After passing the secondary school final exam at the Oskar Kolberg Secondary School in Kościan, I started my studies at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. At the Faculty of History I studied in the years 2003-2008 at a uniform Master’s studies in the field of art history. I graduated in 2008, on the basis of the thesis Sepulchral art of Dalmatian lands during the Roman rule written under the supervision of Prof. Tomasz Wujewski with a Master’s degree. During my studies I joined the works of the student self-government. At the same time I took up studies at the Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology at the faculties of philology with specializations: Croatian philology, Serbian philology and Bulgarian philology. In 2008 I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Croatian and Serbian philology on the basis of the work Imago turpis. Category of ugliness in the work of Miodrag Bulatović. Aesthetic and psychoanalytical analysis supervised by Dr. Leszek Małczak. A year later I defended another bachelor’s thesis, this time in Bulgarian philology, written under the direction of Dr. Galia Simeonova-Konach, and titled: Words and images. Inspirations with apocalyptic apocryphs in Bulgarian iconography. In the same year 2009 I received an additional Master’s degree in Croatian and Serbian philology on the basis of my Master’s thesis Summum malum by Miodraga Bulatović. Evil and the psychology of depth, led by Prof. Bogusław Zieliński.
The next stage of my education was to undertake doctoral studies at the Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology of Adam Mickiewicz University in 2009, which continued the transdisciplinary perspective combining historical-artistic competences with literary-slavic ones. As a result of my research, a dissertation was published entitled Slavia Graeco-Romana. On the borderline of text and image – about illumination of Old-South-Slavic manuscripts (12th – 14th centuries), promoted by Prof. Bogusław Zieliński. On its basis, on 29th May 2013, I received a Ph.D. title in the field of literary studies. During my doctoral studies I was awarded two research grants, which influenced the further development of my research interests, which will be discussed further.
After I defended my doctorate, I received a scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for a young, outstanding scientist, which enabled me to continue my research work at the University.
From November 15th, 2014 to September 30th, 2016, I was employed at the Adam Mickiewicz University on a 1/5 full-time equivalent. Since 1st October 2016 I have been employed as a full-time assistant professor for an indefinite period of time at the Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Moreover, on the basis of a work contract, in the years 2013-2017 I worked at the Institute of History, Faculty of Art History, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, performing didactic classes.
As far as historical and artistic issues are concerned, I relied on classical hermeneutical, iconographic, iconological analysis with elements of semiotics and historical studies. Due to the context of the landed gentry as the overriding theme binding the cycle, I used the research apparatus of archivistics, genealogy and heraldry. An important element determining the transdisciplinary character of the research to date is the extensive use of widely understood literature and writings, which results in the use of the scientific apparatus of source studies, press studies, literary and cultural comparisons, cultural theories of communication and editing, especially in relation to the publication of manuscript texts. The whole research is united by the history of ideas.
The aim of the project, which made up the presented scientific achievement, was to carry out extensive basic research of a clearly documentary and inventory character, whose task was to create a corpus depicting tangible and intangible cultural heritage associated primarily with south-western Wielkopolska, and in a broader context belonging to the history of Polish and European art. The research assumed filling a research gap related to the artistic fascinations of the landed gentry, a comprehensive presentation of history and meaning of individual artistic projects (which is one of the basic forms of historical-artistic research) or the relationship between the centre and the province. The aim was also to change the perception of this relationship by reconstructing the roots of artistic communication, placing them in the regional and supra-regional socio-political and cultural context.
The most important results of the research carried out include: introduction of previously unknown archival sources to scientific circulation (material protection, conservation and digitalization), filling a gap in research on the landed culture of Wielkopolska, especially in the context of valorisation of creativity developing far from large artistic centres or the history of horticultural art, broadening the knowledge on the artistic and cultural patronage of the landed gentry, with particular emphasis on the Chłapowski family by creating a corpus collection presenting its material and non-material heritage. This corpus has a practical application, as it is a source material for monument protection services or local government units who are obliged to be dealing with the protection of cultural assets. Cultural communication routes have been defined, pointing to their previously unknown character and intensity, which results in a change in the perception of the role of southern Wielkopolska in the history of Polish art and culture. Most importantly, the historical-artistic heritage of several towns and families that were so far deprived of scientific studies, whose history is inscribed in the mainstream of historical events of general regional and national importance due to the figures and works related to them.
The monographs included in the series Places and Art submitted for assessment are the first studies which attempt to describe in a comprehensive manner the material and non-material legacy of the Chłapowski family, and in the broader context of Wielkopolska’s landed families (volumes concerning Turew, Rąbin and Kopaszewo), manor houses and granges that once belonged to the kings of the Netherlands and the Grand Dukes of Saxony-Weimar (volume on Racot), as well as, through the fifth work The Family with a History introduce previously unknown or unpublished archival sources into the scientific circulation. At the same time, all of these volumes create a transdisciplinary reconstruction of the broadly understood idea of the manor house, with particular emphasis on its material and non-material artistic, historical and cultural heritage.
