle of stained-glass windows for the chapel. It may well be that they were relatively less ornamental than the paintings, I give it to Mr. Skibiński. I was probably a little exhausted after decorating the walls, my imaginative resources were depleted; but I want the chapel to be a coherent whole, so I am ready to reject all that I have done until now and apply myself to the task of creating new windows; I shall work in the quiet recess of my atelier when my brain has rested. The windows will be richer now, to the benefit of the chapel at large.[78]

The windows in the neo-Gothic Church of the Immaculate Conception in the village of Czarnia near Kolno (designed by a Białystok architect, Rudolf Macur) date from approximately the same time.[79]

Thirty three figural and geometric stained-glass windows made in Skibiński’s atelier in 1909 were also used to decorate the neo-Gothic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Opatówek near Ostrów Poznański (built in 1905–1912 to the design of Konstanty Wojciechowski). The windows show the Apostles, the Holy Family, St Anne teaching Mary [Fig. 11], St Barbara, and St Dorothy (the former patron saint of the church) [Fig. 12]. The figures were presented in hieratic poses and a neo-Gothic architectural framing. Damaged in the Second World War, some stained-glass windows were repaired, some reconstructed, in 1951 in the S. G. Żeleński Cracow Stained Glass Studio.[80] It is probably the presence of the signature of this studio on reconstructed windows that made Rafał Plebański conclude that they must have been produced in Cracow before the First World War.[81]

In around 1910, Skibiński’s atelier delivered the stained-glass windows to the neo-Gothic Church of St Vitus in Mełgiew in the Lublin region (built in 1906–1910 to the design of Stefan Szyller).[82] Especially remarkable are the windows under the large rosette made of colourful glass pieces, which constitute a multi-coloured frieze decorated with figures of the Apostles, similar to those in Opatówek.[83]

In 1913, Father W. Przygoda, the parish priest of the Church of St Bartholomew in Czarnożyły near Wieluń, toyed with the idea of ordering stained-glass windows from the S.G. Żeleński workshop; in the end, he placed an order “with Skibiński in Warsaw”. In a letter to Stanisław Gabriel Żeleński, he explained: “While I’m sure that the windows produced in your atelier would be of much higher artistic quality, the meagre means at our disposal did not allow us to place an order at the atelier of Your Honour”.[84] One of the windows contains a traditional representation of St Joseph, surrounded by poppies; references to Art Nouveau are evident.[85] The decision of the parish priest might have been influenced not only by the difference in prices between the two ateliers, but also the cost of import tax charged at the border between the Kingdom of Poland and Galicia.

It is still unclear when Skibiński produced the stained-glass window for the neo-Gothic Church of Sts Peter and Paul in Ciechocinek. The church was decorated with a set of figural stained-glass windows made in 1903–1905 by the Warsaw Atelier of St Lucas.[86] Skibiński’s glazework, placed in the ogival transom of the door between the church-porch and the nave, depicts Our Lady of Częstochowa adored by the “Kuiavian folk”, which is represented by a boy and a girl in regional dress.[87]

It comes as a paradox to note that even though the bulk of Skibińki’s output consisted of church windows, he is best known today for the secular stained-glass windows at the Jabłonowski Brothers’ House in Warsaw, which he made around 1914 to the design of Edmund Bartłomiejczyk.[88]


The above material is presented in full awareness of its partial nature and the lacunae in attendant historical and artistic conclusions. My main purpose was to organize the available preliminary facts concerning both the joint atelier of Franciszek Białkowski and Władysław Skibiński and their respective independent ateliers, established after the dissolution of the original company. It is my earnest hope that the still incomplete list of stained-glass windows presented in this article will inspire art historians to embark on further research. It is important to note at this point that literature dealing with the modern stained-glass window and the revival of stained-glass art in Poland only ever mentions the workshop run by Franciszek Białkowski (and rather laconically at that).[89] The only scholar to note the existence of two ateliers was Szczepan Świątek, and yet even he passed over the period in which the two artists collaborated with each other.[90] Franciszek Białkowski’s name comes up only sporadically in monographs devoted to stained glass artists and the buildings which contain their work. Mentions of Władysław Skibiński are even fewer and farther between.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the windows made in Białkowski’s workshop can be found in a number of churches designed by the Warsaw architect Józef Pius Dziekoński. Are they the fruit of a collaboration between the architect and the artist, or was Białkowski’s workshop picked by carton designers? Did the architect and the designer have a say in choosing the producer, or was the final decision up to the commissioner? Answers to these questions will hopefully be furnished by further source research.

