May 2, 2016 - Syracuse, New York. If you live in Central New York or live within driving distance of Syracuse, New York, treat yourself to a visit to LeMoyne College to view the De Ropp Polish Art Collection. I recently had the pleasure of attending a viewing of the collection by librarian Inga Barnello as part of Syracuse's Polish Community's annual celebration of Poland's May Third Constitution. The event featured a discussion and viewing of four tapestries and seven paintings depicting major events in Poland's proud history now permanently on display at the college's Noreen Reale Falcone Library. These artistic masterpieces, originally created to celebrate the 1937 Paris Exhibition and later the 1939 New York World's Fair, were a gift of Stephen Kyburg de Ropp, a former teacher at LeMoyne College. The life of de Ropp -- indeed the story of these artistic treasures --could be the subject of a novel or movie of great interest to the general public. (If Hollywood could make a movie about travelling pants, this one would be a real blockbuster!) LeMoyne College is grateful to have the honor of being the guardians of this wonderful art collection.
This page includes a number of photos I took at the aforementioned presentation I attended on May 1, 2016. For more detailed information on the de Ropp collection, be sure to visit the college's official web site: CLICK HERE.
While you are at it, also visit the POLONIA SYRACUSE page on this web site. CLICK HERE.
PHOTO AT RIGHT: "The Angel", one of the four Sobieski tapestries on display on the first flour the the Noreen Reale Falcone Library. This tapestry is done entirely in the classic Gobelin technique without embroidery superimposed. The Angel sounds his trumpet and floats among three doves.
Inga Barnello (In blue) discussing two of the four Sobieski tapestries: Jan Sobieski, King John lll of Poland (1624-1696) is much revered for his leadership in the defense of the Holy Roman Empire in the Siege of Vienna, 1683. Long military leader, Sobieski was elected as King of Poland in 1674. He led the multinational forces of Emperor Leopold against the invading troops of the Ottoman Empire. The victory prevented domination by the Turks and thus preserved Christianity for Europe.
The 3rd of May Constitution 1791 / Konstytucja 3 Maja:
The seven paintings on Polish history by The Brotherhood of St. Luke were commissioned for the Polish Pavilion of the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadow Queens, 1939-40. Their display together with the Szymanski tapestries and other prized cultural and historical items constituted the Polish Pavilion's Hall of Honor, the centerpiece of Poland's iconic towered pavilion designed by Jan Cybulski and Jan Galinowski.
Polish Tapestries and Event Video
The Four Sobieski
PLEASE NOTE: Most of the information on this page is from a publication acquired at the event entitled "LeMoyne College Polish Legacy", 2001. Much more information is available at the LeMoyne College web site. CLICK HERE.
The Habeas Corpus Act safeguarding the inviolability of the person (more liberal in 1430 than the English writ two and on-half centuries later) was given in Cracow by King Wladislaus. The law was constantly extended and became the germ of unparalleled political liberty. The citizen had unlimited freedom of forming associations, and he might express in speech at public meetings or in print the most daring convictions. Polish tolerance is unique in the history of both the old and new world. At a period when the stench of burnt bodies extended over the
whole of Europe and fire devoured the brain of Giordano Bruno and the heart of Savonarola, when the disgraceful principle of Cuius regio eius religio was upheld, the Polish king said: "I am not lord of your consciences," and "Faith may not be spread by persecution." The first Polish writer in grand style (all previous having written in Latin only), Mikolaj Rey, famous in the passionate Reformation controversy, fought the Catholic Church in a Catholic country whose king was a Catholic. Elsewhere at that time he would have been burned at the stake. In Poland, Rey acquired wealth and was rewarded by the king for his literary merits. White Russian clergy, who had only hazy notions of whom Rey was, read his works from the pulpit prefaced with the words "Let us hear what St. Rey says."
The scene depicted (in the above (painting) shows King Wladislaus of Poland liberating the serfs and granting personal immunity. The act was given in Cracow, then the capital of Poland in 1430 A.D. All the buildings, vestments, carpets, as well as the features of the king and primate are exact and were taken from contemprary engravings. coins, and chronicles.