The selection of the four volumes of the series was dictated by their geographical and subjective (among others, related to the family) coherence, which, together with a high scientific value, was awarded by the General Conservator of Monuments in the category of scientific and study works, and by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage – in recognition of their scientific and documentary value – was awarded a silver badge “For the care of monuments” and by the Marshal of the Wielkopolska Region in the competition entitled “Pro-ecological and pro-cultural activities within the development strategy of the Wielkopolska Region”.
Prof. Jarosław Jarzewicz, a renowned researcher of medieval art of Central Europe, iconography and art of the 18th and 19th centuries, Prof. Jan Skuratowicz, an outstanding expert in residential architecture of Wielkopolska, Prof. Krzysztof Chłapowski, a respected specialist in historical sources and history of the landed gentry, Prof. Miron Urbaniak, an expert in the protection of material culture and technical history and Prof. Stanisław Sierpowski, a historian specializing amongst others in regionalism, provide scientific support for the volumes. This ensures that the series remains consistent in character and its substantive value. At the same time, the above mentioned scientists who represent the indicated disciplines present in subsequent publications complement each other in terms of their competences.
According to the general idea of the series, each volume is divided into several chapters which present: the first one – the history of a given location (in the light of archaeological findings, written sources, folklore and literature), the most important families and figures associated with it; the second – description of the residential complexes; the third – manor layout; the fourth – temples; the fifth – garden and park layout. Depending on the specificity of the given location, additional chapters present more important elements of the current way in which the historical objects are being used.
The idea behind the Places and Art series is to present individual locations of the Wielkopolska region in a monographical way, with particular emphasis on the analysis and exposure of the material and immaterial cultural heritage in the historical, social and ideological contexts, which made up a specific formation – a landed family manor house. Its first volumes, due to the research grant concerning the Chłapowski family, were devoted to the locations associated with this family. On this occasion, a study presenting the previously unknown private archives from around 1750 (taking into account contemporary copies of documents found in other collections added to the corpus from around 1600) to the 1990s was also prepared. They significantly enrich our factual knowledge about the Chłapowski family, that can be seen in the perspective of the research conducted so far as underestimated or even narrowed down to the person of General Dezydery Chłapowski (1788-1879) . It should be emphasized that so far the leading discourse about his person was concerned with only two areas of his activity – his activity as a soldier and a precursor of modern agriculture. Marginal references were made to other aspects of his activity or that of other members of this family, one of the most important landed gentry families of the 19th and early 20th century. An extremely valuable source concerning the history of Chłapowski family is the Family Chronicle published by Dezydery Chłapowski the great-grandson of the general, extremely valuable, but not strictly scientific. It presents, in a chronological approach, the complete history of individual branches of the family, at the same time providing short biographies of their more significant members. Apart from a few fragments of a very general nature, it does not, however, address the issue of the rural estates of the landed gentry and their cultural and artistic significance. In addition to Chłapowski’s work, one should also note a book, written in a chronicle convention, Wspomnienia z Turwi / Memories from Turew, written in everyday language by Krzysztof Morawski, presenting the fate of several generations (including the author) of the owners of the mansion mentioned in the title. Despite the source value of the work, it does not have any scientific apparatus and is therefore difficult to treated as a source. This work is complemented by the book Z Krakowa i Wielkopolski / From Kraków and Wielkopolska, which is a continuation of the earlier memoirs and was published posthumously in 2016. It’s apparatus is reduced to explanatory notes. Both books contain limited annexes in the form of black-and-white reproductions of photographs, graphics and works of art. As far as the presented objects are concerned, these are often the only iconographic sources. Their value is all the greater because, in the case of the last two books, they present inaccessible private archive sources and photographs of objects considered to be war losses. On this occasion, it should be mentioned that with the outbreak of World War II and during the war, in many cases the artistic continuity of many noble and landed gentry residences was interrupted. The specificity of Wielkopolska, especially the very lively positivist activity, resulted in the fact that, despite their provincial location in relation to large urban centres, the landed estates played an extremely important cultural, national-forming and auto-identifying function. In many cases they were pars pro toto of institutionalized protection forms of material and non-material national heritage, the best example of which were the collections of art created in