Lithuanian Art Museum
in 1933 as Vilnius City Museum, the Lithuanian Art Museum is
currently the biggest national establishment which preserves,
investigates and displays pieces of art of historical and
artistic value. The exhibition halls of the museum display
Lithuanian and foreign works of fine and applied art. The museum
has accumulated and displays the wealth of the national folk
art. Diverse Lithuanian and foreign artists are featured at
temporary exhibitions. The museum also conducts
various educational programmes.
With the lifting of the ban on Lithuanian press Lithuanian
intellectuals became anxious about the art. In 1907 the first
exhibition was organized, and eight of them were held before the
begining of World War I. After each exhibition some exhibits
were given to Lithuanian Art Society. More and more pieces of
art were collected, so the hope to establish an art museum was
being cherished. Many concrete efforts were made in order to
accomplish the plan - means for buildings were accumulated,
pictures and carvings purchased, photos and documents collected.
But the war had hindered the whole work.
After the war intellectuals again started enlivening the life of
the art. The intellectuals in Vilnius urged certain state
institutions to take care of the valuables of art that
were nationalized by Bolsheviks in 1918. These valuables had to
fall into the hands of cultural workers. Unfortunately the
history of Vilnius and Vilnius land between World War I and
World War II did not favor Lithuanian national culture.
In 1933 Vilnius Magistracy decided to establish a City Museum.
The displays were stored in various places and looked after as
far as possible, but visitors were never received.
In 1940 the Museum moved to the old Town Hall building.
In April, 1941 first exhibitions were organized in the halls of
the Museum which was already called Vilnius State Art Museum.
The Museum took over collections of Vilnius artistic and
scientific societies as well as the nationalized pieces of art.
According to the later established order, pieces of art acquired
by commissions of Ministry of Culture for state means were to be
distributed among museums. This is how the present art
collection was made up. Workers of the Museum themselves have
contributed to the exposition. From post-war villages they
collected the best examples of Lithuanian folk art. Creations by
artists of emigration and their art collections are constantly
added to the storages of the Museum.