Temporary exhibition ‘JANUSZ FISZER – COLLECTOR’

On 16 December 2022, the opening of the exhibition ‘Janusz Fiszer – Collector’ took place at the University of Warsaw Museum.

The opening of the exhibition was attended, among others, by Prof. Alojzy Z. Nowak, Rector of the University of Warsaw, Prof. Zygmunt Lalak, Deputy Rector of the University of Warsaw for Research Matters, Prof. Urszula Fiszer – the donor of the collection, and Prof. Hubert Kowalski, Director of the University of Warsaw Museum. The exhibition’s principal partner, the De Republica Institute, was represented by Joanna Gepfert, the Institute’s Deputy Director.

The exhibition was dedicated to Dr Janusz Fiszer (1957–2019), a recognized expert on Polish and international tax law. An aficionado of history, expert on the British Empire, and a collector of antiquities, old prints and books, he built up a thematically, chronologically and topographically coherent collection which centred around his interests. It included objects – never before published – mainly related to the history of Anglo-Saxon countries, but also with Poland, Italy and France. The uniqueness of the collection is due not only to the number of objects collected (13,000, not including 432,000 stamps). The collection of the University of Warsaw Museum has been enlarged with artefacts which include leaves deriving from medieval illuminated manuscripts (fourteenth and fifteenth century) and incunabula, priceless archival materials, including a collection of papal bulls, documents signed by European monarchs – including British (from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II, Napoleon I and III, August III), presidents of the United States (including Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Richard Nixon), as well as figures such as Benito Mussolini and Winston Churchill. It also includes a collection of securities (nineteenth and twentieth century) issued by the world’s leading railway, automobile and mining tycoons. The artefacts donated include a cartographic collection with historical maps of Europe, Africa and the colonies of the British Empire, old prints, antique inkwells, British orders, and a collection of autographs.

When he began his career at the University of Warsaw, Dr Fiszer undertook to educate young people to become ideological and enlightened citizens capable of taking an active part in the development of the economy and culture, as well as the university’s academic, research and promotion activities. He did this throughout his career as an outstanding lecturer. In conversations with people close to him, Dr Fiszer often mentioned that he owed everything he had achieved – his knowledge and professional position – to his Alma Mater. This is why Prof. Urszula Fiszer decided to donate to the University of Warsaw, a collection extremely close to her husband. In 2020, the University became the owner of a priceless collection, meticulously amassed by one of its former students, graduates and employees.

Dr Janusz Fiszer’s artefacts are wonderful exhibits of unquestionable academic value, allowing future generations of students, doctoral students and researchers to broaden our knowledge of the past.

Honorary patronage: Rector of the University of Warsaw

Organized by: University of Warsaw Museum

Co-organized by: ‘Varia’ Fundacja Nauk Humanistycznych Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Association of University Museums

Main exhibition partner: De Republica Institute

Project support by a donation from: PWPW S.A.

Photo: De Republica Institute/Paweł Konarzewski, University of Warsaw/ Mirosław Kaźmierczak, University of Warsaw Museum/Łukasz Kamiński