noble and aristocratic residences, as well as landowners’ collections of antiques, including not only family memorabilia, but also objects of national importance. This phenomenon has not been thoroughly researched to this day. The aforementioned interruption of the artistic continuity of landed estates resulted in the dispersion of objects of aesthetic value, which were already at that time of historical, historical and scientific value, as a result of war damage, theft or confiscation and sale of material goods by the so-called Treuhaendlers. The destruction of court and palace libraries, and above all private archives, was an extremely serious loss. In a situation where there were no Polish state repositories, in the context of the historical policy of the partitioning states, it was the private, court archives that were the most important source of knowledge. After 1945 and the agricultural reform, the remaining landowners were forced to leave the previously inhabited manors, taking with them what they managed to save from the war. Most of the works of art and archives are now in private possession and are not available to the public. Therefore, even though individual residences have physically been preserved, we are not able to recreate the character and specificity of many manors, palaces or castles. This in turn significantly limits our knowledge of the general characteristics of the artistic and mental culture of the epoch. The multitude of modest, in comparison with the great land property of the Borderlands, estates located in Wielkopolska, makes us deal with an exceptionally large number of locations that have so far been only partially researched or not been researched at all and only a small group of objects and places with fully documented history. An attempt to change this has been made by a series of Manors of Wielkopolska published by the National Museum of Agriculture in Szreniawa, however, it mainly covers the problem of manor farm construction in a combined form and related to individual districts. This shows that there is still a huge gap in basic research into the history of the landed gentry, especially their artistic patronage. The issue of collecting, private art collections, is being analysed mainly in the context of individual, outstanding collectors. In relation to Wielkopolska – in confrontation with, for example, Silesia – there have been no studies dealing with this issue in a systemic way. The issue of material legacy in particular has also been modestly represented. The only form of systematizing information about individual locations and estates is the Catalogue of Art Monuments in Poland, in reference to which – due to the repeatedly causal character of descriptions – one should remain sceptical. Some isolated examples include monographs of smaller, distant places. An excellent example is Racot, the former seat of the Dukes of Jabłonowski, and then of the Dutch dynasty, the Grand Duke of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach and the presidents of the Second Republic of Poland. So far, the residential complex based on a design by Dominik Merlini and Jan Christian Kamsetzer has not been devoted a study that would analyse the problem of the authorship of the aforementioned leading artists of the late 18c era. The uniqueness of the complex – with visible and well-preserved elements of architectural modernization from the times of Princess Sophia of Nassau or Prince Wilhelm Ernst Saxony-Weimar – has not been exposed so far. This is all the more surprising as the documents in the Polish, Dutch and German collections have been preserved. A similar situation occurs in the case of the temples that have been analysed. The temples in Racot and Kopaszewo have survived, which together with a few others form an interesting group of late Baroque churches and chapels from around 1780, which have not been analysed before. On the other hand, the palace chapel in Turew built in English neo-Gothic style, has been significantly neglected in the studies on the development of neo-stylistic formations on the Polish territory. At the same time, it is an example of a total work of art that has been fully realized at a very high artistic level. The role of Turew in shaping and propagating the assumptions of ultramontanism is exceptionally underestimated in the context of the main ideological formations of the epoch. It was reflected in the artistic expression of the temple, which determined by the Gothic architectural forms constituting the setting for a new type of altar painting by the Roman artist Leopold Nowotny, educated in an environment centred around the main creators of the Nazarene movement.
On the other hand, the temple in Rąbin, belonging to one of the oldest church foundations in this part of Wielkopolska, except for the mentions in the work of Zygmunt Świechowski, was not the subject of scientific reflection. In the volume devoted to this village I included the results of recently performed archaeological works, and which situate the time of the church’s establishment in the first half of the 13th century. The local parish can be proud of its rich, for a rural community, equipment, extremely interesting jewellery products, such as the previously unknown can from Wojciech Budzyniewicz’s goldsmith’s workshop, or the Renaissance sculpture epitaphs of the Rąbiński family from 1603 and 1614.
The issues mentioned above draw attention to the extremely important role of the series, which is also the inventory of historic objects, verification and assessment of the state of their preservation, and most importantly, documentation of the existence of artistic and historical objects of great importance for science and art.
