Born on the Polish-Russian border March 1, 1940. At the outbreak of World War the family moved westward and at the end of the war in 1945 ended up in the refugee camps in Germany. After six years, in 1951, the family emigrated to the United States.
Swietlan received his BFA degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and in 1962 he spent a year in Italy doing independent studies in Rome and Florence on an EHP scholarship from RISD. In 1962-64 he went back to the United States to study for a MFA degree and received a teaching fellowship at the University of Southern Illinois. In the autumn of 1964 he returned to Italy and although he lives and works in Barga (LU) and Florence in the 13th century home of Michelangelo’s teacher, Domenico Ghirlandaio, he exhibits one-man shows annually in the United States.
There is no doubt in my mind that loved people are better people. How simple, and how much John Lennon says when he sings «All You Need Is Love» – Swietland Kraczyna
In 1966 his interests turned completely to the graphic world and at this time he set up the etching department at Villa Schifanoia (Rosary College Graduate School of Fine Arts) in Florence, where he still continues to teach. In 1970 Kraczyna was one of ten artists to represent the United States in the Palazzo Strozzi Biennale di Grafica, and his multi-plate color etchings are represented in the Uffizi Gallery Prints and Drawings Collection. From 1973 until 1980 he worked as the technical assistant to Marino Marini on all his color etchings.
Kraczyna has been invited to different Universities and art schools in the United States, England, Italy, Mexico, and Columbia, and South America to give demonstrations of his own multi-plate color etching technique. He is one of the founders of the “Il Bisonte” International School of Advanced Printmaking in Florence where he teaches all the techniques of color etching, and is also the co-author of “I Segni Incisi”, the first Italian comprehensive textbook on the history and techniques of etching.
Swietlan Nicholas Kraczyna
(2007). Syracuse University in Florence, eds. The Great Flood of Florence: A Photographic Essay.
1993 Swietlan Kraczyna: thirty year retrospective
1998 Swietlan N. Kraczyna, Artist-in-Residence
1985 I Segni incisi: guida alla xilografia e alla incisione in nero e a colori.
1985 The Rite of Spring and the Nine Variations on a Theme of Igor Stravinsky:
1982. Oneiric Carnival, Swietlan Kraczyna
In 2006, in honour of the forty-year anniversary of the catastrophic flood of 1966, 83 of Kraczyna’s photographs were published in the volume “The Great Flood of Florence: A Photographic Essay,” including 10 photos for which Kraczyna was awarded the Fiorino d’Oro, the highest honor of merit bestowed upon a resident of Florence.
2011: The Marriage of Harlequin with an exhibit in Barga, and in 2012 an exhibit at the Bisonte Gallery in Florence.
painter and photographer - started barganews.com, the first on line news site in Tuscany, Italy back in 1996