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Historic Slonim Tapestries Return To Poland

Washington, D.C. – Mr. Xavier Puslowski Recognized. Polish American Mr. Xavier Puslowski is a very generous man indeed. He has donated two priceless Slonim tapestries – “Flora” and “Leda” – to the Wawel Royal Castle’s Slonim Collection in Krakow, Poland where they will be lovingly restored to their original and vibrant-colored conditions. At present the 18th century silk weavings are faded to an overall cream-tone and almost completely devoid of any coloring. However, the in-woven figures and copious decorative embellishments, being slightly raised, are readily visible to the naked eye upon close inspection.

In photo: Slonim Tapestry Displayed at Embassy. Two guests are pictured above admiring an 18th century Slonim tapestry “Leda” displayed in the Petite Salon of the Polish Embassy prior to the official ceremony bequeathing it to the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, Poland for its extensive restoration and eventual display there.

Professor Jan Ostrowski, Director of the Wawel Royal Castle Museum, was present to take possession of the tapestries and to deliver relevant remarks. We also learned that Slonim tapestries were made in an artists’ workshop set up by the Grand Hetman of Lithuania Michal Kazimierz Oginski around 1782, and operated by a Saxon-born weaver, Johan Karl Kletsch. His weaving studio’s greatest achievement was a series of 12 tapestries which depicted statues of ancient gods to decorate a garden pavilion in Oginski’s sprawling Slonim Palace complex – a miniature Versailles.

DSC02914forwebToday no trace of the once-ostentatious palace exists, and Slonim is now located in Belarus as a result of redrawn national borders following World War II, as previously agreed upon by the victorious allies comprising the Soviet Union (Russia), Great Britain, and the United States of America.

In photo on right: Ambassador Schnepf (i.) decorating Mr. Puslowski.

So here at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland on January 8, 2015, under the admiring gaze of Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf and guests, Mr. Xavier Puslowski was justly decorated with the “Well Deserved for Polish Culture Honorary Award,” by the hand of Poland’s Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna, in appreciation of Puslowski’s generosity and fidelity to Poland’s culture, art and history.

Richard P. Poremski
DSC02849forwebPolish American Journal
Washington, DC Bureau
January 29, 2015

In photo on right: “Leda” Slonim Tapestry