I consider the preparation of technical documentation, plans, projections and reconstructions of individual objects, not only residential and sacral, but also utility buildings, with particular emphasis on the various phases of construction and interior transformations, to be a valuable element of all works. Their juxtaposition with written sources and the practice of the times in which they were created made it possible to reconstruct the purpose of particular rooms, which is crucial to understand their functioning in the context of the idea of a manor house. Thanks to the preserved and newly discovered iconographic sources, in many cases it was possible to reconstruct almost complete equipment of selected rooms, which allows to draw conclusions as to the nature of the collections of individual families. Their absence from the scientific circulation has already been mentioned, and thanks to the publication of information (with rich iconographic material), it is possible to rectify this deficiency. An equally important issue are garden and park complexes, largely lacking its former aesthetic values as a result of various negligence in the post-war period. The example of Turew or Kopaszewo, marked by Augustine Denizot’s activity and his transformation of French parks into English landscape parks, underline our insignificant knowledge about the history of horticulture in Wielkopolska. With regard to the royal-princely Racot, we also have little information. Therefore, in the books from the series, the problem of greenery in its broadest sense is particularly highlighted. On the basis of the preserved maps, sketches, memories, scant iconographic sources, I prepared reconstructions of individual phases of the park’s development. They formed the basis for articles published in a prestigious magazine that concentrates on the history of horticulture ‘Die Gartenkunst’. Bringing German researchers closer to the history of the small parks that once located in Prussia and were the property of the Royal Dutch dynasty, resulted in information about the preservation of documents (including financial ones) concerning the transformation of gardens in the Weimar Archive and the Royal Archives in The Hague. They will become an element of the grant application, which will be discussed further. The issues of landscape and greenery development – with reference to the described locations – were consulted, among others, with Dr Przemysław Wolski from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and the employees of the Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Polish Academy of Sciences, especially with regard to the scope of revitalization works, which I also postulate in the books, which, apart from providing source information, is also to be a practical application of the research results obtained.
The Places and Art series (currently consisting of five volumes and two more under preparation) is an attempt to respond to the problems indicated above. On the one hand, it is the result of the implementation of a grant devoted to the artistic and cultural patronage of the Chłapowski family, on the other hand, it is an element of a long-term project of documenting the material and non-material legacy of the landed gentry (but not exclusively) of Wielkopolska and – as evidenced by the publication devoted to Racot – of foreign noble and aristocratic families. Therefore, apart from the monograph of this village, a volume describing Choryń, one of the several villages belonging to the Orange-Nassau princes, rulers of the Netherlands, and then the Grand Duke’s house von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, was written. In the course of my research I found out that there are so far unexplored archival sources concerning not only the mentioned manors, but also, in a broader context, shedding light on the Dutch and German colonization of the Polish lands in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the context of the presence of the Saxony-Weimar dynasty, Choryń, formerly owned by the Taczanowski family (whose descendants made available to me a completely unknown archive, which was thought to be lost), is connected with the problem of the activities colonization commission’s activity in the lands of the Prussian partition. In this respect, the materials obtained are extremely valuable historical sources.
After the general remarks related to the achievement that is being submitted, I would like to go into the main elements of the individual works in more detail, pointing out in the summary their importance for the development of science and the preservation of cultural heritage.
The opening publication about Kopaszewo was created thanks to the private archive, which used to be located in the palace there, being made available to me. When discussing the history of the village, attention was drawn to the Skórzewski family, which received relatively little attention in historiography, and which left a certain amount of material legacy that was documented in the book. Further considerations concern five generations of the Chłapowski family. The presented materials include unique manuscript sources, photographs, literary texts related to the stay of Mickiewicz, Modrzejewska or the work of the Prussian collector of oral literature Otto Knoop. The chapter devoted to the residence opens with the oldest written accounts of the manor house from 1650, and then the classicist palace from the years 1800-1801 located by Zofia Ostrowska-Kębłowska and Jan Skuratowicz among the most interesting residential projects in Wielkopolska. After discussing the successive phases of the building’s construction, a collection of movable equipment was analysed, reconstructed thanks to the preserved archival inventories and a few previously unknown iconographic materials. In this way we could learn that the penultimate owner of the estate – Mieczysław Chłapowski – consciously and consistently began to create a collection of paintings. The acquired works of art included, among others paintings by A knight buying horses from Tatars by Józef Brandt, A young noble man with dogs and a girl by Antoni Piotrowski, battle works by Juliusz Kossak, Leon Wyczółkowski’s landscape and Stefan Czarnecki’s late-baroque portrait, a portrait of Ludwik Gutakowski by Marcello Bacciarelli, Joanna, Princess of Łowicz by Kazimierz Łukaszewicz, Eufrozyna Gutakowska by Angelika Kaufmann or Wacław Gutakowski portrayed by Józef Pitschamnn. Most of the above mentioned works were collected in one of the palace’s salons, creating a gallery of ancestors’ portraits, figures important for history, but also constituted the beginning of an art collection reflecting the tastes of the era.
The next chapter is devoted to the palace chapel from 1794 with an interesting architectural form and exceptionally coherent movable equipment, in line with the rhetoric of didactic art (attention should be paid to a group of four evangelists’ sculptures), which was enriched by other objects over the years, such as the European class cast iron casts of the Stations of the Cross made in 1854 at the Rodillon’s workshop in Paris, and imported by Dezydery Chłapowski and Jan Koźmian. The casts are a part of the equipment which strengthened the counter-reformation tone, exposing the passion aspect. The direct contacts with the Holy See resulted in the acquisition of significant relics, which were placed in a temple that was very provincial from the geographical point of view.
