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Barbara  Legutko

Barbara Legutko, photography by Błażej Sendzielski
 

Barbara Legutko was born in 1942 in Chełm. Her family history has been connected with Greenpoint since 1910, when Barbara’s grandfather emigrated to the US. After the I World War he decided to come back to Poland with his family. After the outbreak of the II World War Barbara’s father moved back to New York, and after two years his wife and children joined him. In 1948, Barbara sailed to the US on board of MS Batory.

At first, Barbara’s parents lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Barbara’s father worked as a mechanic and after that he was employed at the Singer sewing machine factory. Barbara’s mother looked after the house and fostered their Polish family traditions. At home, she only spoke Polish and she used to take her daughters to Greenpoint to the Chopin Theatre to see Polish films.

Barbara got a degree in History of Art and Art Therapy (psychological therapy via art) at the Fine Art Academy. In New York, at a party organized by the Kościuszko Foundation to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland, Barbara met her future husband, a Pole. They got married in 1967. One year later, the Legutkos went to visit Poland. For Barbara, it was her first visit to Poland since she emigrated.

Barbara’s husband got a degree in civil engineering and his dream was to become a Polish art dealer. The Legutkos regularly visited Poland to take part in auctions of the Polish painters. They bought an old house in Greenpoint dated to 1893 and with time, they turned it into an art gallery. Barbara Legutko organized art therapy sessions.


Interviewed by Karolina Łukasiewicz, Ewa Dżurak and Ewa Maliga on 22nd June 2015 in New York City under the "Greenpoint. The Transition 2015” project. More at cultureshock.pl.

interview excerpts
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The history of emigration of Barbara's grandfather, father and Barbara.
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Seeing the Statue of Liberty and settling in the US
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"This world is no more”
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Dad in jazz band
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America lessons on TV
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Aeristic traditions in the family
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Greenpoint - a link to the past
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Cinema with Polish films
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gallery