University of Rzeszów
The oeuvre of two Gdańsk-based female sculptors, Janina Stefanowicz-Schmidt and Janina Karczewska-Konieczna, abounds in religious themes. In the 1980s, the artists created bronze door decorations for new churches in Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz (Stefanowicz) and the city of Puri in India (Karczewska), both focused on the theme of the Tree of Knowledge and surrounded it with biblical scenes. The complex, interesting iconography of these works was the direct result of the artists’ cooperation with a number of religious figures of superior skill and personality, religious scholars and social activists. The analysis of story behind these two projects is an important contribution to the study of women’s sacred art; it also helps illuminate the mechanisms of cooperation between artists and religious figures in the process of creating religious art.
Keywords: Janina Stefanowicz-Schmidt, Janina Karczewska-Konieczna, Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, bronze church door, contemporary sacred sculpture, Gdańsk