Eugene M. Dyczkowski
Eugene M. Dyczkowski was a Polish-American painter, muralist, illustrator, and teacher. He was born May 1, 1899 in Philadelphia. He showed artistic ability from an early age, and as a teenager, he began his professional studies under caricaturist Eugene Zimmerman. He entered into the Albright Art School in 1923, where he studied under Urquhart Wilcox. He also studied with John Rummell, Arthur Lee, and Eliot O’Hara at the Buffalo School of Fine Arts.
In 1924, Dyczkowski was featured in his first exhibition with the Buffalo Society of Artists. He would exhibit with the organization throughout his career, and it was through these shows that he began to receive recognition for his work. He also exhibited at the World’s Fair in Warsaw, Poland in 1929. Dyczkowski was appointed to be the assistant educational director at the Albright Art Gallery in 1933 and served as president of the Buffalo Society of Artists from 1936-1939. During the 1930s he also worked as a muralist under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), painting several murals including Defending Forts at Fort Niagara, which depicts the evolution of warfare throughout history, and two murals at Burgard Vocational High School in Buffalo.
Dyczkowski also co-founded the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo, serving as its first president from 1945-1946. His efforts with the club raised awareness about the significance of Polish heritage and promoted Polish culture. Similar Polish Art Clubs were subsequently established across the country. After the clubs’ first national conference, Dyczkowski was elected to be the National Council’s first president.
By the 1950s Dyczkowski’s painting style began to shift from realism to abstract expressionism. He advocated for modern art and emphasized the importance of representational painting and freedom of expression. In the process he discredited all his previous work, claiming that his training was a waste and of little merit. He spent the next thirty years exploring his abstractionist style and was highly regarded for his work. In 1982 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Buffalo Chapter of the Polish Arts Club. Dyczkowski died in 1987. His works are included in the permanent collection of numerous galleries, including the Castellani Art Museum in Niagara Falls, New York, the Tennessee State Museum, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.