Archive of Exhibitions
It is the fifteenth time that the Historical Presidential Palace has celebrated the International Museum Day (May 18) with a new picture exhibition in its garden. This time, the city residents as well as visitors will be given the opportunity of casting a glimpse at the city from the historical perspective of the palace standing at the edge of the Old Town and the New Town: the archive photos shown at the exhibition One House. Seven stories. Prelude introduce the visitors to seven important historical periods of the city.
The exhibition One House. Seven stories. Prelude is going to surprise the residents of Kaunas City who see the Historicism-styled building at Vilniaus 33 only as the Interwar Presidential Palace. However, this exhibition is the first-time narration spanning over the nearly two centuries of the history of the building and its environment which, after its construction in the middle of the 19th century. However, the building has not only undergone a series of transformations but also witnessed whirlpools of the political life as well as the joys and chores of the daily routine. The palace avoided neither the world wars nor occupations. However, it also rejoiced the merriment of the decades of independence.
This year an open-air exhibition of archive photographs commemorates the centennial anniversary of the Lithuanian Constituent Assembly. It tells us more about the elections, the first gathering of the Assembly and its main reforms during a two-year term.
This year, the history of the Institution of Presidency in Lithuania already counts a century. Marking this occasion, an open-air exhibition of archive photographs “Whoever is a president? The Presidents of Lithuania and the Institution of Presidency in Lithuania in 1919–1940” is being exhibited in the front garden of the museum. It tells us more about the duties and daily routines of the President of the Republic of Lithuania.
Preceding the 2019 Year of the World Lithuanians M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art dedicates a new exhibition “The Great Gift to Lithuania” to the 125th Anniversary of a famous America Lithuanian Collector Aleksandras Mykolas Račkus. The exhibition is opened in the Historical Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania in Kaunas. Two collections are shown here. One of them represents the numismatic valuables collected by A. M. Račkus – among the most interesting exhibits are rare coins of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and other nations of the world, valuable medals, exotic items and rare Lithuanian and numismatic books. In the second part of the exhibition visitors have the opportunity to get acquainted with the social life of the American Lithuanians of the 1860s – 1930s and their contribution to the restoration and consolidation of the state of Lithuania.
This open-air photographic exhibition features the key moments of the First Republic of Lithuania. Dedicated to the centennial of the modern Republic of Lithuania this exhibition highlights political, economic, social and cultural achievements of the two decades of a young independent state.
The following photos are on display:
To get acquainted, to understand and to take pride – this was the slogan of the Historical Presidential Palace at the outset of the 5-year-project “Waiting for the Centennial: the Most Significant Events of the First Republic of Lithuania.” The team of the museum was the first to focus on the approaching centennial anniversary of the modern State of Lithuania. It sought for forms of activity exerting longterm influence on the society. Thus the ephemeral noisy campaigns were rejected and instead focus was laid on activities promoting coherent cognition of the history of the State and participation in the events.
In the year 2015 we are celebrating the 130-year anniversary of the birth of Aleksandras Stulginskis, the President of Lithuania. When sharing memories of his friend, Reverend Mykolas Krupavičius wrote: “Stulginskis was performing his presidential duties as expected, honorably as well as beneficially for Lithuania. From aside it looked as if he had been born for exactly this position and these duties. But no. He achieved all of this by working. He studied everything thoroughly; he learnt everything he had been lacking. […] And the top hat was standing firm on his head, and the tailcoat felt like it was in the right place”.
Back in the times of the national revival in the second half of the 19th century, the intellectual leaders of the Nation realized that the state is being formed not only by the definition of its territory and governmental institutions but also by taking into consideration the cultural, social and political obligations of its citizens. Upon becoming a modern national state, the Republic of Lithuania was impossible to imagine without the respect of its citizens to the history and culture. State festivals and patriotic campaigns also served for the development of respect. By giving priority to certain events and anniversaries of significance to the nation, the representatives of the elite of the State played with these days in the calendar of State festivals like with a deck of card in Solitaire. Philosophers also came to the assistance to the players of political Solitaire by emphasizing that patriotism is closely related with emotions which – as the sensual experience of Homeland and Nation – could be incited by patriotic ethnically-focused education and national festivals. The State had to take care of both elements of the issue.
