Humanist modernity. Maciej and Stanisława Nowicki

Maciej (Matthew) Nowicki and Stanisława Sandecka-Nowicka and are two significant figures in the history of American and Polish architecture.

She was a talented graphic artist and designer and the first female professor of architecture in the history of the United States. He collaborated – despite his young age – with renowned architects on prestigious projects whose implementation was interrupted by his tragic death. Their story is a fascinating tale of creative passion, their life together, and the possibilities and limitations of the turbulent beginning of the 20th century. The dramatic history of their homeland, their lived experiences, but also a great hope for a better future laid the foundation for an innovative curriculum and architectural designs that changed the history of the profession. By combining the latest building developments with great respect for the local context, their readiness for dialogue and understanding of others, as well as their enormous talent, they created a humanistic modernism that opened the contemporary understanding of architecture to previously unknown realms.

If time had allowed his genius to spread its wings in full, this poet-philosopher of form would have influenced the whole course of architecture as profoundly as he inspired his friends.

Eero Saarinen 1910–1961, Finnish-American architect and interior designer, one of the most prominent figures in American architecture of the 1950s.


Place and dates

Place: United Nations Headquarters Delegates’ Entrance, New York

Dates: January 15 – January 26, 2024

More information soon


Organized by: National Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning
Co-organized by: Permanent Mission of the Republic of Poland to the United Nations in New York, Under the patronage of Krzysztof Szczerski, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Poland to the United Nations in New York
Collaborative input: Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York
Programming partner: Polish Cultural Institute New York
Scientific curator: prof. Bolesław Stelmach Ph. D. Arch.
Curator: Kacper Kępiński
Exhibition architecture: Only If Architecture (Karolina Częczek)
Visual identity: Katarzyna Nestorowicz
Editing: Urszula Drabińska
Translations: Natalia Raczkowska
Acknowledgments: Peter Nowicki, Dominika Stecyk, Izabela Gola, Agata Lupoměská, Izabela Iwanicka-Dzierżawska, Piotr Kibort, Ewa Perlińska-Kobierzyńska

Co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

photo: General view, source: Division of Archives and History Photograph Collection (State Archives of North Carolina Collection 4.1), State Archives of North Carolina