The next two chapters were devoted to the reconstruction of the park and the presentation of movable monuments in the area. The last, short chapter deals with the continuation of the idea of modern agriculture, whose forerunner was Dezydery Chłapowski, and which was successfully implemented by his son Kazimierz (one of the main supporters of ultramontanism or Slavophilic movements based on unitism) and which are now an element of the historical legacy cultivated by contemporary users of the former Kopaszewo manor.
The second volume devoted to Rąbin is connected with one of the two preserved necropolises of the Chłapowski family. The analysis of the history of the village begins with the presentation of archaeological testimonials documenting the settlement in this area at least from the Iron Age, as evidenced by the findings belonging to the bell grave culture (450-200 B.C.). It is all the more important, that the artifacts originate from archaeological sites whose partial exploration was ordered by the owners of the local manors. Descriptions of the findings, indicating also the circumstances of their discovery (previously unknown notes and correspondence preserved in a manuscript), are accompanied by personally made photographic documentation, which is also the first form of making them available to the public since their acquisition. It is also a fragment of the material legacy, which consists of almost one hundred and fifty archaeological sites in the vicinity of the village. The continued presentation of the history of the village is the analysis of source texts covering specimens from 1316 to modern times. These include previously unpublished documents, such as Jan Rąbiński’s diploma from 1510. The depicting of the history of the Rąbiński family with coat of arms Łodzia and Mielżyński family with coat of arms Nowina is continued in the picturing of the fate of the property after its purchase by Józef Chłapowski. The presence of this family is documented by thirty-seven biographical descriptions related to the layout of the necropolis around the church. A valuable historical source for the history of the village is the church archives of the local parish, discussed in the next chapter. Afterwards, the state of knowledge and new findings concerning the manors of Maksymilian Mielżyński and Konstancja Hutten-Czapska and the later seat of the Chłapowski family were presented.
The most extensive chapter of the book is devoted to the history of the Rąbin temple, one of the oldest in this part of Wielkopolska, in its original Romanesque form it was similar to the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Giecz. This fragment of the work has the character of an almost separate monographic whole, analyzing the construction phases, the iconographic program of the interior, all objects of historical and artistic importance (including Renaissance tombstones of the Rąbiński family, Baroque altars, windows made in the Royal Saxon Court Stained Glass Workshop). Thanks to the discovery of the lost inventories of goldsmiths’ products, it was also possible to present them, which – due to the fact that they were partially stolen during the Second World War – has a significant documentary significance. The penultimate chapter presents other architectural objects and movable monuments, including a unique plague column dating back to 1764, crowned with an image of a pelican. The last fragment was devoted to the presentation of the effects of several years of conservation and building works, as a result of which the building that was previously threatened with collapse, was stabilized through the use of jet-grounting technique. A wide range of works aimed at highlighting historical and artistic values was also indicated.
The third volume – not chronologically, but thematically – is connected with the main seat of the Chłapowski family – Turew. Similarly to the works that have already been mentioned, also in this volume there is a fragment concerning the archaeological heritage of the village. Its distant origins are evidenced, among others, by an early Slavic stronghold from the tenth to the twelfth century, or a treasure of nearly a thousand coins (Byzantine, Norman or Arabic) found in 1846 (now missing). The history of the village is presented in detail, taking into account a number of written sources, the oldest of which dates back to 1395. The most extensive fragment, however, is devoted to the presentation of the profiles of the individual owners of the Turew manor from the Chłapowski family. The sources, analysed and published for the first time, included trade contracts, legacies and testamentary inventories scrupulously listing the property of the subsequent owners. In total, the history of seven generations of this family was presented, right until 1939. New sources (also reproduced here) referring to the person of General Dezydery Chłapowski (e.g. Baron Diploma preserved in London, a personal card from the French Ministry of War, previously unpublished, memories of grandchildren preserved in the form of a manuscript) have been presented in great detail.
The second chapter has been devoted to the manor house of the Radomicki family from 1712 and the palace of Ludwik Chłapowski from 1742. Analyses of the construction phases are accompanied by authorial reconstructions of the original plans of the building, which were set against the background of the building practice of the time. The interior layout and furnishings were reconstructed. Thanks to the private family archive, it was also possible to present the local book collection, regarded as one of the most extensive when it came to positions related to agriculture, which of course was related to Dezydery’s personal fascinations, as well as the functioning of the agronomic school that he founded.