The asymmetry in the list of works produced by the two ateliers does not allow for a thorough analysis of their complete ouvre. Both Franciszek Białkowski and Władysław Skibiński had an education in art which allowed them to design stained-glass windows independently.[91] It seems, however, that they more frequently chose to produce designs created by other artists. The list of designers who cooperated with Białkowski is short, but impressive: Jan Kanty Gumowski, Edward Trojanowski, Konrad Krzyżanowski, Karol Maszkowski, Eligiusz Niewiadomski, Jan Henryk Rosen; that of Władysław Skibiński includes, for instance, Włodzimierz Tetmajer. Particular attention should be drawn to Gumowski, who not only designed but also actively participated in the production of his windows, working (temporarily) at the workshop of either Władysław Skibiński or Franciszek Białkowski (it will probably never be known which exactly), and later at the S. G. Żeleński Cracow Stained Glass Studio.[92]

It is to be hoped that the program of inventorying the sacred stained-glass windows, which was initiated in 2012, will further enrich the above list of works by Franciszek Białkowski and Władysław Skibiński and thus furnish the basis for their future in-depth analysis.[93]


Translated by Urszula Jachimczak

[1] It seems that the oldest company in Warsaw was that of Maria Łubieńska; the first stained-glass to emerge from her “painting atelier for women”, later converted into the Atelier of St Lucas, dates back to 1875. It

is not known is Jan Silberberg’s “steam factory of mirrors and stained glass” produced stained-glass windows right from its launch in 1857; the exact meaning behind its name likewise remains a mystery. Sometime before 1886, Józef Kosikiewicz founded yet another workshop, which was still in operation in 1903. The artist might be identical or related to one Stanisław Kosikiewicz, a porcelain painter, who founded his own “paint shop for window glass” after the porcelain painting workshop of the Cybulski brothers closed down (he is mentioned in: W. Przybyszewski O warszawskich składach fajansu, porcelany i szkła, o malarni Kazimierza Cybulskiego i o filiżance z niej pochodzącej, “Almanach Muzealny”, vol. 3, 2001). In 1891, Jan Kosiński opened a glazing workshop, which also produced stained glass; the company was still in operation in 1931, run by Mieczysław Kosiński. The workshop of Michał Olszewski entered the fray before 1920.

[2] Sprawozdanie Komitetu Towarzystwa Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie za rok 1928, Warszawa 1929 (unpaged).

[3] Znawca, Kilka słów o witrażach, “Wieś Ilustrowana” 3, 1912, no. 11 (November), last page (unpaged). My thanks go to Edwin Śmiłek from the Scientific Antique Store in Cracow for ma king me aware of this source.

[4] W. Skibiński, Chorał Kornela Ujejskiego w obrazach Jana Styki, “Przegląd Poznański”, 1895, no. 47, pp. 558–559.

[5] Albertus, [Felieton warszawski]. Pogadanka o witrażach, “Życie i Sztuka”, 1905, no. 14, p. 9.

[6] Reproduction in: “Życie i Sztuka” (a supplement to “Kraj”), 1900, no. 18, p. 261.

[7] Znawca 1912 (fn. 3).

[8] Księga adresowa przemysłu fabrycznego w Królestwie Polskim na rok 1904, ed. L. Jeziorański, Warszawa 1903, item 3471.

