Restoration: An Art Restorer’s Journey through Communist Poland

In March 1984, as Poland was recovering from martial law, picture restorer Helen de Borchgrave travelled to the beleaguered country carrying provisions and forbidden books. This talk gives a glimpse of what life was like in Gdansk, Warsaw and Krakow.

Portrait of the author Helen de Borchgrave by Leszek Sobocki, 1987.

During the following years, Helen returned to Krakow, to restore masterpieces at the Royal Wawel Castle Museum. Her memoir charts in meticulous detail her observations of an impoverished bur resilient people struggling under Communism. The fortitude and faith she encountered from the people who befriended her changed the course of her life.

Helen de Borchgrave is a fine art conservator and consultant, specializing in oil painting restoration. She trained Art with Professor Ruhemann of the National Gallery in London. She also has M.A. in Creative Non-Fiction from the University of East Anglia.

She has contributed articles to various publications. Specifically she has published accounts of her experiences in Poland in: Arts Review, Art and Artists, Jewish Chronicle and Country Life. She is a member of the Association of International Art Critics and Society of Authors, and has led art tours to Poland, and throughout Europe.

Helen de Borchgrave is the author of A Journey into Christian Art (Lion, 1999).

The event organising by Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries and will have form of a Zoom webinar. All those who book will receive the link to join in an email from the library prior to the event.

The online meeting will be held on 27 September 2021 at 19:30 CEST.


Registration link: 

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