The third chapter presents the palace chapel – one of the first neo-Gothic works of such a high level in Wielkopolska. One of the greatest discoveries connected with this object is the finding that Cyprian Kamil Norwid (known to Koźmian, Chłapowski’s son-in-law) designed a set of sculptures for the chapel. In the history of art it is a unique object. Architecturally, it reached to the English neo-Gothic model, while it’s equipment consisted of elements brought from Rome (an altar painting by Leopold Nowotny, itself a copy of Philipp Veit’s work), Venice (benches copied from the ones used in the Santa Maria dei Miracoli church), Paris (Stations of the Cross by Stanisław Zaleski), Cracow, or Warsaw. They were described in detail and connected with the reconstruction of the ideological programme of the temple, which is a model example of the implementation of the Gesamtkunstwerk idea.
Due to its importance to the history of Wielkopolska’s economy during the longest war in modern Europe (a term denoting the struggle in the economic and cultural areas between the Prussian state and the Wielkopolska region), a separate chapter has been devoted to the layout of the manor and industrial buildings, which in the middle of the 19th century made the Turew estates a synonym of a modern rural property, economically competitive with the Prussian model. Considerations in the last chapter refer to the park complex, one of the first English-style landscape parks. The topic of landscape architecture is being continued in the fragment referring to the mid-field and mid-forest landscapes introduced by General Chłapowski, which are currently subject to legal protection and which so far, unfortunately, did not receive the attention they deserve, as the most durable effect of the Chłapowski family’s activity with trans-regional reference, permanently transforming the landscape on the basis of scientific (agro-ecological) and aesthetic criteria.
The last of the volumes of the series Places and Art, presented as part of the achievement, is not connected with the Chłapowski family, but expands the research perspective with an intercultural, Dutch-German component. Reflections on the history of the village bring closer the history of the von Boercke (Borek), Gołutowski, Kostka and Jabłonowski families – one of the most significant aristocratic families, who owned the majority of their estates in the Borderlands and who, in a relatively modest residential estate, when compared to the ones in the east, tried to refer to the court of Stanisław August Poniatowski. This was evidenced by the fact that Dominik Merlini was entrusted with the project of building the palace (and redevelopment of the manor outbuildings), its decoration was the responsibility of Jan Christian Kamsetzer, or the creation of a theatre. The sale of manor to Prince Willem Frederik in 1798 started a period of cultural, confessional, artistic and economic shaping of Racot by the Dutch rulers and the Saxon-Weimar family, which lasted until 1919. This period is being documented by previously unpublished testimonies from the Secret State Archive of the Prussian Cultural Heritage. In the years 1922-1926 Racot was turned into a presidential residence. This coincided with the establishment of the State Stud, which still exists today. The second chapter of the book refers to the manor-palace complex, whose documented origins date back to 1697. Thanks to the analysis of iconographic sources, it was possible to determine the place where the castle of the Kostka family originally stood, appearing in many accounts – in the times of Prince Wilhelm Ernst, the side wing of the palace was erected on its foundations. The subsequent stages of the extension of the palace were discussed in detail, along with the layout and purpose of individual rooms. Based on the sources discovered, the horseshoe layout of the palace, which existed until the mid-1920s, was reconstructed, along with an annexe and a partition wall. The stucco decoration of the successive halls was thoroughly discussed, pointing to their analogies in both Wielkopolska and Warsaw palaces. Due to the uniformity of the residence with the utility section, the manor and the evangelical quarter, which was created in the immediate vicinity (twenty-one buildings in total), were discussed together.
The third chapter provides sources informing about the church of St. Martin that has not been preserved (and not located) as well as the present temple, originally built as a palace chapel. The original plan of the building was reconstructed and the date of completion of the walls was set for 1787. The fate of the church after it was taken over by the Protestant community has also been presented. As a result, the original equipment from the times of the Jablonowski family was removed, but it was possible to find an inventory that has been prepared on this occasion. The last chapter was devoted to the greenery. As far as Racot is concerned, the task of describing the history of the park was extremely difficult due to large-scale destruction of the original park during World War II.
The specificity of Racot lays in its complex history, which is reflected in the unique artistic and cultural formation that appeared in a location marked by the presence of two princely families, a royal family and presidents of the Republic of Poland. The value of the residence complex situates it within the most important works of the late 18th century in Poland. So far, however, it has not been described, and also not settled in the historical and artistic context of the period. Stanisław Wincenty Jabłonowski and his son Antoni left a mark on the history of Racot, turning a provincial village of Wielkopolska into an exceptionally strong centre of artistic communication, which was an aesthetic point of reference for many surrounding manors.
