Museum in Poland to honor artistic family with Wilmington connection


WHS grad Hagen’s work to be part of exhibit

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



This is the show poster for an art show displaying four generations of Gutkowski Family artwork. Scheduled for August, the show had to be postponed, but will be held later.

This is the show poster for an art show displaying four generations of Gutkowski Family artwork. Scheduled for August, the show had to be postponed, but will be held later.


Courtesy image

Gregory L. Gutkowski Hagen at work.


Courtesy photo

Works by artist Gregory Gutkowski Hagen will be in a museum exhibit in Biecz, Poland as part of an art show displaying four generations of the Gutkowski Family artwork. Hagen is a 1967 graduate of Wilmington High School.

The show will include pieces by Hagen’s grandfather Wladyslaw Gutkowski who was a mayor of Biecz in southeastern Poland. And the exhibit will have artwork by an uncle, plus Hagen himself, and a nephew and niece of Hagen to round out four generations of family artists.

The preparation for the show by museum officials and by family has helped him learn family history Hagen said he had not previously known.

The announcement from the Biecz Museum states the elder Gutkowski who died in 1938 — Hagen’s grandfather — was a military officer, social activist and progressive mayor of Biecz considered responsible for the electrification of the village. His accomplishments included art shows in Poland.

The show will also feature biographical material, documents and photographs of Wladyslaw’s daughter Barbara who was arrested in 1942 by occupation forces and sent to work in Germany for the duration of the war and who never returned to Biecz, the place of her birth. She is Hagen’s mother.

Hagen had figured that family artwork had been plundered by the occupation forces during the war. But happily the museum had at least some of Wladyslaw’s art as part of its collection. Whether some of his grandfather’s artwork was stolen by members of the occupation cannot be determined because no catalog existed of what was lost, according to the museum’s announcement of the show.

Due to mitigating circumstances, an August show had to be postponed and the dates for the exhibit are yet to be determined but could be as early as this fall.

Hagen has accumulated five decades of creating art for industry as well as the fine arts world. He was born in Iowa and lived there until he was 12. He remembers his uncle John Gutkowski’s German art school textbooks. John Gutkowski is the second generation whose art will be on exhibit.

Hagen also had a strong interest in sculpture which manifested itself in industrial arts classes involving wood and metal working, as well as spending nights working with clay pottery at Wilmington College.

He received a scholarship from the Dayton Art Institute, as well as a full scholarship to the Chicago Art Institute.

He would use his creative talents for industrial companies as an industrial designer, illustrator, concept artist, graphic designer, logo designer and inventor.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

This is the show poster for an art show displaying four generations of Gutkowski Family artwork. Scheduled for August, the show had to be postponed, but will be held later.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/08/web1_SHOW-POSTER-02-1-.jpgThis is the show poster for an art show displaying four generations of Gutkowski Family artwork. Scheduled for August, the show had to be postponed, but will be held later. Courtesy image

Gregory L. Gutkowski Hagen at work.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/08/web1_at_work.jpgGregory L. Gutkowski Hagen at work. Courtesy photo
WHS grad Hagen’s work to be part of exhibit

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com