Maria Kiebabczy – Armenian from Kielce

We present Maria Kiebabczy – a businesswoman from Kielce. The first information about the activity of the Armenian Kiebabczy family comes from the beginning of the 20th century and concerns Dzero Kiebabcza, who erected three press kiosks, which were the ornament of old Kielce – at the corner of today’s Sienkiewicza and Leśna Streets, Mickiewicza and Wolności Square and in the Market Square. Dzeron and his wife Anna had a daughter, Maria, and a son, Jerzy.

After Dzero’s death in 1915, Maria took over the management of the kiosks, and a decade later she opened the fourth one – on the so-called Krakow tollgate. Maria Kiebabczy’s Diary Office functioned with great success, was a local leader in the field of press sales and publication of advertisements, it provided employment to office workers and sales people.

Maria also financially supported the construction of the National Museum in Krakow. The company of Armianka from Kielce had about ten points of sale and operated until 1946. Since then, Maria Kiebabcza’s fate remains unknown. With time, also charming kiosks disappeared from the landscape of Kielce streets. In 2017, the Kolporter company reconstructed one of them – on the Market Square.

We present photographs of Maria Kiebabcza from the private collection of Linda Hitchcock, the only great-granddaughter of Maria, to whom we owe getting to know the image of a businesswoman from Kielce and a lot of valuable information about the family of Kielce Armenians. The inspiration for establishing contact, and as a result of creative cooperation, was our temporary exhibition Armenian Workshop – the craftsmanship of detail, presented at the turn of 2016 and 2017.


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