With reference to all the above mentioned works that constitute the achievement that is being presented, it should be noted that the source texts – Latin, French, German, English – have been transliterated and translated, which creates an extensive corpus of texts. With respect to the old Polish content, links were provided explaining the meaning of archaisms and terms that are not being used any more. Extensive genealogical tables were also included. The documentary value is the iconographic material of the books – both contemporary and archival – widely used literature, which determines the artistic tastes of the selected representatives of the families described or constitutes a contextual element for the analysed works.
All the works that make up the scientific achievement are based on diverse, extensive research material, covering tens of thousands of documents, obtained within the framework of extensive domestic and foreign searches, including both public and private collections. Particularly noteworthy among them is the rich private correspondence, memoirs, official documents, property and economic books, court records and canonical visions, property inventories, witness accounts, technical documentation, manuscripts of literary works, and various iconographic sources. A significant part of these sources, with reference to the history of Wielkopolska’s landed estates, especially those connected with the Chłapowski family, documenting their material and non-material cultural heritage, was used for the first time. Thanks to this, the factual knowledge concerning one of the most salient families of Wielkopolska from the historical, artistic and ideological point of view, has been significantly expanded.
So far it’s main representative – General Chłapowski – was perceived almost exclusively through the prism of military and agricultural activity, the shallowing of his family relations and the neglect of other important areas of his activity, resulted to a certain extent from the scarcity of available archival materials, as well as their considerable dispersion (in Poland and abroad). The same was true of other members of this family, such as Mieczysław and Wanda of Potworowski, considered by Andrzej Kwilecki to be one of the most significant personalities of the interwar period in Wielkopolska. My research, however, resulted in a number of new findings and the possibility of revealing in the future of almost fifteen thousand pages of previously unknown documents. The Chronicle… by Dezydery Chłapowski, mentioned in the introduction, was created on the basis of one of the two parts of the main archive of the family, which in the post-war period was divided into two groups: Warsaw and Cracow. The publication A Family with a History is the first monographic elaboration of the Cracow corpus of archival materials. It was intended to complement the Places and Art series, making it possible to refer to previously unpublished archival materials concerning all the main branches of the family. Thanks to the acquisition of a publishing grant from the Supreme Management of State Archives, cooperation with the State Archives in Leszno and having convinced the owners of the manuscript, the materials used for the book were digitised and introduced into the digital repository, thanks to which they could be introduced into the scientific circulation. This represents an added value for both this monograph and the others submitted for evaluation, as one of the objectives of the series is to reach out to private archives, to develop them and to make them available to the public with the prior safeguarding of digital reproduction of the material. The research carried out proved that it is not true that the archive of the main line of the Chłapowski family has been destroyed. The catalogue of the contents of the Cracow corpus (the Warsaw one still remains unavailable) illustrates the richness of unique iconographic materials concerning people, manors, palaces, temples and their equipment. An important aspect of my research, which also reflects my language skills, was the preservation of the specificity of the language, together with its peculiarities, which – in relation to the legacy of General Chłapowski – contributed to the linguistic-lexical analysis of the language spoken by him.
The very broad perspective accompanying the analysis of the particular localities, objects of material and non-material cultural heritage, leads to the fact, that on the one hand we are talking about coherent monographs that constitute separate volumes, and on the other hand, when juxtaposed with each other and with the addition of a corpus of source texts, they create a multi-level, complex structure that significantly exceeds the current practice of analysing the manor houses of the landed families and the role of this social group. This is because we receive a transdisciplinary, holistic picture of an ideological formation such as a broadly understood mansion, which ceases to be closed in certain forms of space, but becomes a phenomenological centre of artistic and cultural communication of self-identifying, local and supra-regional significance at the same time, and its analysis should, as I also tried to do, be based to the greatest extent on interdisciplinary research.
Other scientific and research achievements
Because of my interdisciplinary education, historical-artistic and philological-slavic, I profiled all my scientific work in this particular optics. This was reflected in my doctoral dissertation, Slavic in terms of geographical, linguistic and subjective scope of the literary material studied, historical and artistic in relation to the way it was analysed (Slavia Graeco-Romana. On the borderline of text and image – about illumination of old-southern Slavic manuscripts (XII-XIV centuries). The research category postulated in it is intended to combine an extensive, transdisciplinary research apparatus. The analysis of Slavia Graeco-Romana’s space is a discussion of the visual-artistic layer of South Slavic manuscripts from the 12th-14th centuries, connected with the multinational identity that constituted the heterogeneity of the cultures of the Balkan Peninsula in the Middle Ages, in which the Slavic aspect was one of many elements. The research indicated four main routes of artistic and cultural communication, which – as assumed by the postulated research category – included forms that were updated in later periods. With this optics in mind I prepared a publication that was also based on archives – an unknown and unpublished Wielkopolska-Croatian correspondence documenting cultural relations and Slavophilic themes in the 19th century. The transdisciplinary approach also resulted in participation in a grant at the University of Warsaw concerning litany poems in the culture of European regions. Its aftermath was a series of English-language articles.
