About Józef Sławiński

Józef Sławiński, born in 1905 in Poland and trained there and in Italy as a muralist, first came to Western New York on a visit in 1961-63. He returned in 1964 and lived and worked in the Buffalo Niagara area until his death in 1983.

Sławiński, a remarkably gifted artist whose work has been compared to such great Mexican muralists as Diego Rivera, worked in a variety of media, including fresco, hammered copper, scratched tempera, and wrought iron, but his favorite medium was sgraffito, a subtractive technique involving two or more layers of cement which need to be worked on while still wet.

Father Justin and the Rosary Hour, 1967, sgraffito
Father Justin and the Rosary Hour, 1967, sgraffito

Lobby, Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY

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St Joseph Calasanctius, 1973, sgraffito, 18' x 12' The Graycliff Estate, Derby, NY
St Joseph Calasanctius, 1973, sgraffito, 18' x 12' The Graycliff Estate, Derby, NY

The Graycliff Estate, Derby, NY - moved to Buffalo State College

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Spirit of Buffalo, 52" x 40", sgrafitto
Spirit of Buffalo, 52" x 40", sgrafitto

Buffalo City Hall The major feature is the City Hall with the McKinley monument. Also prominent are a bison, the Skyway, ships on the waterways, grain elevators, factory smokestacks and office buildings, all tied together with sweeping lines indicating highways and the dynamics of a powerful city.

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Father Justin and the Rosary Hour, 1967, sgraffito
Father Justin and the Rosary Hour, 1967, sgraffito

Lobby, Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY

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Sławiński extended the technique to four layers of colored cement, a technique that gave magnificent results but was very labor intensive and one that, to the best of our knowledge has not been duplicated in the United States. Though his work is found throughout the US, his richest body of work is in the Buffalo Niagara region.

The Polish Arts Club of Buffalo seeks to document Sławiński oeuvre by creating a list of Sławiński's known artworks (see list below) and by bringing before the public images of his artworks, hence this website. We are conscious, however, that some of the images, having been taken by amateur photographers, do not do justice to Sławiński artwork. We have none the less decided to post these on the Internet in the interest of alerting the public to the scope of Sławiński artistic output. Should anyone with professional training in photography be willing to help us obtain better images, please contact us, your help would be much appreciated.

Known Sławiński artworks located in Western New York - listed chronologically

  • Scenes from the Life of the Blessed Virgin, (1963), five sgrafflti, Presbytery of the Church of the Assumption, Buffalo, NY [1].

  • Lithurgical Symbols, (1963), seven sgrafflti, Presbytery of the Church of the Assumption, Buffalo, NY [1].

  • Last Supper, (1964), sgraffito, Chapel of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Stella Niagara, Lewiston, NY [1].

  • President John F. Kennedy Peace Memorial, (1964), sgrafflto, Stella Niagara.Lewiston, NY [1].

  • St. Francis, (1964), sgrafflto, Chapel of St. Francis, Stella Niagara, Lewiston, NY [1].

  • Baptism of Mieszko I, (1967), hammered copper with gold, Baptistery, St. Joseph Cathedral, Buffalo, NY.

  • Coronation of the Blessed Virgin, (1964), Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY.

  • The arrival of Polish Immigrants in Texas, (1964), Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY.

  • St. Maximillian Kolbe, (1964), Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY.

  • The Baptism of Mieszko I, (1964), Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY.

  • Father Justin of the Rosary Hour, (1964), Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY.

  • Canticle of the Sun, (ca. 1964), sgrafflto, Daemen College, Amherst, NY.

  • Copernicus, (1966), sgraffito, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY.

  • St. Francis, (1967), sgraffito, Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY.

  • Crucifix, (1967), wrought iron, Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY.

  • St Joseph (1967), wrought iron, Chapel, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Athol Springs, NY.

  • St. Joseph Calasanctius, (1967), sgraffito, Graycliff Estate, Derby, NY.

  • Fryderyk Chopin, (Ca. 1968), sgrafflto, Library, Villa Maria College, Cheektowaga, NY.

  • The Artist as Creatorr, (1968), sgrafflto, Daemen College, Amherst, NY.

  • Commodore Perry at Black Rock, (1969), sgrafflto, West Hertel Middle School, Buffalo, NY.

  • Monte Cassino, (1969), hammered copper, St. Stanislaus Church, Buffalo, NY.

  • Seal of the City, (1969), hammered copper, Mayor's Office, City Hall, Buffalo. NY.

  • The Maid of the Mist, (1973), sgraffito, Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY.

  • Memorial Monument to Polish soldiers of World Wars I and II, (1973), wrought iron and copper, St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga, NY.

  • Buffalo's Polonia, (1973), three panels in sgraffito, Erie County Medical Center. Buffalo, NY.

  • Peace Mural, (1974), sgrafflto, Dome Chapel, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. Youngstown. NY.

  • Msgr. Peter J. Adamski, (1974), hammered copper, St. Stanislaus Church, Buffalo, NY.

  • Brian Lhota, OFM (1974), hammered copper, St. Bonaventure University, Olean, NY.

  • Katyń Memorial, (1980), hammered copper, Entrance Lobby, City Hall, Buffalo, NY.

