Janka Malkowska was born in Warsaw where she studied art at the academy, and then at the Vienna Kunstgewerbe. When Poland was invaded in 1939 she hid out in the countryside, where she learnt to print with woodcuts. As the Nazis drew near she escaped west, spending days and nights on a train with false papers. She located her missing husband alive and after the war they eventually settled in Scotland, where they both became teachers in Dunblane.
In retirement Malkowska tried other print mediums such as silkscreen but to the end woodcut remained her favourite. The University Art Collection has five prints by this artist.