The searches and research carried out in the Secret Vatican Archives as well as the Archives of the Congregation of Resurrectionists in Rome within the framework of scholarships of the Lanckorona Foundation and the Roman Foundation of Countess J.S. Umiastowska resulted in the collection of a part of the material which, enriched with the South Slavic and Polish sources, especially those of Wielkopolska, will allow to formulate a work on the concept of a community of Slavs alternative to Pan-Slavicism and Austroslavism. It also incorporates the language of art, as exemplified by the work of Leopold Nowotny, an artist declaring himself to be a Pole, a descendant of Czech emigrants settled in Podolia, who has worked all his life in Rome and remained within the circle of the local artistic colony lead by Overbeck. A monograph devoted to him, presenting a catalogue of the works discovered and describing the Slavophilia theme, will be published later this year.
I am also preparing an NPRH application within the module “National Heritage” devoted to the creation of a critical edition of archival German and Dutch sources concerning primarily the Kościan county during the partitions of Poland. The set of documents stored in the Secret Archive of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin has so far not been explored and used.
 Walerian Kalinka, Dezydery Chłapowski. Pisma. Kraków: Spółka Wydawnicza Polska, Drukarnia „Czasu” 1885; tenże, Jenerał Dezydery Chłapowski. Kraków: Spółka Wydawnicza Polska, Drukarnia „Czasu” 1900; Andrzej Syta, Generał Dezydery Chłapowski 1788–1879, Warszawa: Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej 1971; Henryk Florkowski, Dzieło generała z Turwi, Kościan: TMZK 1979; Dezydery Chłapowski, Kalendarz życia i działalności generała Dezyderego Chłapowskiego. 1788–1879. Kościan: TMZK 1979; Zdzisław Grot, Dezydery Chłapowski i Franciszek Morawski – generałowie powstania listopadowego, Kościan: TMZK, 1980; Studia nad życiem i działalnością Dezyderego Chłapowskiego, red. Kazimierz Zimniewicz, „Rocznik Leszczyński” 1980. T. 4, s. 177–268; Z. Grot, Dezydery Chłapowski 1788–1879, Warszawa – Poznań: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe 1983; Jacek Tupalski, Generał Dezydery Chłapowski 1788–1879, Warszawa; Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej 1983; Krzysztof Chłapowski, Dezydery Chłapowski, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo DiG 1998; warto również przywołać obszerną mowę pogrzebową: Florian Stablewski, Mowa żałobna na pogrzebie Dezyderego Chłapowskiego. Poznań 1879 oraz Dezydery Chłapowski, Pamiętniki. Cz. 1–2, nakł. synów. Poznań; Drukarnia i Księgarnia św. Wojciecha 1899.
 Dezydery Chłapowski, Chłapowscy. Kronika rodzinna, uzupełnił i przygotował do druku Krzysztof Chłapowski, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo DiG 1998.
 Krzysztof Morawski, Wspomnienia z Turwi, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie 1981.
 Krzysztof Morawski, Z Krakowa i Wielkopolski, Wydawnictwo Mayfly Warszawa, 2016.
 Bożenna Szulc-Golska, Wielkopolskie biblioteki prywatne, Poznań: Rolnicza Drukarnia i Księgarnia Naukowa 1929.
 Michał Mencfel, Skarbce natury i sztuki. Prywatne gabinety osobliwości, kolekcje sztuki i naturaliów na Śląsku w wiekach XVII i XVIII, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo DiG 2010.
 Zygmunt Świechowski, Budownictwo romańskie w Polsce. Katalog Zabytków, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich 1963, s. 222, tegoż Katalog architektury romańskiej w Polsce, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo DiG 2009, s. 397.
 Emilian Prałat, Wielcy w niepozornym. August Šenoa, Josip Eugen Tomić i polsko-chorwacka korespondencja. Stosunki kulturalne między Wielkopolską a Chorwacją w XIX wieku. / Velikani u neprimjetnome. August Šenoa, Josip Eugen Tomić i poljsko-hrvatsko dopisivanje. Kulturne veze između Velike Poljske i Hrvatske u 19. stoljeću, Poznań-Łódź: Dom Wydawniczy Księży Młyn 2014, s. 333.
 Litanic Verse I. Origines, Iberia, Slavia et Europa Media, edited by Witold Sadowski, Magdalena Kowalska, Magdalena Maria Kubas, Frankfurt am Main 2017, ISBN 9783631663509, p. 207-264