Exhibition curator Giedrė Jankevičiūtė:
Over the brief, ten-year period between 1939 and 1949, political control over Vilnius changed hands six times. Wave after wave of campaigns to Lithuanianize, Germanize, and Russify and Sovietize the city undermined urban life and altered both the daily routines and identity of Vilnius’ population. The city’s Jews were murdered and its Poles expelled, replaced by Lithuanians, Belarusians, and Russians. The city’s physical body changed as well, evidenced in altered urban planning and architecture. All of these transformations are revealed in this exhibition through a collection of artefacts: works of art, photography, documents, and architectural plans.
Our exploration of the city’s dramatic history begins with a brief look at a peaceful, prewar Vilnius with its optimistic visions of a multiethnic modern city and a nostalgic picture of its past glory. Our main focus is nevertheless devoted to the wounds of war and their enduring scars, to all that has been lost and to the deep longing felt by Vilnius’ older inhabitants – those who have remained and those who were forced to leave. A closer exploration of the creators of several works on display here allows us to reconstruct a picture of the artistic community in Vilnius and better understand how multifaceted it was, both ethnically and culturally.
This exhibition is dedicated to Vilnius and its people, whose painful history went untold for so many years, because other things were considered more important. This exhibition also serves to remind us that Vilnius does not just belong to us, we who live here today. It also belongs to those who came before us and who loved this city no less than we do today.
”This exhibition is dedicated to Vilnius and its people, whose painful history went untold for so many years, because other things were considered more important.”
MO Museum founders Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus:
We still know too little about art created in Vilnius in these years, nor do we know enough about the city’s multiethnic community which endured numerous traumatic experiences in the maelstrom of the Second World War and the years immediately following it. We hope that both these exhibitions will help fill the gaps in our understanding of history and help us to heal and grow as a community.
Curator – Giedrė Jankevičiūtė
Coordinators: Gabrielė Radzevičiūtė, Ieva Stasevičiūtė
Architect – Mindaugas Reklaitis
Graphic design – Klimaite Klimaite
Technician – Dominykas Šavelis
Gallery name: MO Museum
Address: Pylimo str. 17, Vilnius
Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Sat-Sun 10:00 - 20:00, Fri 10:00 - 22:00
Open: 01.02.2021 - 24.05.2021