V. K. JONYNAS GALLERY
The gallery was built in 1989 (architect Algimantas Kančas). On November 4, 1993, it opened the doors for the visitors. The gallery comprises over one hundred works, created from 1931 to 1982 by an exceptionally talented graphic artist, painter, sculptor, stained glass craftsman Vytautas Kazimieras Jonynas (1907–1997). All the artwork, kept in the gallery, was donated to Lithuania by the artist. The creative legacy comprises of the wood carvings, illustrations, and ex-libris, created in Kaunas and Panevėžys; Freiburg-era woodcuts and post stamps, Mainz lithographs, stained glasses, decorative sculptures, mosaic projects of US public buildings, churches, squares, and piazzas, as well as drawings, watercolors, pastels and more.
Jonynas was born in Alytus district on March 16, 1907. He studied at Kudirkos Naumiestas and Kaunas’ gymnasiums. From 1923 to 1929 he studied at the Lithuanian Art School in Kaunas. In 1931 he went to Paris to continue his studies, specializing in woodcarving and book art as well as the construction of wooden sculptures and furniture. After his personal exhibition in Paris, he came back to Kaunas in 1935. Here he took part in the activities of the young artists’ group “Ars”, gave lectures at the Kaunas Art School, and later became the director of the Kaunas Applied and Decorative Art Institute. In 1944 the artist moved to Germany. In 1946, with the help of his friend R. Schmitlein, Jonynas founded the Freiburg Art School. In 1951 he moved to the United States, where he gave lectures and founded a stained glass studio. The artist used to spend his summers in the gallery, talking to his visitors about the creative work. Jonynas died in 1997.