[9] Wystawa w Towarzystwie Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie witraży wykonanych w zakładzie Franciszka Białkowskiego i Skibińskiego, “Ziarno”, 1903, no. 7, p. 139 [I didn’t succeed in finding a copy].

[10] K., Ze sztuki stosowanej, “Tygodnik Ilustrowany”, 1904 [2nd half year], no. 48 (26/13 November), p. 926.

[11] A. Zeńczak, Zespół witraży Józefa Mehoffera w kaplicy grobowej rodziny Grauerów w Opawie, “Rozprawy Muzeum Narodowego w Krakowie. Seria Nowa” 1, 1999, p. 83. My thanks go to the author for pointing out that the artist himself ordered the replicas.

[12] Just as the atelier of Białkowski and Skibiński, the workshop operated from 1902.

[13] J. Dziekoński, (Zbudowany podług…), “Architekt” 6, 1905, vol. 7, item 110. The other windows were fitted with “lead-framed panels from the Atelier of St Lucas”.

[14] Letter from Jan Stecki to Stanisław Witkiewicz, dated 19 October 1904, after: Listy o stylu zakopiańskim 1892–1912 wokół Stanisława Witkiewicza, introduction, footnotes, and editing by M. Jagiełło, Kraków 1979, p. 330.

[15] A. Kurzątkowska, Zakopiańskie” dzieło Stanisława Witkiewicza pod Lublinem, “Biuletyn Historii Sztuki” 42, 1980, no. 1, pp. 99 and 101; Andrzej Laskowski, „… Ku estetycznej stronie zawodu …”. Rola architektów w odrodzeniu sztuki witrażowej w Galicji na przełomie XIX i XX wieku, “Rocznik Krakowski” 73, 2007, p. 141.

[16] Księga adresowa przemysłu fabrycznego w Królestwie Polskim na rok 1906, ed. L. Jeziorański, Warszawa 1905, item 1243; Adresy Warszawy na rok 1909, ed. A. Żwan, Warszawa 1908, p. 16.

[17] The studio found a new home in 1920 at the latest: Księga adresowa „Warszawa” na rok 1920, ed. T. Koźmiński, Warszawa 1920, p. 656.

[18] Księga adresowa… 1905, ad no. 140 and Adresy Warszawy… 1908, ad, col. 771 (fn. 16).

[19] Księga adresowa przemysłu, handlu i finansów 1922, Warszawa (no date), item 6324.

[20] [Ad], ”Goniec Częstochowski” 8, 1913, no. 233 (26 VIII), p. 1.

[21] Księga adresowa Polski (wraz z W. M. Gdańskiem) dla handlu, przemysłu, rzemiosła i rolnictwa 1930, Warszawa (no date), p. 1945.

[22] Sprawozdanie … 1929 (fn. 2). While we know that Skibiński worked on Józef Mehoffer’s designs, we have no knowledge of the stained-glass pieces made by Białkowski based on the cartons of Stanisław Wyspiański. More information in the “other” artists will be provided below.

[23] Księga adresowa… (fn. 19), ad no. 701.

[24] Dom Sztuki. Katalog Domu Sztuki na wystawie przemysłowo-rolniczej w Częstochowie R. 1909 sierpień–wrzesień (supplement to “Architektura” and “Przegląd Techniczny”).

[25] Rev. S. Muznerowski, Lubraniec (Monografia). Z dołączeniem 6-ciu ilustracji, Włocławek 1910, pp. 119–120. My thanks go to Ryszard Piechowiak, the Poznan-based art historian, for this and many other bibliographical suggestions concerning stained-glass windows in churches throughout Wielkopolska.

[26] Window themes quoted after: K. Optołowicz, Z dziejów kościołów parafialnych w Lubrańcu, “Głos Lubrańca”, 2012, no. 5, p. 13 (article published at www.parafia-lubraniec.pl; last accessed on 28 August 2012) and based on a photo gallery published on the same website.

