Friday, 26 October 2012

Witold Kay Korzeniewicz, continued

Witold Kay-Korzeniewicz
(1914 Poland – 1990 Betws y coed
British-Polish architect and London city planner
amateur painter and model boat builder.


Thanks to reader (and painting owner) Lizzy, here are some newly found facts concerning the artist and the  charming "Grosvenor School" steam tug. The article-posting was the reason for Lizzy to contact by  telephone Mrs. Kay Korzeniewicz who, surprised by the attention, explained her husband was not only a of steam tug enthousiast and a keen amateur painter (there are probably more paintings by his hand surviving) but also a very skilled model boat builder. 

They've met in Scotland, where she, as a musician, entertained the Polish 309 Polish RAF Squadron, stationed in Renfrew and later near St. Andrews in the early 1940's. I found a large photograph with this 309 sqaudron but the (first?) members on it are not identified. Later Witold finished the architect school in Liverpool where he might not have been the only owner/builder of a model steam tug of this type. Mr. Korzeniewitcz also designed their home in Betsw (Wales). 

And I've found a model steam tug that has great similarities with the painting and the model 'RENO" build by Mr. Fox that is in the Liverpool Museum. It's named 'SANSON' and is available in Australia to this day.

If it is 100% after an original design l don't know yet, but, for the small difference of 3 or 4 portholes, it's very much after the design of these Liverpool steam tugs, designed and build in 1915 and 1922 in this great photograph (below) from the mid-late 1950's and taken in Birkenhead Alfred Basin. It is showing three Rea Towing Company steam tugs. And:  compare the funnels in company colours in Mr. Fox model and in the painting. These tugs were put out of service and demolished soon after in 1961 and 1962: Yorkgarth (left) and Graygarth (right). Carlgarth, a slightly smaller steam tug, lies in the middle

Here's a nice, but more contemporary, linocut print of a steam tug with a touch of that great North German painter and printmaker Emil Nolde (1867-1956) by a (most probably) American printmaker because there's where I found it. It is signed Keating '75. Hopefully a reader knows or recognises the printmaker, because I've choosen it my October New Acquisition Print as a lasting reminder of Mr. Korzeniewics painting but sofar failed to find the printmakers identity.

Please do not hestitate leaving additions or comments to this (or any other) posting. 

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use.


  1. Hi Gerrie,

    Your new acquisition is nifty. Your research reminded me that I knew a couple at the assisted living where my mom is - she was Scottish and he Polish. She'd been married to a Polish airman she'd met in Scotland, but he was killed in the war. Then she married his Polish comrad and they emmigrated to California, where they has a good life. Then were brought to Idaho for their old age by a daughter. Her nickname was Nessie for Agnes, so if you have contact with Mrs. Korzeniewitcz again, you can pass on that Nessie got dementia, but could still sing the old Scottish ballads. It's a small world, you know.


    1. It is indeed a small world Karen. I think Lizzy, who made the contact witg Mrs. K. or possible relatives will pick up your comment and "Nessie" because this perticular posting is read far more often then other postings before. With the exeption maybe of "the Bathers". I think people like the little brave tug. And I hope also the story behind it. Thanks !

    2. I am researching the Polish School of Architecture at Liverpool University and would appreciate any further information or contacts regarding Mr Zorzeniewicz and his work following his graduation/family etc. Any help would be most appreciated.

    3. I'm always trying to be helpful but I hope you'll understand: not in this way. I mean, who is I ? There's an address in the contact-button above if you want to avoid mentioning your name in public. Thanks.

  2. Lovely to see the additional pictures