Józef Wilkoń



Illustration painter, great narrator, versatile artist, sculptor, stage designer, tapestry designer.

He has illustrated nearly 200 books for children and adults published in Poland and approx. 80 issued abroad in the country. Books with the artist’s illustrations have been translated into more than 20 languages. He also illustrates magazines, designs cards, postcards, calendars and other small graphic forms.

Józef Wilkoń’s works can be found almost all over the world, among others. In Japanese museums and many private collections.

He was born in 1930 in Bogucice. He studied art history at the Jagiellonian University (graduated in 1954) and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (studio of Prof. Adam Marczyński).

Since the beginning, Wilkoń’s creative interests have oscillated around nature and the animal world. The perfection of his workshop supported by his training as an art historian and his ability to observe closely allowed him to create a remarkable image of animals, with all the fidelity of nature: fairy-tale-like, full of fantasy, warmth and reflection. In 2018, thanks to the Master’s collaboration with Limited Edition Gallery, “Wilkoń’s Bronzes” were created, collectible casts of sculptures that were exhibited, among others. At the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow. In 2019, after more than sixty years, Wilkoń returned to painting female nudes, committing a series of 37 nudes published by Gallery Limited Edition in a collector’s edition of 5 pieces. He also creates digital paintings, which resulted in the series “Electronic Impressions” also published in limited editions by our Gallery.

Charismatic and infernally talented. He has been adored by art viewers for generations, a man of great class, loving life and all creatures.
He has won many prestigious Polish and foreign awards. He has had more than 80 solo exhibitions in Poland, as well as abroad. Among the more important are certainly “Wilkon’s Ark”, Zachęta Gallery, Warsaw (2008) and the exhibition at the Pompidou Center (1989). 2021 – “Zwierzyniec Królewski. Wilkoń at the Wawel Castle”, Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow 2019 – “Nude in the paintings of Józef Wilkoń”, House of Creative Work, Radziejowice
2015 – “Wilkoniada” exhibition, Olympic Center, Warsaw, Poland
2014 – Exhibition “Fish, Birds, Mammals and Other Werewolves”, Rondo Sztuki, Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland; Exhibition “Der Wunderbare Welt des Józef Wilkoń”, Kunshaus Museen Stade, Germany; Exhibition of sculpture at Pulaski Museum in Warka; Exhibition “Senses of Art”, Royal Palace in Wilanow, Poland
2013 – Exhibition “Birds, fish, mammals and other werewolves”, Museum, Grudziadz; “Wilkonia”, DDAP, Warsaw; Exhibition “Fish, Mammals, Werewolves”, National Museum, Przemyśl; “Wilkoń – return to Tarnów”, BWA, Tarnów; Exhibition “Wilkoń’s Ark”, Ostróda
2012 – “Don Quixote expedition to Belchatow” Museum of the City, Belchatow; “Autowidoki” Gallery on the floor, Radziszewo; “Birds, fish, mammals and other Werewolves”, Municipal Cultural Centre, Jastrzębie Zdrój
2011 – Exhibition “Master Wilkoń’s Werewolves”, Baj Theatre, Warsaw; “Fish, Birds Mammals and Other Werewolves”, Lubusz Land Museum, Zielona Góra; Exhibition of sculptures and illustrations by Józef Wilkoń, Kazimierz Dolny, Uciąż; “Wilkoń finally in our town”, Piaseczno; “Don Quixote – expedition to Płock”, Art Gallery, Płock; “JÓZEF WILKOŃ painting, illustration, spatial sculpture”, MBP, Łańcut
2010 – “Józef Wilkoń and his animals”, Gallery 31 MBP, Lublin; “Józef Wilkoń AUTOWIDOKI” BWA, Skierniewice; “Józef Wilkoń”, PKIN, Book Fair, Warsaw; “Józef Wilkoń – sculpture, painting, drawing”, BWA, Kalisz; Józef Wilkoń Exhibition, Zacisze House of Culture, Warsaw
2009 – “Rhinoceros Blues”, Lodz; Exhibition at the Youth Library in Munich; Exhibition of illustrations and sculpture, Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski; “Wilkoń”, Rzeszow; “Kici, Kici miau” exhibition, Gdynia; “Bestiary”, Czestochowa; “Wilkoń in Bielany”, Warsaw; “Wilkoń’s World”, Skierniewice
2008 – “Wilkoniada”, Warsaw; “Wilkonia’s Ark”, Białystok
2007 – “Nine beasts and an angel”, Rome; “Encounters with art”, Radziejowice; “Wilkoń’s world”, Bielsko-Biała
2006 – Exhibition “Wilkoniowe Bestiarium”, Olsztyn; Exhibition at Urawa Art. Museum, Tokyo; “Wilkonia’s Ark,” Zachęta, Warsaw
2005 – Exhibition of illustrations, Bellono, Italy; “Fish and horses – a small show”, Stair Gallery, Warsaw; “Image and Word”, Vilnius, Lithuania; Book Workshop in Taipei, Taiwan
2004 – Exhibition of works by Józef Wilkoń, Macerac, Italy.
2002 – Exhibition “Zwierzyniec”, Książnica Pomorska, Szczecin
2000 – Illustration exhibition in Japan, Toyama, Aki Town, Bunsen
1998 – Exhibition “Concert for Małgosia”, Kozienice, Kraków
1997 – 40th anniversary of creativity, Warsaw
1996 – Wilkoń’s Menagrie, Munich, Germany
1995 – “Lifetime Achievement” exhibition, Olsztyn, Zielona Gora, Bratislava
1994 – Józef Wilkoń – Kinderbuchillustrationen, Bohum, Ludenscheld, Viersen, Augsburg, Dortmund
1993 – Jozef Wilkoń – Kinderbuchillustrationen, Aachen.
1992 – Exhibition of illustrations from the collection of “Bohem Press”, Warsaw, Poland
1991 – Exhibition of illustrations, Offenbach
1990 – Exhibition of illustrations to “Pan Tadeusz” – studies from 1963-1970, Warsaw
1989 – Exhibition of illustrations, Paris
1988 – Exhibition of illustrations – 30 years of work, Pulawy, Warsaw 1980 – Exhibition of graphics and book illustration, Katowice
1979 – Exhibition of graphics and illustrations, Białystok, Kalisz, Toruń
1976 – Exhibition of graphics and illustrations, Rzeszow, Chicago
1975 – Exhibition of graphics and book illustration, Slupsk
1973 – Exhibition of illustrations, Cologne
1971 – Exhibition of illustrations, Berlin
1970 – Exhibition of graphics and illustrations, Warsaw
1969 – Exhibition of book graphics, Manchester
1968 – Exhibition of book graphics, Lublin, Chelm, Torun
1961 – Exhibition of paintings, prints, illustrations, Vienna
1960 – Exhibition of paintings, graphics, illustrations, Warsaw
Major awards and decorations:
2013 – Bronze medal for the book “A Dog’s Life” in the 50th National Convention. Jubilee Best Designed Books from all over the World International Competition 2013.
2014 – Presidential Couple Award to Józef Wilkonia for outstanding achievements in works for children and young people
2012 – Polish Society of Book Publishers Award for “Psie życie” by Józef Wilkoń as the Most Beautiful Book of the Year 2011.
2010 – Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta; PTWK Award for illustrations to Rudyard Kipling’s book “The Jungle Book”; Golden Sceptre – Polish Culture Foundation Award.
2009 – Nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award by Internationale Jugendbibliothek
2008 – Honorary Award – Book of the Year 2007 of the Polish Section of IBBY
2007 – TVP Kultura Award for the exhibition “Ark Wilkonia” at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw.
2006 – Gold Medal “Meritorious for Culture – Gloria Artis”, awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage
2002 – Award of the Polish Section of IBBY for lifetime achievement
2000 – Graine de Lecteurs 2000 Award, Arles (France).
1998 – Andersen Premio Award, Geneva (Switzerland).
1991 – Grand Prix (Totem Album), Montreuil (France) and Premio Grafico at the International Children’s Book Fair, Bologna (Italy).
1987 – PTWK special award for lifetime achievement.
1984 – The Owl Prize, Tokyo (Japan).
1980 – Loisirs Jeunes Diploma for the best illustrated foreign book, Paris (France) and Premio Grafico at the International Children’s Book Fair, Bologna (Italy).
1977 – Golden Goats at the Biennale of Art for Children (Poznań)
1975 – Premio Europeo, Padua (Italy).
1974 – Prime Minister’s Award for works for children and Premio Grafico at the International Book Exhibition in Moscow (USSR).
1973 – Award at the Biennial of Illustration in Bratislava BIB and Medal of the National Education Commission for artistic work for children
1970, 1973 – Silver Goats at the Biennale of Art for Children (Poznań)
1967 – Minister of Culture and Art Award and National Award for achievements in book illustration
1966 – Deutscher Jugendbuchpreis für Graphische Gestaltung, Düsseldorf (Germany).
1959 – Gold Medal at the IBA International Exhibition of Editorial Art, Leipzig, Germany.
1969 – Gold Medal at the Biennale of Illustration in Bratislava BIB (Slovakia)
1959, 1961, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1974 – Awards in the PTWK (Polish Society of Book Publishers) Most Beautiful Books of the Year competition

