Private art collections in Lithuania and Estonia in the 2nd half of the 20th Century
The exhibition presents significant cases of private collecting in Lithuania and Estonia, formed on the fringes of Soviet culture in the 1960s-1990s, which have so far received little research attention. The status of persons who collected art at that time was not precisely defined. It fluctuated between the categories of a profiteer and an enthusiast, and in ordinary life the collectors used to take on the roles of friends, patrons, dealers and information promoters.
"Silent collections" grew on the margins of the state-controlled art market on the initiative of writers, actors, medical doctors, architects and engineers. Private collections absorbed dozens of hundreds of paintings, graphic works and sculptures which due to the regime's ideological requirements or other reasons were not included in the system of state acquisition of artworks. Each collection reflects not only the aesthetic views and the network of familiar artists of its owner, but also the general pulse of the culture field in the Soviet period, different acquisition tactics and the owners' relation with their collections.
The Lithuanian part is represented by the collections of the professor of Vilnius University Vladas Žukas (1925-2014), actors Laimonas Noreika (1926-2007) and Bronius Gražys (1934-2013), architect Zigmantas Liandzbergis (1929-1993), medical doctor Stasė Mičelytė (1925-2011), radio engineer Visvaldas Neniškis (b. 1943), doctor, businessman Jonas Žiburkus (b. 1947), scriptwriter and journalist Pranas Morkus (b. 1938) and financial controller Egidijus Jakubauskas (b. 1949).The Estonian part of the exhibition consists of the collections of Matti Milius (1945-2015) and Mart Lepp (b. 1947), to whom collecting was part of their lifestyle, as well as businessman Mart Erik (b. 1953), medical doctor Mihkel Lember (b. 1955) and Sweden-based financial analyst Henn Koch (1943-2016).
Lenders to the exhibition: Mart Erik (EE),
Egidijus Jakubauskas (LT), Andrius Jankauskas (LT), Nijolė
Narijauskaitė-Gražienė (LT), Anne Koch (EE), Mihkel Lember (EE),
Mart Lepp (EE), Linas Liandzbergis (LT), Pranas Morkus (LT),
Visvaldas Neniškis (LT), Rūta Oginskaitė (LT), Jonas Žiburkus (LT),
Vaidotas, Edvidas ir Saulius Žukai (LT), Art Museum of Estonia, MO
Museum, Lewben Art Foundation, Tartu art museum.
Curators: Eglė Juocevičiūtė, Jolanta Marcišauskytė-Jurašienė, Kadri Asmer, Raivo Kelomees
Architect: Ieva Cicėnaitė
Designer: Laura Grigaliūnaitė
The project was partly financed by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian Council for Culture
Sponsors: UAB Exterus, Imparat, Estonian Embassy in Vilnius, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Estonia
Media sponsors: lrytas.lt
Partners: Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania, Lithuanian film center, Lithuanian Radio and Television
To listen to the audio record of a lecture by Latvian art historian Peteris Bankovskis titled "Private art collecting in Latvia in the second half of the 20th century" please clock here.