Józef Sławiński, born in 1905 in Poland and trained there and in Italy as a muralist, first came to Western New York on a visit in 1961-63. He returned in 1964 and lived and worked in the Buffalo Niagara area until his death in 1983.
Sławiński, a remarkably gifted artist whose work has been compared to such great Mexican muralists as Diego Rivera, worked in a variety of media, including fresco, hammered copper, scratched tempera, and wrought iron, but his favorite medium was sgraffito, a subtractive technique involving two or more layers of cement which need to be worked on while still wet. Sławiński extended the technique to four layers of colored cement, a technique that gave magnificent results but was very labor intensive and one that, to the best of our knowledge has not been duplicated in the United States. Though his work is found throughout the US, his richest body of work is in the Buffalo Niagara region.