In existence for over forty years, IRSA has achieved considerable success through carrying out art historical research and organizing various exhibitions. Among the most notable have been: Opus Sacrum, shown at the Royal Castle in Warsaw (1990) and in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and a presentation at the Wawel Royal Castle (1991) of the earliest work by Jan Vermeer van Delft, Saint Praxedes, discovered as a result of research carried out by the IRSA Institute; the Wojciech Fibak collection featuring paintings of the École de Paris in Cracow (1998) and Łódź (1999); the retrospective show of Stasys Eidrigevičius STASYS 50 in Cracow (1999) and Wrocław (2000); and an exhibition of Leon Tarasewicz’s works entitled Leon Tarasewicz meets Michele De Lucchi, Milano 2003, which IRSA co-organized in the Rubin Gallery in Milan. Most recently, IRSA has presented the works of Iwo Zaniewski, New Harmony Paintings, in Today Art Museum, Beijing (2008), and The Beauty of Gentleness. New Harmony Paintings by Iwo Zaniewski at the Wisom Art Center, Shanghai (2008).
Because of the Polish background of the owners of IRSA, one of the initial aims of the Institute was to insert Polish art into the international mainstream and it continues to promote Polish art through its various curatorial and scholarly activities. Shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain, IRSA organised an exhibition of works by six distinguished Polish artists at the Hammer Galleries in New York (1991). The show, entitled Opening Up, helped present contemporary Polish art as possessing unique styles of artistic expression regardless of historical traumas. At the same time IRSA published a monograph on Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with the Ermine, lent from the Czartoryski Museum in Cracow to be included in the monumental exhibition, Circa 1492. Art in the Age of Exploration, held at the National Gallery of Art in Washington (1991–1992). The publication illuminated the meaning and history behind Leonardo’s masterpiece and was published with the aim of familiarizing foreign audiences with a work – then – rarely seen outside of Poland.