M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, V. Putvinskio St. 55, Kaunas
As time passes by it takes away episodes of our history into non-existence. Fortunately, noteworthy artefacts retained at museums are able to regenerate and take on a new start in chronicling stories for future generations.
This is the twelfth occasion for the museum to present the most valuable and engaging acquisitions that have entered the museum collections over the past five years. The first such exhibition was held in 1973.
M. K. Čiurlionis
M. B. Stankūnienė
The current exhibition like a colourful kaleidoscope encompasses a great variety of valuable objects of art – from new works by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, elegant items of Secession and Art Deco furniture, even a candy paper or a piece of soap dating back to the inter-war period to maps, archival photographs, naïve embroidery and, of course, contemporary art.
Such great diversity gives an opportunity to realize the concept of acquiring the exhibits. Of mention should be the expatriate contemporary Lithuanian art, folk and applied art, industrial design, culture history of Lithuania and foreign art. Indispensably, the key collections at the museum are M. K. Čiurlionis’ creation and the Lithuanian interwar period art. Therefore, if it happens that the collections are complemented with such items the year is considered especially successful. This exhibition will take visitors on a journey into the wonderful and diverse world of art as it provides the cognitive possibility not only for those who like to watch but also for those who are eager to discover. Actually for this reason, almost every exhibit is accompanied with curious and amusing texts which will help to perceive why a particular object or collection has found its place in the museum.
Up to the present day, the museum collections have grown to include nearly half a million exhibits. Visitors will find out in what ways the accession is performed – whether artworks are chanced upon in the antique shops, purchased owing to state allocations, acquired thanks to the museum friends’ support or through patronage and sponsorship. The museum receives numerous donations, valuable legacies of the deceased artists are transferred by members of their families. The museum’s allocations for new acquisitions amount annually to 8–9 thousand euros, donations make up almost one third of the acquired exhibits, some funds are granted by the state. In 2014, after a 24 year break, the museum has finally got subsidies for the acquisition of contemporary art. As this field was long neglected the collections became fragmented, did not reveal the real situation of art. In Soviet years, the prevailing practice to purchase best works from more significant exhibitions served as favourable incentive to form a rather weighty art collection of Kaunasartists. However, it will take years to replenish the missing space.
As a rule, exhibits within the museum’s collections are ensured different roles: some of them find their place in the exhibition halls, others are located in storage until they fit any exhibition or permanent display, the most compelling exhibits become the subject matter of research and enter publications pages, still others appear in the hands of restorers to be brought back to life.
The museum is full of history and curious stories. In this exhibition, we extend our words of gratitude to all those who made donations, sponsored and each of you because you are the ones who have contributed to maintain our memory for evermore.
Exhibition works: 31 03 2017–02 07 3017