Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


Paderewski mss., ca. 1916–1927, consist of hand–written letters, a typewritten letter and a postcard written by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, 1860–1941, to Jan F. Smulski during a period when Paderewski served as the first president of Poland during the Second Republic. Smulski was a Polish–American living in Chicago, who held offices in organizations relating to Polonia and the newly–restored home country.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski was born on November 18, 1806, in the village of Kurylówka, Podolia, then in the Russian Empire. Paderewski displayed an early interest in music; by the age of 12 he had been admitted to the Warsaw Conservatorium, graduating in 1878. His first wife died in 1881, following the birth of a son, after which Paderewski relocated to Berlin and then to Vienna where he made his musical debut in 1887. By 1891, he had acquired an international reputation as a virtuoso pianist. In 1899, Paderewski remarried to the Baroness de Rosen. After an extensive career as a concert pianist, Paderewski and his wife moved to the United States in 1913, where they eventually settled on the Rancho San Ignacio in San Luis Obispo County in California.

During World War I, Paderewski became an active member of the Polish National Committee, serving as the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (January –December 1919) of the newly independent Poland and representing Poland at the Paris Peace Conference. In 1922, he retired from political life, resuming his musical career with a concert at Carnegie Hall. With the outbreak of World War II, Paderewski again became involved in politics, becoming the head of the Polish National Council, a polish Parliament in exile in London. Paderewski died after a short illness on June 29, 1941 in new York City.

Acquired: 2008

Collection size: 40 items

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For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.