An inquiry into the presence of women at art academies in Poland 

Warsaw School of Fine Art 1919-1932, professor Tadeusz Breyer (right) with students in the sculpture studio. Photograph courtesy of the National Digital Archives, partner of the publication.      

Poland’s visual art academies are extremely feminised as places of study while exceptionally masculinised as places of work. The gender discrepancy between these two career stages – being a student and being a teacher – comparable only to that observed in theological schools, surprised us and became the main focus of this research.

The Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation is pleased to present the findings from an inquiry into the presence of women at public art academies in Poland. The report aims to identify cultural, environmental and psychological factors that contribute to women’s exodus from the system of higher art education.


                 I. aspirations, priorities and strategies;

                 II. psychological factors;

                 III. relations between students and academic teachers.


We researched nine major institutions offering visual art training. These are mostly, but not exclusively, Fine Art Academies (ASP):

- Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław

- Wladyslaw Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź

- Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow

- Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

- Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk

- Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice

- University of Fine Arts in Poznań

- Faculty of Visual Arts and Faculty of Painting and New Media at The Academy of Art in Szczecin

- Faculty of Fine Arts at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

Data has been collected from three sources: freedom of information requests, 966 surveys and 32 in-depth interviews.


Anna Gromada

Dorka Budacz

Juta Kawalerowicz

Anna Walewska



Daily Serving

LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science

VIDA - Women in Literary Arts 


Lilianna Antkowiak-Walewska, Klementyna Dec, Konrad Gałązka, Weronika Grzebalska, Brygida Gwóźdź, Filip Konopczyński, Monika Krygier, Jacek Michalak, Maciej Pańkow, Patrick Präg, Dagna Rams, Justyna Romanowska, Grzegorz Sadłowski, Prof. Renata Siemieńska-Żochowska, Anna Sterczyńska, Joanna Szczepanik, Anna Tatarczak, Mateusz Wojcieszak, Marcin Wolniewicz, Hanna Wróblewska, Aleksandra Zbroja.

We are grateful for advice and consultations offered by employees of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IFiS PAN): dr Katarzyna Andrejuk, dr Anna Kiersztyn, dr Anna Dyjas-Pokorska,  Prof. Kazimierz Słomczyński, prof. Franciszek Sztabiński, prof. Paweł Sztabiński, dr Kinga Wysieńska.

We are grateful for the support of the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, the Kalecki Foundation, students' senates and employees of academies.

The project has received honorary patronage of the Commissioner for Human Rights and  the Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment.

The project is co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.