Exhibition “Europe on the Operation Table: World War I in the Cartoons of Louis Raemaekers” serves as a continuation of the exhibition “Tango with Death”. In the first part we got familiarized with the current issues of the Western Front, the faces of death and the weapons of war. The second part will show not only the schemes of the key figures but also the events taking place in the East, the secret deals being elaborated while the end of the war was approaching, the predictions of victory and the implacable loss. Also you will be able to compare the Western and Lithuanian styles of war propaganda and news presentation.
This open-air photographic exhibition takes visitors on a journey through time, to the interwar Kaunas city, the provisional capital of the First Republic of Lithuania about 90 years ago. It features buildings or life styles that are long gone. Some are gone because of modernization processes, some because of World War II, and others were lost because of people’s neglect or ignorance. Due to both processes of evolution and degradation, we lost the exquisite Central Jewish Bank and its passage, the popular Cinema Triumf, beautiful Šančiai Garrison Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church of the Armed Forces of Lithuania, the busy Old Marketplace of Kaunas City, the gorgeous building of Physics and Chemistry Institute, the significant Mausoleum of pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas in Kaunas City Cemetery, the old Kaunas Railway Station, a train of narrow gauge railway nicknamed “Kukushka” and many others. The Nemunas Pier once busy with Steamships now lingers lonely and abandoned. We advise you to use your imagination in bringing back these objects to Kaunas scenery and you’ll see this city in absolutely different light.
Rapid social changes at the end of the 19th century and the revived hopes of an independent state brought a new group – the intellectuals – to the position which was influential in all spheres of Lithuania’s life – political, social, cultural and academic. As prominent Lithuanian philosopher Stasys Šalkauskis pointed out, the intellectuals were not a social class or an estate; they were the enlightened part of the society, representing the same society and serving it as well. The essence of intellectuals was in their constant social effort and universal spiritual education.
The exhibition presents the works of Adomas Varnas (his surname happens to mean ‘a Raven’), the prominent Lithuanian painter and artist, graphic designer and pedagogue as well as the designer of stamps and the first sketches of the Lithuanian money. The exhibition reveals that the painter who was depicting the political and social life of Lithuania sincerely contributed to the establishment of the young country with the stamps and banknote sketches he designed while his caricatures never missed a chance of mocking politicians doubting the independence of Lithuania; he was always faithful to the idea of the national state.
This open-air photographic exhibition is mounted to remember and to remind people about the major shock to humanity 100 years ago – the outbreak of World War I. The exhibition focuses on Kaunas City during the years of war.
In 2014 we commemorate the 140th anniversary of President Antanas Smetona’s birth and 70 years from his death. This exhibition presents a short, however the most dramatic episode in the President’s life – the forced retreat from Lithuania and the last years (1940–1944) spent in exile.
Death is a pitiless partner: when called to the dance, it claims eternal possession. This is a merciless verdict of the symbolic cartoon “German Tango” by the Dutch painter Louis Raemaekers. The painter delivered about 1,000 works on World War I and is one of the most prominent cartoonists of this war who largely contributed to the anti-German war propaganda. The persuasive, symbolic, straightforward, courageous, shocking and grotesque works of Raemaekers even after 100 years continue to mesmerize the viewers.
The exposition is dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania: it explains the circumstances under which this institution was created, how it changed and evolved in the First (1918 – 1940) and the Second (since 1990) Republics of Lithuania. The greater part of the exposition tells the story of the Lithuanian Presidents.
This open-air photographic exhibition is dedicated to the legendary pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, who were the first Lithuanians to fly over the Atlantic Ocean 80 years ago. Unfortunately, their plane “Lituanica” crashed 650 km to their final destination point. Huge crowds in Kaunas waited in vain for pilots’ plane to land on July 17, 1933. Two days later the same crowd greeted the remains of the pilots. From this day on the two pilots are being considered the national heroes, source of pride and inspiration for Lithuanians all around the world. The exhibition 80 years after the flight features moments from pilots’ life, their preparation for the flight, departure and greeting of their remains.
The exhibition is dedicated to the conscious women of the First Republic of Lithuania (1918 – 1940). With the equal civil rights legitimatized in 1922 Constitution, Lithuanian women worked actively in various spheres of social, political and cultural life that were not properly taken care of by the young state still in the process of creation.
