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The Medieval Stained Glass in Poland

About the Project

The objective of the project, conducted in the Art History Institute of the Jagiellonian University, is a comprehensive scholarly investigation of medieval stained glass in Poland. Initially, the work was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Lech Kalinowski (d. 2004), first by Hanna Pieńkowska and then by Helena Małkiewiczówna. The long-time research of these scholars resulted in a number of publications on Polish stained glass. After the death of Prof. Kalinowski and the retirement of Helena Małkiewiczówna the work was interrupted, but now has been resumed and will be continued under the present project.

The research focuses on all kinds of stained glass from the period before c. 1530, including those surviving in fragments, e.g. found during archaeological excavations. It encompasses every example of stained glass surviving within the boundaries of present-day Poland (in keeping with the principles set out by the International Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi), not only executed on site but also brought from abroad by collectors.

The project is part of an unprecedented undertaking, namely, the International Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA), established in 1952 in order to carry out comprehensive research on medieval stained glass and to restore it. Twelve European countries, the United States and Canada are members of the organisation. Each country is responsible for research on stained glass surviving within its borders. Poland joined the CVMA already in 1958. The work is conducted according to principles set out by the organisation, resulting in a coherent series of publications made up of volumes produced by individual countries. Each volume includes a complete catalogue of stained glass, a list of written sources and a photographic record.


Under the present project, the Polish section of the CVMA has been working on two volumes that are due to appear in German:

  • vol. I: The Stained Glass in Southern Poland: Lesser Poland, Przemyśl Land, and Silesia (Part one, dealing with the stained glass of St Mary’s Church in Cracow, appeared in 2018
  • vol. II: The Stained Glass in Northern Poland: Western Pomerania, Greater Poland and Masovia (as well as Eastern Pomerania and Kuyavia, areas to be dealt with in due course).

The current project, supported by a grant from the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities, encompasses the medieval stained glass of Lesser Poland, Przemyśl Land, Greater Poland, Silesia and Western Pomerania. It will enable the completion of the first volume of The Medieval Stained Glass in Poland (CVP), whereas the work on the second volume (the stained glass of Eastern Pomerania and Kuyavia) and the publication of vol. I.2: Lesser Poland and Przemyśl Land are planned to continue in the subsequent years.

  • Dr Dobrosława Horzela (project director)
  • Dr Joanna Utzig (art-historical research)
  • Dr Piotr Kołpak (archival survey)
  • Dr habil. Paweł Gut (archival survey)
  • Dr Paweł Karaszkiewicz  (conservation consultant)
  • Dr Marta Kamińska (conservation consultant)
  • Dr Daniel Podosek (photographic recording)
  • Halina Siemaszko, MA (drawings)