A Colourful Character
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Daniel Mróz. Photo by Wojciech Plewiński
Experiences, Fiction

A Colourful Character

The Father of “Przekrój”’s Visual Style
Łucja Mróz-Raynoch, Mieczysław Czuma i Adam Macedoński, Łucja Mróz-Raynoch, Mieczysław Czuma, Adam Macedoński
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time 7 minutes

He spent half a century drawing illustrations, designing vignettes and the little hands that pointed “Przekrój”’s readers to the next page, coming up with cover layouts and typesetting pages – in short, he was one of the creators of “Przekrój”’s distinctive style. Indeed, he invented our magazine’s visual language. In this piece, Daniel Mróz – a great artist, a tender father, a colourful Cracovian, and a man who became an institution in his own right – is viewed through the recollections of his daughter, Łucja Mróz-Raynoch, and his colleagues, Mieczysław Czuma and Adam Macedoński.

These are excerpts from the monograph Przekrój przez Mroza by Janusz Górski and Łucja Mróz-Raynoch, published by the publishing house “czysty warsztat”.

Łucja Mróz-Raynoch: I’ve been told that people were afraid of my father because he was big and strong, and when he got upset he roared like mad – the sound would literally stop you in your tracks. Well, he was nearly 6.5 feet tall, and he was once a boxer, so I guess he could be quite intimidating.

Despite all that, my father never showed any signs of physical aggression, unless someone accosted him. Besides, that’s what he taught me: when someone accosts you, assume the worst. Don’t worry what will happen, just defend yourself as if that person meant to kill you. That’s probably because before the war my father did come close to being killed. One day, he was walking with his brother Sokrates and his fiancée – and I must add that his brother, though rather stout and very tall, looked rather wimpish. Some fellow accosted Sokrates, and father came to his defense. Seeing such a powerful opponent, the

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Matured into Immaturity
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With Filutek in the 40's, still in Toruń. Photo from Lengren family archive.
Experiences

Matured into Immaturity

The Life of Zbigniew Lengren
Katarzyna Lengren

“My father was always in a hurry; he was forever irritated, absent, preoccupied with romantic affairs and coming up with new jokes, which he then ‘tested’ on us regardless of our mood. Always young at heart, he will remain so forever.” Zbigniew Lengren, the celebrated illustrator of “Przekrój” who would celebrate his 101st birthday this February, is remembered by his daughter, Katarzyna.

His parents met before World War I and went on dates to the Zachęta art gallery in Warsaw. My grandmother used to say that this was probably the reason for her son’s artistic talent. She did not have artistic talents herself, and she was also tone deaf – her singing was terrible. However, she was beautiful, with a beauty that reflected the times. She did everything with deliberation, keeping perfect order all around her. She was even able to discipline her genes, that is, to be born with the exact kind of beauty that was fashionable in her time – how typical of her! My father’s father, Juliusz, was also extremely handsome, but he was far from disciplined in his life. Born in Poland to the Swedish Loenngren family (spelled with a double ‘n’), he spoke many languages, each with a comical Swedish accent. Well-educated and sophisticated, he received a commercial attaché job at Cedergren’s telephone company on Zielna Street, on the top-floor of Warsaw’s first skyscraper. Juliusz was bright and intelligent. He sang and played the guitar, loved Viennese cabarets and beautiful women. Everything that was permanent tired him – even marriage.

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