The Only One Man Portrait: Contribution To the Biography of Halina Rząsa (1924–1980), a Zakopane Photographer
Although Halina Rząsa (1924–1980) was a photographer of considerable reputation in Zakopane, we are able to say next to nothing about her life and work. She is mostly remembered and mentioned as the wife and mother of two famous sculptors: Antoni Rząsa (1919–1980) and Marcin Rząsa (born 1965). The article looks at the history of the Zakopane artistic circles in order to reconstruct in detail the biography of this underappreciated artist. The author uses information and photographic material from a private family archive deposited in the Antoni Rząsa Gallery in Zakopane.
Halina Rząsa moved to Zakopane in the 1950s. Along with her first husband, Janusz Vogel, she worked with landscape and documentary photography, concentrating—among others—on the local artistic life. One of her main subjects was a well-known Zakopane sculptor, Antoni Rząsa. The two soon fell in love, had a son, and got married. Halina Rząsa’s subsequent photography reflected the daily life of her family, region, and the Tatra mountains. Today, it is a perfect source of data for an analysis of Antoni Rząsa’s oeuvre. At the same time, it is essential to understand that Halina Rząsa was a creative and innovative artist in her own right and deserves to be remembered and appreciated as such.
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