Theme/Style – Figurative art, furniture, decorative art
Media – Wood sculpture, wood carvings
Artistic Focus – Adam Dabrowski was a respected and sought-after craftsman, whose work embodied the characteristics of the great southeastern wood-carving district of his native Poland, and also the Grinling Gibbons style of high-relief wood ornamentation. Dabrowski’s large-scale decorative work added distinction to both private homes and public buildings; but no less gracefully or skillfully executed were his smaller-scale figurative wood sculptures, which convey both a sense of fluid movement and classical harmony and simplicity.
Career Highlights –
- Adam Dabrowski was born in Poland in 1880, and studied art in Warsaw.
- In New York by 1915, Dabrowski worked in architectural and church woodcarving, and in 1923 he designed the Polish floats for a parade in Reading, Pennsylvania.
- In 1926 Dabrowski exhibited at the fifth annual exhibition of the Art-in-Trades Club, a showcase for New York City decorators at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel’s roof garden. Dabrowski’s carvings of objects from the natural world were exhibited in the show’s Twentieth Century Gallery.
- In 1931 Dabrowski’s birchwood chairs, tables and benches were on display at the Exhibition of Polish arts and crafts at the Home Making Centre in the Grand Central Palace exhibition hall on Lexington Avenue. Included were his carved panels of fruits and flowers as well as wood portrait sculpture.
- Dabrowski opened a school of wood carving in Brooklyn in 1929, and he exhibited in 1932 at Brooklyn’s Grant Studios, in a group show of portraits in many media.
- Dabrowski’s figure sculptures were installed in the chapel of Our Lady of Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut, dedicated in 1933; and his carving of a scribe is one of the decorations in the Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
- By 1941 Dabrowski had moved to Los Angeles, where he exhibited his sculpture at the Ebell Club’s annual competitive exhibition in 1943, along with Merrell Gage.
- Through the 1950s and 1960s Dabrowski worked in the Los Angeles area as a craftsman, designing and making fine wood furniture and fixtures for private homes, and his wood carvings also grace the chancel of the Westwood Hills Congregational Church, dedicated in 1968.
- Dabrowski gave private instruction in hand wood carving from his studio at 3918 Beverly Blvd. in the late 1960s. He passed away in Los Angeles in 1972.
- Dabrowski’s work is in the collection of New Jersey’s Newark Museum. His son, Richard Adam Dabrowski, also became a noted sculptor and carver.
Bibliographic references are available upon request.