  • Copernicus, (-), sgraffito, Library, Villa Maria College, Cheektowaga, NY

  • Known Sławiński artworks located outside Western New York - listed chronologically

  • Pope Paul VI, (ca. 1969), sgrafflto, Museum, Sanctuary of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA.

  • History of Poland, ten panels, (1969), sgrafflto, Resurrection Mausoleum, Chicago, IL.

  • Pope John Paul II (1979), hammered copper with gold and silver, House of the Pilgrim, Rome, Italy.

  • The Siege of Czçstochowa, (1979), fresco, Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Turners Falls. MA.

  • Communication, (1980), sgraffito, Institute for Scietific Information, Philadelphia, Pa

  • The Spirit of Buffalo,(-) sgraffito, Buffalo, NY, City Hall.

  • Polish Contributors to Humanity,(-) sgraffito, Buffalo, NY, Canisius College Library

Notes: [1] with the assistance/collaboration of Michał Baranowski

Known Sławiński artworks located in Western New York - listed alphabetically by location

  • Amherst, NY, Daemen College, Canticle of the Sun, (ca. 1964), sgrafflto.

  • Amherst, NY, Daemen College, The Artist as Creatorr, (1968), sgrafflto.

  • Athol Springs, NY, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Chapel, Coronation of the Blessed Virgin, (1964), sgrafflto,

  • Athol Springs, NY, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Chapel, St. Francis, (1967), sgraffito.

  • Athol Springs, NY, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Chapel, Crucifix, (1967), wrought iron.

  • Athol Springs, NY, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Chapel, St Joseph (1967), wrought iron.

  • Athol Springs, NY, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Chapel Lobby, The arrival of Polish Immigrants in Texas, (1964), sgrafflto,

  • Athol Springs, NY, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Chapel Lobby, St. Maximillian Kolbe, (1964), sgrafflto,

  • Athol Springs, NY, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Chapel Lobby, The Baptism of Mieszko I, (1964), sgrafflto,

  • Athol Springs, NY, St. Francis Conventual Residence, Chapel Lobby, Father Justin of the Rosary Hour, (1964), sgrafflto,

  • Buffalo, NY, Church of the Assumption, Presbytery, Scenes from the Life of the Blessed Virgin, (1963), five sgrafflti, [1].

  • Buffalo, NY, Church of the Assumption, Presbytery, Lithurgical Symbols, (1963), seven sgrafflto, [1].

  • Buffalo, NY, City Hall, Entrance Lobby, Katyń Memorial, (1980), hammered copper.

  • Buffalo, NY, City Hall, Mayor's Office, Seal of the City, (1969), hammered copper.

  • Buffalo, NY, City Hall, The Spirit of Buffalo,(-) sgraffito.

  • Buffalo, NY, Canisius College library, Polish Contributors to Humanity,(-) sgraffito.

  • Buffalo, NY, Erie County Medical Center Entrance Lobby, Buffalo's Polonia, (1973), three panels in sgraffito.

  • Buffalo, NY. St. Joseph Cathedral, Baptistery, Baptism of Mieszko I, (1967), hammered copper with gold.

  • Buffalo, NY, St. Stanislaus Church, Monte Cassino, (1969), hammered copper.

  • Buffalo, NY, St. Stanislaus Church, Msgr. Peter J. Adamski, (1974), hammered copper.

  • Buffalo, NY, West Hertel Middle School, Commodore Perry at Black Rock, (1969), sgrafflto,

  • Cheektowaga, NY, St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Memorial Monument to Polish soldiers of World Wars I and II, (1973), wrought iron and copper.

  • Cheektowaga, NY, Villa Maria College, Library, Copernicus, (-), sgraffito.

  • Cheektowaga, NY, Villa Maria College, Library, , Fryderyk Chopin, (Ca. 1968), sgrafflto.

  • Derby, NY, Graycliff Estate, St. Joseph Calasanctius, (1967), sgraffito.

  • Lewiston, NY, Stella Niagara, Chapel of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart: Last Supper, (1964), sgraffito, [1].

  • Lewiston, NY, Stella Niagara, Chapel of St. Francis St. Francis, (1964), sgrafflto, [1].

  • Lewiston, NY, Stella Niagara, President John F. Kennedy Peace Memorial, (1964), sgrafflto, [1].

  • Niagara Falls, NY, 125 Buffalo Avenue, The Maid of the Mist, (1973), sgraffito.

  • Olean, NY, St. Bonaventure University, Brian Lhota, OFM (1974) hammered copper.

  • Rochester, NY, St. John Fisher College, Copernicus, (1966), sgraffito.

  • Youngstown. NY, Dome Chapel, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Peace Mural, (1974), sgrafflto.


Known Sławiński artworks located outside Western New York - - listed alphabetically by location

  • Chicago, IL, Resurrection Mausoleum, History of Poland, ten panels, (1969), sgrafflto.

  • Doylestown, PA, Sanctuary of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Museum, Pope Paul VI, (ca. 1969), sgrafflto.

  • Philadelphia, Pa, Institute for Scietific Information, Communication, (1980), sgraffito.

  • Rome, Italy, House of the Pilgrim, Pope John Paul II (1979), hammered copper with gold and silver.

  • Turners Falls. MA, Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, The Siege of Czçstochowa, (1979), fresco.

Notes: [1] with the assistance/collaboration of Michał Baranowski