[27] J. Wapiennik-Kosowicz, Z badań nad secesyjnymi witrażami w kościele Matki Bożej Pocieszenia w Żyrardowie i… niedoszłym dziełem Józefa Mehoffera. Zagadnienie atrybucji, w: Witraże secesyjne. Tendencje i motywy, ed. T. Szybisty, Kraków–Legnica 2011, pp. 111–119.

[28] K. Pawłowska, Witraże Niewiadomskiego w Koninie, “Witraż”, (no date), no. 2, pp. 35–38 (Białkowski’s given name is erroneously listed as Tadeusz). In 2011–2012, the windows underwent conservation at the OBIEKT Stained Glass and Mosaic Studio in Pobiedziska. My thanks go to Marcin Czeski, the owner of the studio, for this piece of information. The biographical note on the artist (M. Leśniakowska, Niewiadomski Eligiusz, in: Słownik Artystów Polskich, vol. 6, Warszawa 1998, pp. 78–79) mentions works underway on the polychromes and the four stained-glass windows for the Kalisz church (only St Isidore is clearly specified), whose designs were approved in 1909 by the Department of Painting and Sculpture of the Society for the Protection of Monuments of the Past. It may well be that these windows are the ones referred to in three sketches (described as “unidentified” in the note) presented at the exhibition of the Society for the Encouragement of Fine

Arts in Warsaw at the turn of 1912 an 1913, which showcased carton designs of the polychromes intended for the Konin church and related drawings.

[29] Pawłowska (fn. 28), p. 35.

[30] K. Pawłowska claims that the angels have features reminiscent of “the women of Klimt and the angels of Mehoffer”.

[31] After: S. Ferenc, Dzieje kościoła w Liskowie, liskow.ovh.org./sub/kosciol_liskow.htm [accessed: 3 July 2012]. The author ventures a supposition that the windows of the presbytery may have been designed by Konrad Krzyżanowski.

[32] Information based on Program konserwacji witraży w katedrze pw. Opieki NMP w Radomiu. Wersja I, Kraków 28 X 2007, ed. Pracownia Furdyna, katedra.radom.opoka.org.pl [accessed: 2 October 2011].

[33] E. Stachurska, Zabytki architektury, in: Monografia Brześcia Kujawskiego, ed. B. Głębowicz, Włocławek 1970, pp. 195–196. At around the same time, Krzyżanowski designer stained-glass windows for the church in Głuchów near Skierniewice, consecrated in 1908, which may have also been produced by Białkowski.

[34] I. Balowa, Krzyżanowski Konrad, in: Słownik Artystów Polskich, vol. 4, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków–Gdańsk 1986, p. 314.

[35] S. Kuliński, Monografia Brześcia Kujawskiego. Pamiatka 700-lecia istnienia kościoła parafialnego, Włocławek 1935 (reprint published on the occasion of the 760th anniversary of city rights, no place, no date), p. 58.

[36] H. Gwiazdowska, Kościół parafialny p.w. św. Stanisława Biskupa: www.brzesckujawski.pl [accessed: 20 July 2012].

[37] Dom Sztuki… 1909 (fn. 24), item 98.

[38] Ibidem, items 84 and 98. Designed by a Warsaw architekt, Hugo Kuder, the church was consecrated in 1903. The interior was furbished over the next few years; in 1909, for instance, the organs were put in place. Currently, only three stained-glass windows in the rosettes are ever replaced.

[39] M. Górzyński, Plac Sienkiewicza. Kościół Najświętszego Serca Pana Jezusa, św. Jana Chrzciciela, www.atlasturek.internetdsl.pl [accessed: 21 August 2012].

[40] Misterium Józefa Mehoffera w kościele Najświętszego Serca Pana Jezusa w Turku, Turek 2008, eds. W. Grzeszkiewicz, B. Stachowiak, introduction by J. Wapiennik-Kossowicz, B. Stachowiak, p. 13; Jerzy Bardoński, Tradycja i współczesność pracowni „Powalisz” w Poznaniu, in: Dziedzictwo polskiej sztuki witrażowej, eds. K. Pawłowska and J. Budyn-Kamykowska, Kraków 2000, p. 184.