Works in museum collections

Exhibitions in the gallery

Ach te Baby

Premiere of Józef Wilkoń's book "Ach te Baby"

17th Warsaw Art Fair
Kubicki Arcades, Warsaw

Akt w malarstwie Józefa Wilkonia

Nude in the paintings of Józef Wilkoń

Stationary exhibition: the New Art House of the Radziejowice Palace, Radziejowice
Online exhibition: limitededition.co.uk

Wystawa rzeźb Józefa Wilkonia "Brązy Wilkonia"

Exhibition of sculptures by Józef Wilkoń "Wilkoń's Bronzes".

Stationary exhibition:
05.10.2018 - 31.01.2019
Atelier Limited Edition ul. St. Andrzeja Boboli 6/12, Warsaw
Online exhibition:

Art fair

19. Warszawskie Targi Sztuki

19th Warsaw Art Fair 2022

See more

18th Warsaw Art Fair 2021

See more

17th Warsaw Art Fair 2019

16. Warszawskie Targi Sztuki 2018
See more

16th Warsaw Art Fair 2018

15. Warszawskie Targi Sztuki 2017
See more

15th Warsaw Art Fair 2017

14. Warszawskie Targi Sztuki 2016
See more

14th Warsaw Art Fair 2016

13. Warszawskie Targi Sztuki 2015

13th Warsaw Art Fair 2015


Wilkonia's bronzes

Nude in the paintings of Józef Wilkoń

Wilkonia Electronic Impressions