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Czarno-biały portret mężczyzny.

Edward Hartwig: A Master of Theatre Photography


Edward Hartwig (1909-2003) was one of Poland’s most distinguished photographers, an honorary member of the Polish Association of Art Photographers (ZPAF), and a frequent chairman of the ZPAF Artistic Council. He primarily focused on landscape photography, often experimenting and approaching abstraction. A significant portion of his work also depicts the life of the Polish theatre. This exhibition focuses on this segment of Hartwig’s work.

The exhibition features theatrical photographs, primarily portraits of renowned Polish actors. Hartwig worked as a theatre photographer for many years, and many of the portraits he created during that time have become part of our enduring iconography. Kalina Jędrusik, Nina Andrycz, Gustaw Holoubek, and Roman Wilhelmi are just a few of the subjects he portrayed. The photographs also capture theatrical performances – both dramatic and musical – in Warsaw’s theatres (including Ateneum, Contemporary Theatre, Polish Theatre, and Grand Theatre) from 1945 to 1982.

Hartwig’s theatrical chapter in his professional life developed after World War II when he became a member of the Central Office for Servicing Artistic Enterprises and Institutions. However, as an artist, and not merely a raw craftsman, he was not content with creating another series of flat and boring documentaries devoid of subjective additions. He therefore sought to treat theatrical photography creatively. Inspired by his fascination with stage art and the possibilities it offered for constructing parallel worlds, he created his iconic photo books: “Kulisy teatru” (“Backstage of the Theatre”, 1969) and “Wariacje fotograficzne” (“Photographic Variations”, 1978).

All photographs on display come from the National Digital Archive, from the collection of photographs donated by Ewa Hartwig-Fijałkowska, Edward Hartwig’s daughter.


When: 27 May – 23 June 2024
Where: The Hartwig Alley,  Kowalska 3
Outdoor exhibition available at all times.


English translation
The exhibition is on the stairs – in a location that is difficult to access for wheelchair users.
The exhibition is based on photographs and descriptions – accessible to people with hearing impairments.
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28 May 2024 - 23 June 2024


All Day

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Kowalska 3 / The Hartwig Alley


Workshops of Culture in Lublin
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