Maria Poprzęcka (b. 1942 in Warsaw) is an art historian, theorist and critic. She was a long-term director of the Institute of Art History at the University of Warsaw.
Poprzęcka is a leading scholar in contemporary and nineteenth-century art with a particular interest in painting. She has a longstanding interest in methodological and axiological issues mostly resulting from research on contemporary art and its broad critical and theoretical contexts.
She was head of Postgraduate Museum Studies at the University of Warsaw and head of the Department of the History of Ideas in Art. Since 1998, she has been president of the Association of Art Historians. She is a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Warsaw Scientific Society. From September 2005 to March 2007 she was a member of the Programme and Council Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Until 2008, she was a director of the Institute of Art History at the University of Warsaw. She is a member of the board of the Princes Czartoryski Foundation.
Poprzęcka regularly organises conferences on methodology in Nieborów. She has authored several books, including O złej sztuce (On Bad Art, 1998), Pochwała malarstwa (In Praise of Painting, 2000), Inne obrazy. Oko, widzenie, sztuka. Od Albertiego do Duchampa (Other Images. The Eye, Vision, Art. From Alberti to Duchamp, 2008), as well as numerous accessible texts on art published in magazines such as Wysokie obcasy/ High Heels. She writes a regular column in Dwutygodnik/Biweekly.
In 2012, Maria Poprzęcka published the book Uczta bogiń. Kobiety, sztuka i życie (The Feast of the Goddesses: Women, Art and Life) on which she commented:
The Feast of the Goddesses is an intimate meeting of twelve artists. The selection is my personal choice. There is no single criterion. On the contrary – I was captivated by the diversity of their fates and their art. Some of them evoke admiration – for talent, artistic and life achievements, even for their beauty, other seem unlikeable – they use their femininity to achieve particular goals, and they are even cynical. They all struggled with adversities in life. And they made art.
In 2003, she was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta ‘for outstanding achievements in scholarship and overall didactic work’. In 2009, she received the Gdynia Literary Award for the book Other Images..., and in 2010 – the Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for Arcydzieła malarstwa polskiego (Masterpieces of Polish Painting).
In March 2014, she was bestowed the honorary Jerzy Stajuda Art Criticism Award for:
a lifetime achievement as an art historian and art critic, and a great authority in this field. The members of the jury recognized the laureate’s style of writing and her ability to present difficult topics in a manner accessible to readers regardless of their level of expertise in the subject, as well as going beyond academic scholarship and popularizing art in daily magazines.
- 1974/1989 -Teoretycy, artyści, krytycy o sztuce 1700–1870/ The Theorists, Artists and Critics on Art 1700-1870 (with Elżbieta Grabska)
- 1977/1989 - Akademizm/ Academism
- 1986 - Czas wyobrażony. O sposobach opowiadania w polskim malarstwie XIX w/ Imagined Time. The Narrative in Polish Painting of XIX century
- 1991 - Polskie malarstwo salonowe/Polish Salon Painting
- 1997 - Arcydzieła malarstwa polskiego/Masterpieces of Polish Painting
- 1998 - O złej sztuce/ On Bad Art
- 2000 - Pochwała malarstwa. Studia z historii i teorii sztuki/In Praise of Painting. Study in History and Theory of Art
- 2003 - Galeria. Sztuka patrzenia/Gallery. The Art of Looking
- 2004 - Kochankowie z masakrą w tle i inne eseje o malarstwie historycznym/The Lovers with Massacre in the Background and Other Essays on Historical Painting
- 2009 - Inne obrazy. Oko widzenie, sztuka Od Albertiego do Duchampa/Other Images. The Eye, Vision, Art. From Alberti to Duchamp
- 2012 - Uczta bogiń. Kobiety, sztuka i życie/The Feast of the Goddesses.Women, Art and Life
- 2012 - 55 skarbów Polski/55 Polish Treasures
Source: ihs.uw.edu.pl, www.bwa.tarnow.pl, culture.pl, ed. AS, 23.04.2014/ transl. GS, January 2015