Mr. Rafal Olbinski in Seattle, May 16-17, 2003

The events summary

May 16 & 17,


Mr. Olbinski comes to the University of Washington in Seattle as an invited speaker on May 16, 2003. His illustrated talk is one in the series of lectures organized be the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures to commemorate 50 years of teaching Polish at the UW.

Using this opportunity, the Slavic Dept and the Polish Home Foundation joined forces to organize an exhibition of Mr. Olbinski's posters. The main exhibition runs from May 3 to 30, 2003 at the Suzzallo library of the UW; a smaller companion exhibition runs in parallel at the Polish home.

Besides a public lecture on May 16, Mr. Olbinski is also going to have a meeting with the students of the School of Arts and we also have a fundraising lunch with him on May 17.  Click here to download a flyer with details.

Here is a poster gallery containing Mr. Olbinski's works.  And a review with a more detailed look at Olbinski.

A short biography

Rafal Olbinski image

Mr. Rafal Olbinski is a contemporary surrealist, a painter as well as a graphic artist and stage designer. He has been creating posters for over 20 years and is very well known for his series of opera posters. Born and educated in Poland, for the last 15 years Mr. Olbinski has been associated with the famous School of Visual Arts in New York as a professor and an instructor. His many poster awards include the International Oscar for the World’s Most Memorable Poster Prix Savignac 1994 in Paris. More on Olbinski

The lecture

May 16, 7 pm

Abstract: Our times bring the phenomenon of blurring the line between fine arts and applied or commercial art. Mr. Olbinski, a master of visual language, moves with the same ease from typography to opera stage design and applies his skills to paintings as well as posters and, recently, to animated movies. His illustrated lecture will focus on artistic challenges and dilemmas of a 21st century artist.

Where: at the Kane Hall, the UW campus, at 7 pm on May 16. Admission free.

Please come earlier to see the Olbinski Poster Exhibition at hall 102 of the Suzzallo library. The library will stay open for the exhibition visitors on the night of May 16 from 6 to 7 pm.

The Olbinski Poster


May 3-30,


The UW exhibition gathers about 40 of his excellent posters from different periods and of different subjects. Besides a section devoted to opera posters it features theatre, movie, exhibition and festival posters as well as posters and calendars commissioned by commercial companies and City of New York. The exhibition will run from May 3 to 30 at the Suzallo library at the University of Washington campus. A smaller companion exhibition will also run at the Polish Home in Seattle.

Der Rosenkavalier; Olbinski

Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier

opera poster - olbinski - traviatta

Verdi, La Traviata

jazz poster - olbinski  - northsea jazz fest.

Northsea Jazz Festival



at the Suzzallo library

At hall 102, immediately on the right to the main entrance to the library, at the UW campus; open daily, admission free. Library hours. Also see below.

Please note, the library will stay open for the exhibition visitors on the night of May 16 from 6 to 7 pm, that is immediately before Mr. Olbinski's lecture.


at the Polish Home

At the lower floor in the Polish Home in Seattle. open every Friday and during scheduled events; in particular on May 16 & 17, 2003, admission free.



Private lunch with Mr. Olbinski on May 17 at 1 pm

This lunch will be held at Mr. & Mrs. Pawluskiewicz residence in Seattle to honor Mr. Olbinski. The lunch is a fundraiser for the exhibition and its main sponsor, the Polish Home Foundation. To obtain an invitation, please support the exhibition through a donation to the cultural fund of the PHF as outlined below. An additional attraction during the lunch will be drawing of free prizes, a book, a calendar and a poster signed by Mr. Olbinski.

bullet Albums, calendars and posters with Mr. Olbinski’s art will be available at very reasonable prices during exhibition

Some books will be available at the University Bookstore’s stand at Kane Hall on May 16. A wide selection of albums, calendars and posters can be bought or ordered at the Polish Home library or through the Polish Home Foundation


Volunteers needed!

The Foundation is always looking for volunteers to help with organizing events. Please contact Ryszard to discuss how you can help!

We also need donations in money to support this and other events.