Memorial Exposition of the A. Žmuidzinavičius House

A. Žmuidzinavičius Creations and Collections Museum (Temporarily closed for construction works)
A. Žmuidzinavičius Creations and Collections Museum (Temporarily closed for construction works)

Three living spaces constitute the contemporary memorial exhibition of the family flat: the Žmuidzinavičius family sitting room, their daughter Giedrė’s room, and the room of the painter’s wife Marija.

The innovative and modern design of the house determined the solutions of the interior spaces. As soon as You enter You get into the cozy lobby. Pay attention to the two curved doors. The predominating deep red colour of the doors and the walls was selected by Antanas Žmuidzinavičius himself.

The first room, i.e. the sitting room to the right is the most impressive. It has preserved the authentic interwar spirit sporting a flower table with a mirror, a Viennese furniture set, and a piano. The space of the sitting room may be divided with massive sliding doors.

Works of well-known foreign and Lithuanian artists hang on the walls. Among them, paintings by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Petras Rimša, Petras Kalpokas, Adomas Varnas, and Tadas Daugirdas can be seen as well as a drawing by Wojciech Gerson, a famous Polish painter, compositions by Juozas Kodis, Kazimieras Šimonis, Jonas Mackevičius, Juozas Zikaras, and Danutė Tarabildienė beside watercolours by Levas Antokolskis, Kajetonas Sklėrius, and Česlovas Kontrimas and the works of art of Vasilijus Meškovas, a close friend of the painter. Many other authors are also represented. Do not miss several portraits of Antanas Žmuidzinavičius designed by various painters.

The interior of the workshop of Antanas Žmuidzinavičius is a subtle and authentic example of the studio of an interwar artist residing in Kaunas City. It is denoted as a private space that has not undergone any changes ever since. The workshop was purposefully installed in the northeastern corner of the building. The soft lighting and the floor of the room specially painted in green ideally suited for this purpose as nothing could have distracted the painter’s attention. A minute’s pause helps to take in the experience of the creative environment of the painter. The interior of the workshop has been left unaltered since 1966 when the flat and the workshop of the painter were opened to the visitors. Here, the authentic work environment has been preserved. An easel with the last unfinished work of A. Žmuidzinavičius is exhibited together with an elevation for posing, ottomans, books shelves, and a working desk. On the windowsills and shelves, there are souvenirs brought home from various travels. On the massive desk, there is a typical inkpot of the time, a pen as well as photos of this wife, daughter, and granddaughters. Above the door, Vytis's picture designed by the painter withheld its place even during the harshest occupation years. The interior of the workshop is dominated by the burzhuika, a.k.a. a potbelly stove, a Russian-style furnace. Besides, various personal belongings of the Žmuidzinavičius family are exhibited, such as the traveling umbrella, a folded seat, folders of sketches, and albums of copies. Next to the couch, there are four coffee tables which can easily be turned into one larger table by putting them next to each other; every day, at noon, friends and other people who knew the painter could pop in for a cup of coffee. This was the elitist tradition of the house; however, no coffee chat was allowed to last more than forty-five minutes as the painter was highly self-disciplined and could not stand time-wasting. The workshop exhibits the painter’s works of various periods: early acts, minor works of his study years, travel etudes, and works of the 1950s and 1960s. The only exhibits which have departed from the space of the workshop are the sculptures of devils which used to be stored beside the window, on bookshelves. A separate building was constructed for the growing collection of devils in 1983. The top storey of the building which used to serve as the residential area currently exhibits paintings by A. Žmuidzinavičius representing his various creative periods; they include landscapes, compositions with a plot, subtle marine artworks, and his highly expressive studies representing the years of training in Paris.