Bibliothèque Polonaise à Paris was founded in 1838 by a group of prominent Polish patriots exiled from Poland. During the times when Poland was occupied and devoid of independence, it was the largest independent Polish cultural institution abroad.
Established in a 17th-century building, the Polish library in Paris houses books and records of great value, as well as a large collection of works of art, which consists of 220 000 books , 5 000 cards and 7 000 copies of drawings and engravings dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It also houses three minor museums, dedicated to famous Polish figures: Salon Frédéric Chopin, The Adam Mickiewicz Museum and the Musée Boleslas Biegas.
The small museum dedicated to the famous Polish composer and located within the Bibliothèque Polonaise à Paris contains a number of Chopin’s mementos, including his death mask and a casting of his left hand by Auguste Clésinger, several paintings, numerous portraits, autographs, first editions, and his favorite chair.
Established in 1930, the Adam Mickiewicz Museum contains numerous personal objects, as well as an archive including many autograph items of the famous poet.
Bolesław Biegas (1877 – 1954) was a Polish surrealist painter and sculptor, best known for his ‘vampire-as-femme fatale’ style of painting. The museum was established by Biegas in 1950, and contains his own paintings and sculptures, as well as those of other Polish artists, including Olga Boznańska and Tadeusz Makowski.