Wojciech Kowalczuk


Category IV. Scientific research, documentation and animation, popularization of folk culture


Wojciech Kowalczuk – ethnographer, museologist. Author of numerous research-exhibition projects focused on folk handicrafts in north-east Poland. He specialises in research into traditional arts and crafts.

Białystok, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Podlasie

Wojciech Kowalczuk has been devoted to contemporary arts and crafts of the rural areas since the beginning of his professional career. He offers his expertise to the folk artists and craftsmen. His cooperation with the artisans from Podlasie gave fruit in the creation of the first cultural tourist trail in Poland, which preserves the manufacturing practices in unique workshops that still apply traditional technologies and designs.

He has initiated and realised a number of events aimed at promoting the folk art and regional products from Podlasie, Lithuania and Belarus; he is an author of research projects dedicated to the folk culture of north-east Poland, such as double-warping, Podlasie-style artistic papercutting, blacksmith crosses and grey ceramics.

He has provided substantive support to thirty editions of the contest for the best double-warp cloths at the weaving centre in Janów. For about a dozen years, he taught regional education and folk art at the branch of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Białystok. He has helped make ethnographic film documentaries about traditional handicrafts and has published a host of catalogues, guides and press articles.

Kowalczuk is a seasoned field researcher gifted with an open mind and an uncanny ability to listen to and interact with the people who have been directly involved in the promotion of the arts and crafts from Podlasie for almost fifty years. He is eager to share the knowledge he has garnered in his publications and exhibitions, as well as through direct contact with the younger museologists.

In recognition of the cultural dissemination and his museological activities, he has been given the Gold Cross of Merit, the medal ‘For Merit to Polish Culture’, the bronze medal ‘For Merit to Culture Gloria Artis’, as well as the Award and Medal In Memory of Zygmunt Gloger.