This exhibition presents the gifts which were bestowed to Antanas Smetona, President of the Republic of Lithuania, and which ended up being transferred for storage from the Presidential Palace to Kaunas National Culture Museum (currently, M.K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art) in 1941. In the transferred collection, there are no presents dating back to the first term served by President Smetona (1919–1920); hence, this exhibition only covers the period since the coup d’état of 1926 when Antanas Smetona regained the position of the President of Lithuania. The variety of the presents is astounding: they range from handicraft to unique silverware. The presents were given by towns and smaller settlements which were visited by the President, by various societies and organizations, by members of the diplomatic corps of foreign countries, by business subjects and by common people. The presents in the exhibition are grouped into six categories: To the beloved Patronpresents from organizations where the President was a patron or an honorary member Welcome, Mister Presidentpresents received during trips in Lithuania To the Dear Leader of the Nation presents received on the occasions of the name day or anniversary To the Supreme Celebrant presents to the celebrant of the 60-year anniversary It’s for You, Dear Head of the State – presents received on the occasion of the national festivals Serves as present, looks like advert – representative gifts received from business entities and organizations In the modern world, the policy of gifts is strictly regulated, especially if we consider the servants of the state, state officials, politicians and other representatives of the public sector. However, a century ago, the concept of the conflict between public and private interests was not as elaborated as we have it today. Meanwhile, when, after the coup d’état of 1926, authority gradually turned into authoritarian rule, it was followed by the appropriate reaction of the public mood and the broad society. For instance, in 1930, the Lietuvos Aidas (en. The Echo of Lithuania), the main daily of the nation, unceremoniously highlighted the sameness of the State and the Leader: “By honoring the head of the State, we demonstrate our statehood consciousness. Therefore, everyone – whoever cares about our nation, our dear State – makes their best effort to appropriately honor the individual standing at the forefront of our nation and the State.” Therefore, it is hardly surprising that most of the presents demonstrated at this exhibition are followed with such dedications as: To the Leader of the Nation – to my boss; To the Great helmsman of the Lithuanian Nation; To His Excellence the Leader of the Nation the President of the Republic Mister Antanas Smetona, etc. Respect, loyalty, fidelity or willingness to please the President – these are the likely intentions of giving the presents. Yet, the predominant pattern of the times pervades this exhibition – We are deeply honored to greet! Therefore, by commemorating the 150-year anniversary of the birth of President Antanas Smetona, the Historical Presidential Palace is deeply honored to open up the museum of the presidential gifts once more.        

Partneriai ir draugai

  • Kauno diena
  • Kauno miesto savivaldybė
  • Kultūros ministerija
  • Kultūros taryba
  • Lietuvos centrinis valstybės archyvas
  • LRT
  • Lietuvos Respublikos užsienio reikalų ministerija
  • Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas
  • Adamkaus Biblioteka
  • CDM
  • ICOM
  • Kulturos pasas
  • Lietuvos muziejų asociacija
  • Nuova
  • Siaulių Aušros muziejus
  • VDKM
  • VU KHF
  • We Love Lithuania