[41] The archives of the Natural Museum in Drozdów. Household documents of the Lutosławski estate, set: Firmy, inv. no. 8, pp. 1–4. My thanks go to Marcin Rydzewski for familiarizing me with the contents of this correspondence.

[42] W Tereszkach na Wołyniu, “Tygodnik Ilustrowany” 52, 1911 (1st half year), no. 1 (7 January), p. 12.

[43] My thanks go to Andrzej Skalski, a stained-glass conservator from Józefów, near Warsaw, for this piece of information and other valuable suggestions.

[44] J. Żywicki, Architektura neogotycka na Lubelszczyźnie, Lublin 1998, p. 209. The parish archives hold bills issued for the windows.

[45] [Ad], “Tygodnik Wileński” 1, 1911, no. 2 (after p. 21); Znawca 1912 (fn. 3).

[46] From 1911, the parish church in Chojnata was run by Father Michał Woźniak; the first decision he took in office was to renovate the church and replace its windows. My thanks for this information go to A. Skalski.

[47] Żywicki 1998 (fn. 44), p. 197 mentions the windows. The information that they were made by Białkowski comes from personal communication with A. Skalski.

[48] Pacholczyk worked at the atelier since 1905 (cf. M. J. Żychowska, Współczesne witraże polskie, Kraków1999, p. 16, fn. 16. His name is also mentioned in the correspondence about the church in Drozdów, cf. fn. 41.

[49] Żywicki 1998 (fn. 44), p. 255; Archidiecezja lubelska. Historia i administracja, ed. M.T. Zahajkiewicz, Lublin 2000, p. 224.

[50] Adam Żeleński, Wykaz robót witrażowych od 1929 r. 1. IX, manuscript, private collections.

[51] Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce (hereinafter: KZS), vol. 11: Województwo bydgoskie, book 18: Włocławek i okolice, eds. W. Puget, T. Chrzanowski and M. Kornecki, Warszawa 1988, p. 22. The biographical note on the artist (H. Kubaszewska, Kotarbiński Mieczysław, in: Słownik Artystów Polskich 1986 (fn. 34), pp. 173–175) does not mention his engagement in stained-glass art.

[52] Information obtained from A. Skalski.

[53] Sz. J. Wroński, Bazylika Matki Boskiej Bolesnej w Limanowej. Kościół – pomnik Konstytucji 3 Maja, Limanowa 2001, pp. 104–107.

[54] Ibidem, pp. 103–110, figs. 84–85; idem, Limanowskie witraże Józefa Mehoffera, “Almanach Ziemi Limanowskiej” 9, 2002, p. 14, cf. almanach.limanowa.org.pl [accessed: 1 October 2012].

[55] Archidiecezja lubelska 2000 (fn. 49), p. 224. The windows were renovated by the S. G. Żeleński Cracow Stained Glass Studio in 1951 and in 1971–1975.

[56] W. Wyganowska, Maszkowski Karol, in: Słownik Artystów Polskich, vol. 5, Warszawa 1993, p. 413.

[57] Iza Żeleńska’s letter to her son Adam from 21 January 1926, private collections.

[58] Iza Żeleńska’s letters to her son Adam from 1924 (undated) and 2 May1925, private collections.

[59] Pruszków – kościół św. Kazimierza, wpg.alleycat.pl [accessed: 30 August 2012].

[60] L. Kijewska-Wittstock, Działalność społeczno-kulturalna właścicieli i pracowników fabryki ołówków „Majewski i S-ka” na tle zarysu historii fabryki w latach 1889–1948, graduation paper completed under the supervision of Prof. Andrzej Chojnacki, Warszawa 2005, p. 18 (www.pruszkow.pl/pdf/majewski, accessed: 30 August 2012). In January 1945, stained-glass windows in the southern part of the church were destroyed by the force of the explosion, when the ammunition warehouse in nearby Lasek Komorowski was blown up by the retreating German troops.