This open-air photographic exhibition features moments from eight Lithuanian Agricultural and Industrial Exhibitions organized in Kaunas, the provisional capital of interwar Lithuania, between 1922 and 1936. These exhibitions attracted thousands of people from all over the country; peasants spent several days in their carts traveling to the provisional capital. Organized by state, these exhibitions were designed to speak loud about the progress of agriculture and industry in Lithuania. Meanwhile for the ordinary people it was a place of entertainment, fun, cultural activities and opportunity to see important people, as these exhibitions were attended by the highest officials of the state, the President usually being the one to open the exhibition.
During the period of the First Republic of Lithuania (1918–1940), traditions of national sports culture were being created alongside the state modernization processes. From yard to European champions, from inter-town to inter-state championships – for more than a decade of slow improvement the evolution of sports culture in Lithuania accelerated in the 1930s as sports became state business. It was realized that sports not only cultivated patriotic feelings, but also influenced the development of diplomatic relationships. Furthermore, in peacetime nothing was as nation consolidating as international competition. The motto of the exhibition “For the Honor of Lithuania!“ came out of public involvement in the evolution of sports culture – these words are engraved on the Cup, presented by the Highway Department employees to Lithuanian men’s basketball team as the winners of the 2nd European basketball championship of 1937.
An open-air photographic exhibition features moments from the National Olympic Games of Lithuania in 1938. More than 2000 Lithuanian athletes from all over the world took part in the First National Olympic Games held in Kaunas the provisional capital. The Games were perceived as a symbolic expression of Lithuanian unity and solidarity.
A symbolic run "For the Honor of Lithuania!" took place alongside the opening ceremony of the exibition.
The opening ceremony of the outdoor exhibition “Let’s take a ride! Urban means of transport in the provisional capital” took place on Friday, May 21st, 5 p.m., in the midst of Kaunas city festival. This year our traditional open air exposition of old photographs focuses on the variety of transport used in the city from 1918 to 1940. The photographs on display clearly reflect the developing process of urban transport, the clash of different means of transportation, and the accumulating problems of pollution and noise. The visitors can see how the evolution of transport changed the ways of life and the face of the city.
The exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of Soviet occupation of Lithuania was opened on July 15th, the day that 70 years ago the Red Army entered Kaunas, the former provisional capital of Lithuania. This is so-called first Soviet occupation, which lasted one year and ended on June 22, 1941, with the Nazi invasion.
The exposition was mounted to mark a jubilee year for the modern state of Lithuania and for its modern diplomacy. Lithuania celebrated it’s 90 years anniversary since the proclamation of February 16 Act and also since the formation of Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the 110th anniversary since the birth of Stasys Lozoraitis, Foreign Minister and Lithuania’s diplomatic chief.
This year the traditional open air exposition of old photographs deals with the longtime coexistence of the city and the rivers. Kaunas is situated on the confluence of two rivers, Nemunas and Neris; and this neighborhood has been determining the evolution of the city already for more than 600 years. The focus of the exposition is the period of the First Republic of Lithuania (1918 – 1940), when Kaunas served as provisional capital and rivers were fully integrated into social, economic and public way of life.
An open air exposition of old photographs reflecting the trends of social life, formation of community values, city dwellers’ identity and public spirit in the Provisional Capital of Lithuania (1918 – 1940).
An open air exposition of old photographs reflecting the evolution of the city, significant moments in state and nation’s life, outstanding social and political figures from the period of 1918 – 1940.
A rich exposition of photographs, flags, stamps, pennants, honors and other reliquiae that tell us about Lithuanian Scout organizations in Lithuania (1920 – 1940), in German DP camps (1940 – 1945), in Siberia and in exile (USA, Canada, etc.).
Three constantly updated expositions depicting the personal life stories, social and political activities of President Antanas Smetona, President Aleksandras Stulginskis and President Kazys Grinius.
The 20th century political posters fall into three chronological periods: the First Republic of Lithuania (1918–1940), the soviet occupation period (1940–1990) and the Second Republic of Lithuania (from 1990). Each period reflects its own relation between art and politics, art and propaganda, art and history.
The exhibition tells the story of Lithuanian national currency from its beginning up to this day, when Lithuania prepares to bid farewell to its national currency. The first banknotes and coins of the First Republic of Lithuania, their sketches, projects, proof stamps, and occasional coins are exhibited together with press clichés, plaster models, proof samples, sketches and projects of the national currency after the restoration of independence in 1990.