THE 125TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF PETER MICHAL BOHUN CELEBRATED IN THE MUSEUM IN BIELSKO-BIALA (Obchody 125 rocznicy smierci Petera Michala Bohuna)
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AOwing to their location between Little Poland and SiIesia Bielsko and Biala offered attractive conditions for living and work. Here, for centuries a specific. multinational and multicreed social conglomerate emerged in which artists were capable of finding not only numerous recipients for their art, but predominantly wealthy patrons. 22 May marks the 125th anniversary of the death of Peter Michal Bohun, painter and graphic artist and one of the most important artists active in the second half of the nineteenth century in Bielsko-Biala. This day was simultaneously an excellent occasion for recalling the accomplishments of an artist who has become a permanent part of the cultural landscape of both towns, and whose oeuvre exceeds well beyond the local environment. Peter Michal Bohun was born on 29 September 1822 in Velicna (Orava), in the family of a Protestant pastor. He studied art at the Prague Academy, and subsequently dealt with lithography and drawings, painted theatre curtains and compositions with genre, historical and religious motifs, winning recognition predominantly as an outstanding author of portraits - the likenesses of numerous representatives of assorted social estates. In a search for economic and life stability Bohun left Slovakia in 1865, and settled down, together with his family, in the Galician town of Lipnik (today: a district in Bielsko-Biala), starting a new period in his oeuvre. Apart from portraits Bohun accepted commissions for sacral paintings for the local Roman-Catholic churches. Up to this day, his works constitute part of the outfitting of numerous churches in SiIesia and Little Poland. The Museum in Bielsko-Biala, whose collection contains twenty works by P. M. Bohun, has prepared numerous events to commemorate the anniversary of his death: an international scientific session attended by Polish and Slovak researchers, a ceremonious opening of an exhibition, an unveiling of a commemorative plaque on a building known as the Kontzer manor house, in which the artist lived and worked, as well as a magnificent concert. A lavishly illustrated Polish-Slovak-English album of the artist's works in the museum collection has been additionally enhanced with a catalogue of works discovered in Poland in public, private and Church collections.
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