[61] Letter sent by Father W. Kwapiński to the S. G. Żeleński studio on 8 May 1937, archives of the S.G. Żeleński studio (hereinafter: SGŻ), private collections, file As 690 (found by the author of the article during archival search in 1999).

[62] J. Wolańska, Katedra ormiańska we Lwowie w latach 1902–1938. Przemiany architektoniczne i dekoracja wnętrza, Warszawa 2010, p. 356, fn. 4.

[63] Ibidem, stained-glass windows are discussed in chapter: Malowidła w katedrze ormiańskiej we Lwowie, pp. 169–304, figs. 143,145,190,192a, b, 226a, b, c; H. Małkiewiczówna, Ikonografia witraży, in: A. Maciej, Problemy konserwatorskie witraży projektu J. H. Rosena z katedry ormiańskiej pw. Wniebowzięcia NMP we Lwowie. Próba ich rozwiązania na przykładzie konserwacji górnej kwatery witraża „Św. Paweł” z zastosowaniem współczesnych klejów syntetycznych, Kraków 2004, copy stored at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow.

[64] J. Smirnow, Witraże Jana Henryka Rosena (do 1939 roku), in: Witraż w architekturze. Architektura na witrażu, eds. J. Budyn-Kamykowska, K. Pawłowska, Kraków 2011, pp. 145–154; idem, Lwowski kościół św. Marii Magdaleny, www.lwow.com.pl/rocznik/2006/smirnow1 [accessed: 30 August 2012]; Wolańska 2010 (fn. 62), p. 356, fn. 3.

[65] KZS, vol. 10: Województwo warszawskie, book 11: Ostrołęka i okolice, eds. I. Galicka, H. Sygietyńska, M. Kwiczała, Warszawa 1983, p. 8. Stained-glass windows dated to c. 1930. The church, damaged in WWI, held a polychromy made by Władysław Drapiewski in 1930–1935.

[66] Księga adresowa Polski (fn. 21), p. 1945.

[67] E.g. in the restaurant at the Savoy Hotel in Warsaw, 58 Nowy Świat Str., c. 1905 (“Przegląd Techniczny”, 1906, no. 32, tabl. 37; www.gawronski.net.pl/miejsca/nowy-swiat-przed-wojna, accessed: 25 October 2011); the Łaźnia pod Messalką bathhouse in Krakowskie Przedmieście, c. 1910, www.warszawska.info/srodmiescie/krakowskie-przedmiescie, accessed: 25 July 2012); the Agricultural Bank in Nowogrodzka Str., 1927 (H. Faryna-Pankiewicz, Gmach d. Banku rolnego, “Spotkania z zabytkami”, 2007, no. 9, p. 7).

[68] Księga adresowa 1905 (fn. 16), item 1252.

[69] Ibidem, ad no. 140.

[70] Księga adresowa przemysłu fabrycznego w Królestwie Polskim na rok 1908, ed. L. Jeziorański, Warszawa 1907, item 1215.

[71] Księga adresowa 1920 (fn. 17), col. 656; Księga adresowa przemysłu (fn. 19), item 6332.

[72] Księga adresowa 1920 (fn. 17), col. 656.

[73] Iza Żeleńska’s letter to Father Antoni Ratuszny, a parish priest in Tarnopol, from 27 June 1925, SGŻ, inv. no. As 415 (private collections).

[74] Ibidem; D. Czapczyńska, Krakowski Zakład Witrażów, Oszkleń Artystycznych i Mozaiki Szklanej S. G. Żeleński. Uwagi na marginesie prac nad monografią, in: Dziedzictwo 2000 (fn. 40), p. 155.

[75] Iza Żeleńska’s letters to her son Adam from 1924 and the end of 1924 (undated), private collections.

[76] Words of Władysław Kościelniak, a Kalisz painter, quoted in: Niepokonana i Wzniosła. Katedra św. Mikołaja w Kaliszu, text by A. Gaweł, photo by W. Zdunek, Bydgoszcz 2000. My thanks go to prelate A. Gaweł for his remarks in the letter from 25 August 2007 (private collections).

