Association of Polish Artists and Designers

Association of Polish Artists and Designers

ZPAP main office in Warsaw

ZPAP main office in Warsaw
Abbreviation ZPAP
Type NGO
Headquarters Warsaw, kamienica Efrosa at ul. Nowy Świat 7
Coordinates 52°14′30″N 21°00′56″E / 52.24167°N 21.01556°E / 52.24167; 21.01556
Official language

The Association of Polish Artists and Designers (Związek Polskich Artystów Plastyków, ZPAP) is an official association of professional artists in Poland, representing more than 8,500 learned artists working in the field of visual arts, including: painting, sculpture, graphic design, interior and set design, ceramics, fabric arts, as well as new media, and art restoration.

The Association was founded in 1911 in Kraków during the Partitions of Poland. In the interwar period until 1939 it served as a trade union and in 1945, following World War II, it was formally re-established as an association.[1][2] In 1980, ZPAP supported the Solidarity movement and opposed the imposition of martial law in 1981. Consequently, the military authorities disbanded the Association when it refused to retract its communiqués.[3][4] ZPAP operated unofficially until the restoration of democracy in 1989. Today, ZPAP features prominently across the country with 23 regional Chapters, paid staff, curators, publications, and regional art galleries promoting work of its members.[5]


ZPAP membership is limited to graduates of art faculties of relevant institutions of higher learning, with the main emphasis on regional Academies of Fine Arts. On top of its creative presence in major Polish cities, the Association operates two professional development retreats, in Ustka and in Świnoujście.[5] It sponsors dozens of commercial art galleries across Poland as well as selected stores with professional art supplies. ZPAP organizes a number of annual events, and offers its own Jan Cybis Award for creative achievement. In 1996 the Association organized the UNESCO conference around the international status of an artist.[5] It is the leading advocacy group working in conjunction with the Polish governmental agencies regulating labor laws applicable to practising art professionals. ZPAP is represented in the World Executive Committee of the International Association of Art (IAA).[6]

Since 1996, ZPAP manages copyrights of about 1,000 members and is in charge of issuing licenses for the commercial use of their artwork. The economic nonprofit activity of the Association is geared toward generating funds necessary for the maintaining of its venues, as well as providing financial support for members in need.[6]

The main office of ZPAP is in Warsaw and is located at the upper floor of the historic kamienica Efrosa at ul. Nowy Świat 7 (pictured), where Princes of the Lubomirski family once lived in the 18th century. The building was rebuilt with its original baroque portal intact following wartime destruction of the Polish capital.[6]

Regional chapters of ZPAP are located in the following cities: Białystok, Bielsko-Biała, Bydgoszcz, Częstochowa, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kielce, Koszalin, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, Olsztyn, Opole, Poznań, Radom, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Toruń, Warszawa, Wrocław, Zakopane, Zielona Góra, and Gliwice.


  1. Glenn Sujo, Legacies of Silence. Published by New Age Publishers, 2001; 127 pages. ISBN 0-85667-534-2.
  2. artluk Magazine with funds by Polish Ministry of Culture and Art. (English) (Polish)
  3. Umbrella Magazine, Item notes: v. 5-7, page 68. Published by Umbrella Associates, U.S., 1982
  4. Joanna Inglot, The Figurative Sculpture of Magdalena Abakanowicz, page 95. Published by University of California Press, 2004; 154 pages. ISBN 0-520-23125-2.
  5. 1 2 3 Instytut Adama Mickiewicza, "Sztuki wizualne: Związek Polskich Artystów Plastyków" at ISSN 1734-0624 Nr 2628
  6. 1 2 3 Official webpage of The Association of Polish Artists and Designers (English) (Polish)
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