Michael Z. Kislo Notebooks
1954-1974
3 boxes (1.25 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 246

Abstract

Polish immigrant who worked in a basket shop and as a machinist while residing in Florence, Massachusetts. Includes nine volumes of Kislo's writing (mostly in Polish and thematically religious, patriotic, personal, and autobiographical) and artwork (drawings and paintings with religious allusions, Polish costumes, weapons, imaginary animals and fanciful landscapes).

Access

The collection is open for research.

Languages:

English, Polish
Michael Z. Kislo Notebooks
1954-1974
3 boxes (1.25 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 246

Background on Michael Z. Kislo

Michael Z. Kislo (1896-1978) of Dzieciekowo, Poland, immigrated to the United States and married Mary A. Skowronek (1907-65) of Holyoke, Massachusetts. He began work in a basket shop in Northampton and eventually became a machinist at International Silver Company. The Kislos lived in Florence, Massachusetts.

Contents of Collection

The collection comprises 9 volumes (1954-74) of Michael Kislo's writing and artwork. The writing, mostly in Polish, handwritten and typewritten, is frequently religious, but also patriotic, personal, and autobiographical. It is usually in the form of "songs," as Kislo calls them. Allusions to the F.B.I., especially in 1962, are of interest.

The drawings and paintings are Chagall-like at times-a floating world of religious allusions. At other times, Polish costumes make appearances, as do weapons, imaginary animals, and fanciful landscapes. It is unclear whether the images are traditional, re-interpretations of traditional ones, or unique to Kislo's imagination.

The notebooks make accessible the thoughts and feelings of a Polish immigrant in a uniquely intense way, when ordinarily the inner life of this generation is lost to the future.

Collection inventory
Note

Volume numbers taken from cover.

Polish and English; much art; remarks on writing
1954-1955, 1962

Vol. 5
1955-1956, 1962-1963

Vol. 6
1956-1958, 1962-1963

Vol. 7
No artwork; nearly all Polish
1958-1960

Vol. 8
"John told the truth" around page ends
1960-1963

Vol. 9
March-June, 1971

Vol. un-numbered
Many drawings
November 1971-September 1972

Vol. un-numbered
No artwork
1974

Vol. un-numbered
No artwork
n.d.

Vol. un-numbered
Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired from: Susan Kislo via Stanley Radosh, 1989.

Processing Information

Processed by Linda Seidman.

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Michael Z. Kislo Notebooks (MS 246). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Art, Polish--Massachusetts--20th century.
  • Florence (Mass.)--Biography.
  • Immigrants--Massachusetts--Florence--Diaries.
  • Poles--Massachusetts--Florence.
  • Polish American artists--Massachusetts--Florence--Diaries.
Names
  • Kislo, Michael Z., 1896-1978--Notebooks, sktechbooks, etc.
  • Kislo, Michael Z., 1896-1978--Views on United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Genre terms
  • Notebooks.