‘art in the periphery’ welcomes Tomasz Grusiecki


Regni Poloniae et Ducatus Lithuaniae voliniae, cut out from a large map, trimmed and pasted on a sheet, c.1680-1690, engraving with hand-coloring, British Museum, London

‘art in the periphery’ is pleased to announce the arrival of its newest member, Tomasz Grusiecki. A PhD candidate at McGill University, Tomasz is completing his dissertation on ‘Globalizing the Periphery: Poland-Lithuania, World-Making and the Contradictions of Exchange, 1587-1668’. This projects attempts to introduce Poland-Lithuania into recent discussions of early modern cross-cultural entanglement. In examining the status of Poland-Lithuania in the larger cultural landscape of the period, this project asks wider questions about the periphery’s impact on the center. But rather than understanding Poland-Lithuania’s impact through the prism of material, artistic or intellectual causality, this project foregrounds the center’s dependence on the periphery, arguing that the perceptions of Poland-Lithuania loomed large in the conceptualizations of Europe’s place in the world forged in Rome, Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna.

Tomasz’s next project, tentatively entitled Building New Capital / Making New Worlds: Spaces of Encounter in Warsaw, 1611–1657, will draw on his doctoral project, but instead of focusing on the representations of Poland-Lithuania as a liminal place between worlds, it will examine these worlds as they appeared in Warsaw: the new capital city of a recently formed confederate Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Although at Europe’s periphery, Warsaw was primed to become a site of cross-cultural mediation, given its location at the crossroads between the east and west.

Tomasz’s interests span early modern power dynamics, centers and peripheries, cross-cultural entanglement, and European perceptions of the wider world. His most recent publications include:

Between Sacred and Profane: Devotional Space, the Picture Gallery, and the Ambiguous Image in Poland-Lithuania‘, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 64, no. 4 (December 2015): 521–542.

Going Global? An Attempt to Challenge the Peripheral Position of Early Modern Polish-Lithuanian Painting in the Historiography of Art‘, The Polish Review 57, no. 4 (December 2012): 3–26.