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The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences organizes exhibits and lectures on a variety of topics designed to enrich the cultural life of our membership and the larger community, support Polish art and science, and to present Polish scholars engaged in various areas of research.
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You are encouraged to apply for PIASA membership if you wish to support an organization which for almost seven decades has advanced knowledge about Poland’s history and culture in the United States. All PIASA members receive a subscription to The Polish Review, an academic quarterly journal devoted to Polish affairs. Members have an opportunity to build networks and coalitions helpful for individual and group advancement.
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The Polish Institute is supported primarily by dues, gifts and grants from individuals, organizations, and foundations. Gifts of cash, stocks and bonds, real estate, insurance policies will help assure PIASA’s future. Bequests and memorial gifts are encouraged as well as “planned giving” vehicles such as charitable trusts. All gifts to the Polish Institute are fully tax deductible within Internal Revenue Code Regulations.
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Polski Instytut Naukowy w Ameryce

The scholarly community mourns the death of our distinguished colleague, Piotr S. Wandycz. The Institute is especially saddened by the loss of the most illustrious scholar to lead our organization. All tributes that have appeared celebrate his signal contributions to the study of Poland. He was a great scholar indeed. But, in reminiscing over the many years I have known him, I am reminded of a moment or two which I shall never forget as the capture what he was to me.

I was standing next to him, many years ago, at a celebration of an historic Polish event. He was, as always, dignified and restrained. Then unexpectedly, the orchestra began playing “My, Pierwsza Brygada.” He was transformed: suddenly he was alert, and singing energetically. “I like this!” He said smiling at me. It made him so happy. Why he was so suddenly and strikingly moved is answered by another incident which vouchsafes the answer to us all. One day I entered his office at Yale. He was sitting quietly in a large chair. The look on his face was wistful, perhaps sad. He looked up at me and said that he was thinking about old Poland. “Great borders to the East!” he said stretching his arm in an arc to the left. “Great borders to the West!” he added, making a large gesture to the right. Then he fell silent. I said nothing. Piotr Wandycz was a great historian, a great teacher but, as this moment taught, first, a Pole. God Bless Him. God Bless Poland.

It is with a great sadness that I inform you that Susanne Lotarski has passed away. Susanne lived her life with zest and commitment. She did important things that were hard to do - and she did them well. Susanne received her B.A. from Vassar College and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

She served several tours as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe and for 25 years was the Department’s Director for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Eurasia. Susanne excelled in this role, providing valuable service to the United States. She personally accompanied ten Secretaries of Commerce to conduct commercial negotiations with 27 countries (including China), participated in Presidential Missions, and led U.S. delegations to international organizations and conferences.

Happily, Susanne was recognized for this work, receiving the Commerce Department’s Gold Medal for initiatives supporting democracy and free markets in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Besides government service Susanne also served the larger community, serving an 18-month term as President of the Ukraine-United States Business Council, teaching political science at Vassar College, and serving as a Fellow of Columbia University’s Research Institute on Communist Affairs directed by the late Zbigniew Brzezinski. For a number of years Susanne was also President of the Washington Metropolitan Area Division of the Polish American Congress. Her publications include chapters in Gierek’s Poland (1973), The Anatomy of Communist Revolutions (1975), Russian-Eurasian Renaissance (2003), and numerous journal articles and was awarded Krzyż Oficerski Orderu Zasługi, in 1995.

I know Susanne best, however, for her tireless efforts as a member of PIASA. Susanne served as a Director of PIASA since 1989, Vice President since 2008, and also chaired our Membership Committee. The total length of her membership in the Institute stretched into decades. During this long period she performed uncountable services to PIASA and generously supported its activities. Energetic, loyal and passionate, a superb organizer and a dear friend, her loss leaves her colleagues bereft.

