Death of Henryk Jurkowski

General Secretary - 03/01/2016

UNIMA and the world of puppet theatre has lost one of its greatest pillars of scholarly research and artistic talent beyond compare.

Henryk Jurkowski, our Honorary President and dear friend is no more.

Henryk was an inspiration to puppeteers all over the world, those he met, those he taught and many who read his articles and books on the art and science of puppet theatre.

Henryk contribution and work spans a whole era, the art which he so loved and the art that he most profoundly brought alive to all of us, his smile, the twinkle in his eye and his encouragement to younger generations of puppeteers the world over, will be sincerely missed by all of us.
Many of us met him last in Charleville, it was a pleasure and treat to see him in all his spirit and energy in the conferences and interactions during the festival and seminar sessions.

His word was truly admired and accounted for by each one of us who had the pleasure and honour of meeting him through these many years , both in UNIMA as also in many fora around the globe.
There are few like him with his critical eye and intellect, his thought and word as also his friendship will live ever more.

In deepest condolences to his family, friends and all of us puppeteers who will always keep him close in our hearts.

Dear Henryk may you rest in everlasting peace, and may you guide us where ever you are.

Dadi D. Pudumjee
President UNIMA

We invite you to read the article of the French Encyclopedia concerning him.


In last September, a tribute was paid to him, in Charleville Mézières, during the simposium of the UNIMA Training Commission, in the IIM, and Marek Waszkiel read a vibrant homage that could allow you to remember, to again discover the dimension of who is letting us, today, like orphans.
Homage from Marek Waszkiel (in French)


 From Finland, 11/03/2016 12:03
In memoriam
Henryk Jurkowski

As a frequent and welcome visitor in Finland ever since the 1980´s Henryk Jurkowski had a great impact on the development of the Finnish puppet theatre. He truly opened our minds to wider perspectives of the art of puppetry: its philosphy, history, theory and research.

Henryk was indeed the highly cultivated, resourceful and passionate Savant of our art form, always warm and kind towards the puppet theatre enthusiasts, professionals and amateurs alike.
Some ten years ago, at the end of the succesful Mukamas Puppet Theatre Symposium in Tampere, we shared an emotional moment with him when he started to sing and the audience joined in:” I cannot come to you to-day…” It was the Polish Partisan Walz, which was close to his heart from the years of the Resistance Movement in Poland.

We miss and remember Henryk with deep gratitude and warm affection.

From Finland:
Leila Peltonen
Mansi Stycz
Maiju Tawast
julie DOURDY, 08/03/2016 11:03
Henryk Jurkowski, ami de Jean-Loup Temporal, dans les grandes années du début de l'Unima, nous a enseigné l'art, la théorie, l'histoire des marionnettes et la passion. Et son œil pétillant ne s'éteindra pas comme ça. Il fut aussi à l'origine de L'Institut de Charleville avec une poignée de gens passionnants qui ont entraîné derrière eux plusieurs générations de fous de la marionnette. Il faudra continuer sans eux, mais leurs enseignements nous suivront toujours..
Eaves Hayley, 11/02/2016 05:02
I would like to thank Professor Jurkowski for all of the wonderful and ground-breaking contributions he made towards the history of puppetry. His works will be of great inspiration to my own and he will forever be remembered.
Steinsvik Brit, 06/01/2016 02:01
Henryk Jurkowski var foreleser i teaterhistorie ved Riksteatrets Figurteaterutdanning fra 1990-. Han var en ettertraktet, strålende foreleser, humoristisk, kunskapsrik og foreleste i figurteaterhistorie fra flere kontinenter.
Jeg har forstatt forelesningene hans, som gir næring til forståelse. Skillet mellom barne- og voksenteater kom veldig sent. Figurteatret var for alle og barna ble på ingen måte skjermet for opplevelser i gamle dager Uttrykksikonet smile Jeg minnes han med stor respekt og glede!
Brit Steinsvik, Dukkoppteatret
Malenov Slavcho, 05/01/2016 08:01
Henryk Jurkowski was a good friend of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Puppetry Art. As a great scientist and researcher in 2007 he was honored with the noble title “Doctor Honoris Causa” of the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria.
We deeply regret the loss!
Tribute to his memory!
Slavcho Malenov
Sümegi Ulrike, 05/01/2016 01:01
Henryk Jurkowski, as they say, "A walking Puppetry Book", not only of his puppets, but also of many varieties. The future of the whole puppetry was his great concern. The 2013 'Lorenzo il Magnifico' Lifetime Achievement Award for Theatre Culture conferred to Henryk Jurkowski by the International Jury of the IXth Florence Biennale was the tribute to a lifetime dedicated to the study of shadow, string, rod and hand puppets created and 'animated' by artists and performers of all times.
Boytchev Victor, 04/01/2016 10:01
Dear colleagues,
Dear fellow Polish puppeteers,

The world of puppets in Poland and the globe on this sad day actually became richer with the eternal soul of Henryk Jurkowski.
For all of us, who work and live with the magnificent power of both magic and honesty, simplicity and inspiration is hard to say Good Bye to our beloved colleague, teacher, friend and idol – Mr. Henryk Jurkowski. So we are not saying good bye – what we say is Thank You!
Thank you for the kindness, the exquisite professional approach and the enormous love, the devotion to the world of puppets and puppeteers. We do remember and spread them and thus hope to make the world a better place!

Victor Boytchev
AKT UNIMA Bulgaria
Rokomanov Vasil, 04/01/2016 10:01
Поклон пред делото и личността на Хенрик Юрковский.
Francisco J. Cornejo, 04/01/2016 01:01
Nos ha dejado uno de los grandes enamorados de la historia de los títeres. Un buen maestro que supo transmitirnos su pasión, pero también su rigor científico.
Que la tierra le sea leve.

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