Chrząszczowa documented Poland’s postwar reconstruction, with a large number of photographs showing the so called Regained Territories: Wrocław, Kłodzko, Polanica Zdrój and Gdańsk. Though the effort meant an intense Polonization of the area, the images retain a propaganda-free character. In later years, Chrząszczowa documented holiday resorts such as Nieporęt or Lanckorona. She also took a series of documentary photographs for Witold Krassowski’s seminal book, Wooden Architecture in Poland (1961).

Polanica-Zdrój, 1950_

The documentation of the Silesian health resort, formerly known as Bad Altheide, was created as part of Chrząszczowa’s larger series devoted to the so called Regained Territories. The spa facilities and features – the Wielka Pieniawa spring building, the pump room, the park – all date from the early 20th century, when the town was part of the German Empire. Photographs of female employees of the local art glassworks presenting handmade products against the background of bench grinders, washbasins and storeroom racks build an image of a Polish handicraft tradition in the area.
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Mechanical Workshop Lucjan Nowiński i S-ka, 1948

As part of her documentation of postwar Warsaw, Chrząszczowa photographed small workshops and manufactories. The local, often family-owned operations were soon nationalized by the newly installed communist regime. Employees of one such workshop pose for a photo in working clothes in front of a low, column-supported portico. The single-story building, which no longer exists, stood in the courtyard of the tenement house at Reytana Street 5.
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Żyrardów, 1961_

Deviating from customary modes of representing the textile-industry town, Chrząszczowa photographed wooden houses in Żyrardów. Instead of the factory halls and directorial villas or at least the Church of the Ascension of the Lord towering above the man square, we see wooden cottages that are clearly falling into ruin. Chrząszczowa’s images bring to mind ‘black series’ documentary films showing big-city slums.
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The wooden houses of Lanckorona, a village in the Beskid Makowski mountain range in southern Poland, date back to the 19th century. Chrząszczowa photographed rows of houses stretching alongside stone steps running up the slope. Whitewashed walls, shingle roofs, and massive timber beams contribute to the picturesque character of the almost depopulated village; with the exception of Chrząszczowa’s four children in one of the photos, no human figures are to be seen here. Stone being a hard-to-find material in the area, the photographer was also interested in stone buildings and structures; close-ups examine the texture and quality of stone walls. The Lanckorona images were used as illustrations in Witold Krassowski’s seminal book, Wooden Architecture in Poland (1961).
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Sunday in Nieporęt, 1964

The Zalew Zegrzyński artificial lake, created in 1964 to reduce the risk of flooding in the Bug and Narew valley, instantly became Warsaw’s favourite sports-and-leisure weekend destination. That summer, Chrząszczowa photographed the Zegrze yacht club, documenting a crowded beach with moored Omega boats, a sun deck with tables and umbrellas, and the club’s modern facilities.
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