By Dr. Thaddeus V. Gromada

The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America (PIASA) mourns the passing of one its most distinguished members, Dr. Zbigniew Brzeziński, who brilliantly steered his adopted country’s foreign policy during the difficult years in the second half of the 20th century. Dr. Brzeziński association with PIASA began in the 1950s, shortly after receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1953 and his committment and devotion to the Polish Institute was unbroken until his death in May 26, 2017. Dr. Brzeziński served on PIASA’s Board of Directors for many years, was Vice President and, more recently, was a member of the Advisory Council. The Institute honored Dr. Brzeziński by electing him a “PIASA Fellow” and granting him its “Bronisław Malinowski Social Science Award” in 1995. As an active member, Dr. Brzeziński often participated in PIASA’s Annual Meetings held in New York, Washington, New Haven, Montreal and Kraków , Poland delivering significant Keynote addresses and lectures. In 2000 he received an Honorary degree from the Jagiellonian University during the Institute’s” return to its roots” Kraków Annual Meeting. Thanks to “Zbig”, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, PIASA officers began receiving invitations to White House and State Department briefings in the late 1970s, a practice that continued under Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush W. Although incredibly busy at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, the Center of Strategic & International Studies, consulting and frequent appearances on PBS, ABC, and other media outlets, Dr. Brzeziński always found time for PIASA. When we sought his advice and help he responded immediately, never failing us with his wise counsel. Dr. Brzeziński’s steadfast interest, encouragement and concrete support meant a great deal to PIASA and its members. When Dr. Brzeziński spoke, America listened. He was the “First Citizen of the Polish American community.” On March 8, 1995, Brzezinski wrote a letter in connection with the publication of PIASA’s 50th Anniversary Album, which contained the following inspiring words. “Today, the Institute is a vital link between the Polish American community and the newly independent Poland. As such it enriches the intellectual life of both America and Poland through cross-fertilization, exchanges of scholars, and systematic research and other forms of academic creativity” . These words should continue to inspire us to action. ZBIG, MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.

Elizabeth R. Vann -"Languages and Silence in the German-Polish Borderland - A New Publictaion is now available here

We are continuing the digitalization process of our archives, which are irreplaceable and have unique historical value to scholars and to Polonia. That ongoing project was made possible by your help, and the help of IPN, NDAP and Poland's Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The latest collections that are being digitalized include the documents of Andrzej Bobkowski (prepared with the assistance of Muzeum Emigracji in Gdynia) and parts of Lednicki Papers (co-finansed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage with the assistance of Fundacja na Rzecz Dziedzictwa Narodowego im. J. Pilsudskiego). By late September you will be able to access a portion of our first archival collections on line at no cost – with more to come.

about piasa

Polish Institute of Arts and Siences of America Location Line Art PhotoThe Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America (PIASA) is a national not-for-profit 501 c (3) tax exempt, academic, cultural organization founded in 1942. It maintains a center of learning and culture devoted to the advancement of knowledge about Poland and Polish America in the United States. Since 1986 its national headquarters is a five story townhouse on 208 East 30th Street, New York, N.Y. 10016 in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. The townhouse not only contains administrative and editorial offices, but also houses a specialized reference library and rich archives frequently visited by researchers from various parts of this country as well as from Poland. It also has an art gallery and small lecture hall where exhibits and lectures are organized . The Institute has approximately 1200 members, most of whom are regular members from academia, the arts, and professions. There is also a sustaining membership open to all who are interested in supporting the goals and mission of the Polish Institute. Student membership is available to graduate students.

what piasa does

PIASA fulfills its mission by engaging in the following activities:

  • Since 1956 regularly publishes The Polish Review, the only scholarly English language, multi-disciplinary quarterly journal exclusively devoted to Polish affairs
  • Publishes books under the PIASA BOOKS imprint
  • Operates The Alfred Jurzykowski Library and Archives, a specialized reference library on Polish studies, which contains over 35,000 volumes. With the cooperation of Visiting Research Archivists from Poland collects and processes archival materials related to Polish and Polish American studies.
  • Since 1978 organizes annually major multi-disciplinary conferences on Polish studies in connection with PIASA’s Annual Meetings
  • Cooperates with American academic organizations e.g. as an institutional member of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (formerly AAASS) participates in its National Conventions since 1972
  • Since 1990 cooperates closely with major Polish Institutions which include Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci (PAU), Polands National Archives (Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwow Panstwowych), Biblioteka Narodowa, Foundation for Polish Science, Semper Polonia Foundation, Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
  • Established the following $1000. awards to recognize and honor outstanding scholars and scientists living and working in the United States and Canada: Oskar Halecki Polish and East Central European History Award, Bronislaw Malinowski Social Science Award, Waclaw Lednicki Humanities Award, Casimir Funk Natural Science Award

notable quotes

“The Institute has gained full rights of citizenship in the field of learning and culture in the United States as well as in the world. It has won respect and many friends and has become one of the important points where the Polish spirit and Polish thought have come into contact with the spiritual heritage of the nations of the world”
Pope John Paul II, 1982

“Today, the Institute is a vital link between the Polish American community as well as America and the newly independent Poland. As such, it enriches the intellectual life of both America and Poland through cross-fertilization, exchanges of scholars, and systematic research and other forms of academic creativity.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1995

“The promotion of knowledge about Poland’s historic achievements is one of the most important Polish foreign policy aims. I am pleased to acknowledge that we can always count on the Polish Institute’s valuable experience and professionalism for our activities in the United States”.
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, former Foreign Minister of Poland, 2000