Check out this "Leader of the Polish Poster School,
with a special thanks to Ala Celinska Siwkiewicz for her beautiful write-up.

Henryk Tomaszewski 
b. 1914 in Warsaw, Poland  d. 2005


Henryk Tomaszewski 1914-2005 Warszawa, Poland

Polish artist, graphic designer, illustrator, most eminent representative of the Polish School of Poster Art, educator of many generations of Polish and European artists and graphic designers.

For over 50 years Tomaszewski was a fixture at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, where he first was a student graduating in 1939, then a professor from 1952 to 1985.

Very tall, handsome man even in the late years of his life, Henryk Tomaszewski was extremely popular and influential among his peers, students and art professionals across many generations of the post-war Poland. With a shapely bold head, long, expressive hands and an impeccable sense of style he dressed nonchalantly and never subscribed into passing styles and vogues du jour.

Focused, immersed deeply in his thoughts, he walked fast with purpose and precision. Detesting pose, cheap praise and platitudes Professor Tomaszewski was very stern and demanding of himself and his students, never shying away from biting criticism, often exposing one’s insincerity, phoniness and creative void.
His presence engendered deep respect mixed with anxiety and fear. His former students still reminisce on the days when the assignments were due as like the judgment days were upon them. At the same time they cherished those moments of clarity and resolution.

In 1950s Tomaszewski moved on to reduce his artistic vocabulary which used to be more painterly, toward simple and unembellished form. It often played on letter type, simple mark, laconic drawing, contrivance and visual puzzle. Through those devices he expressed his unique sense of humor, intellectual sophistication and esthetic poetry. He stayed true to that approach throughout his life.

His path and process of addressing visual and intellectual challenges were often evident in his methods as a teacher, where he would give the future graphic artists assignments based on abstract concepts and ideas. That approach stimulated their intellect and sensibility, shaping their logic, analytical thinking and imagination. He took time and deliberation when selecting the tasks and problems for his students to solve. Some of them still remain in mind to this day as very tough and challenging – “Prima Aprilis” (April’s Fools Day), “Dzień szatniarza” (Janitor’s Day), “Jest małe nic i Wielkie Nic” (There is little nothing and Great Nothing), or “Grubo/cienko” (Thick/Thin), "Wojsko" (Army) and "Szkola" (School). It was very easy to slip and fall through the thin ice in his class. Many a student faced his dry sarcasm and disdain. Very few deserved a nod. Some of them became great poster designers in their own right.

Generations of Polish artists and graphic designers passed through his master studio classes. Among them were Jan and Piotr Mlodozeniec (father and son), Marek Freudenreich, Mietek Wasilewski, Janusz Stanny and many others. Those who knew him in person referred to him as “King Henio” (a nickname and short for Henryk) - and not without reason.

- Ala Celinska Siwkiewicz

Henryk Tomaszewski studied painting at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts (1934-39, class of professor Mieczysław Kotarbiński), where he later (1952-85) became head of Poster Design Class on the Graphics Faculty, and professor. Tomaszewski was member of the elitist Aliance Graphique International (since 1957). He was also granted the title of Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by Royal Society of Arts in London.  Tomaszewski created his first poster designs in 1936. From 1945 until1947 he was a cartoonist for numerous satirical magazines. In 1947 together with Eryk Lipinski he started to design posters for Film Polski (the one and only Polish national movie distribution company). In 1950-52 Tomaszewski became a stage designer for the "Syrena" Theater in Warsaw. He past away in 2005 at the age of 91. NY TIMES

When Laurie Rosenwald, (an awesome illustrator by the way) visited Paul Rand's studio, she said the only picture hanging on his wall was this "MOORE" poster by Tomaszewski. That's a pretty darn good unspoken compliment. 

Henryk Tomaszewski z żoną Teresą Pągowską (his wife)

filming at a Tomaszewski poster show  

Wonderful work “King Henio”