[77] J.A. Nowobilski, Sakralne malarstwo ścienne Włodzimierza Tetmajera, Kraków 1994, pp. 77–78.

[78] After: ibidem, p. 188.

[79] KZS 1983 (fn. 65), p. 2.

[80] Correspondence between the studio and the parish priest, Father Czesław Kruszyński, November 1950 – October 1951; a letter dated 1 February 1951 mentions the producer – correspondence stored at SGŻ, inv. no. As 842 (private collections). R. Plebański, Witraże krakowskie w kościołach Wielkopolski przed I wojną światową, “Kronika Wielkopolski”, 2010, no. 3 (135), pp. 91, 101; the author suggests that all these windows were produced at the S.G. Żeleński Cracow Stained Glass Studio before WWI, probably on the basis of signatures placed on some of them.

[81] Plebański 2010 (fn. 80), pp. 91, 101. The author applies the same dating to all windows.

[82] Żywicki 1998 (fn. 44), p. 261.

[83] Photograph published at: polskaprowincja.pl/kosciol-w-melgwi [accessed: 3 October 2012].

[84] W. Przygoda’s letter to the S. G. Żeleński studio from 2 August 1913, SGŻ, documents from 1913.

[85] Photograph in: Kościół św. Bartłomieja w Czarnożyłach – jeden z witraży (iconographic document), cyfrowa.pbp.sieradz.pl/dlibra [accessed: 2 September 2012].

[86] K. Hewner, Parafia Świętych Apostołów Piotra i Pawła w Ciechocinku, 2nd edition, Ciechocinek 2009, pp. 29–30. The author erroneously mentions „M.” Skibiński.

[87] Ibidem, p. 29 and fig. 30. Damaged during the Nazi occupation, the window was reconstructed in 1959 by Edward Kwiatkowski. The conservator probably misread the name initial in the signature and mistook the “W.” for an “M.”.

[88] M. Omilanowska, Świątynie handlu. Warszawska architektura komercyjna doby wielkomiejskiej, Warszawa 2004, p. 271, il. 520–522.

[89] J. Frycz, Odrodzenie sztuki witrażowej w XIX i XX wieku, “Szkło i Ceramika”, 1974, no. 6, p. 183 (two works are mentioned; the atelier is said to have operated between 1907 and 1924); Żychowska 1999 (fn. 48), p. 16, fn. 16 (the dates are quoted after Frycz; no works are mentioned).

[90] Sz. Świątek, Z prac nad słownikiem firm witrażowych w Polsce w XX wieku, in: Dziedzictwo 2000 (fn. 40), pp.191, 193 (the opening dates are listed as 1913 for Białkowski’s atelier and 1905 for Skibiński’s atelier; no works are mentioned).

[91] We know that Skibiński designer the stained-glass for the nave of the Kalisz parish. I am inclined to credit Białkowski with the cartons to the Assumption of Mary, used in an ad from 1911, as well as with cartons for the window at the palace in Spińczyce, produced in glass in cooperation with Skibiński.

[92] In an autobiography written down towards the end of his life, the artist recalls that he was employed by Białkowski in 1907, cf. J. Żywicki, Jana Gumowskiego motywy polskie, Lublin 2003, p. 41, and Wapiennik-Kossowicz 2011 (fn. 27), p. 118. This information is contradicted by another statement put forward in another book on Gumowski’s art: J. Żywicki, Gdańsk w litografii Jana Gumowskiego, Lublin 2003(=“Annales Universitatis Mariae Curie-Skłodowska”, vol. I), p. 49 and in a biographical note on the artist: E. Szczawińska; Gumowski Jan Kanty, w: Słownik Artystów Polskich, vol. II, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków–Gdańsk 1975, p. 518.

[93] A research project entitled Korpus witraży z lat 1800–1945 w kościołach rzymskokatolickich metropolii krakowskiej i przemyskiej, led by Prof. Wojciech Bałus.

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