The exposition of J. Zikaras house-museum

J. Zikaras House-Museum
J. Zikaras House-Museum

As you pass the original threshold of J. Zikaras’ house, on the left you get into the living room with a linoleum flooring of approximately 1935, the only one that had survived in Lithuania. The room is typical of well-off townspeople who owned an ordinary, not large mansion usually adorned with photos and copies of ancient sculptures dating back to the 19th century. Further, you will see a sofa, the “Kaps” piano of the year 1900, which is still suitable to play, and a cabinet full of table games for guests’ relaxation. The room is completely authentically furnished, including the curtain-rods representing the fashion of about 1919.

A moment later you enter the room of mother Anelė Zikarienė where she educated her children in a rather strict and comprehensible manner. A desk-secretaire, letters dedicated to the mom, and a box with jewelry in a glass-topped table characterize the woman’s mode of life. With the help of a video projection, one can view photos, writings, children’s drawings.

Another entirely authentic space is the dining room furnished in a style of 1933 and decorated with paintings. While you are admiring the “Capri” painted by J. Mackevičius, a restored gramophone will play “Santa Lucia” in Enrico Caruso’s performance. That was entertainment for both artists while tasting some “Limoncello”.

In the last, father’s room, you will certainly admire a unique piece of furniture made in 1912–1914, which was the property of all three sons. The photos exhibited here feature little kids of the family, a chair and a shelf made by the sculptor himself, textbooks of the inter-war years, and J. Zikaras’ assessments of students’ tasks, as well as surprisingly composed annual teaching plans. The door of this room leads to the so-called Kissing Terrace, from which you can admire one of the most beautiful panoramas of Kaunas.

On the ground floor of the house, you will get into J. Zikaras’ workshop, which includes three rooms: a studio, a men’s room, and a gallery.

In his studio, the artist was making plaster forms for his works, some of which, including those made by the son Teisutis, you will see in the exhibition. You will also be able to glance through the drawings by Zikaras made during the study years at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. No doubt, a smiling skull on a white shelf will catch your eye.

Curious enough why the next area is called men’s room? Actually, this was the space allotted for the sculptor’s colleagues and students. The sofa in this room has a special value – J. Basanavičius, the patriarch of our nation, was sitting on it when J. Zikaras was shaping his portrait.

Most of the sculptor’s completed works and several versions of the famous statue “Liberty” are exhibited in the third room – the gallery.

Visitors will enjoy the interactive terminal in the workshop which presents the photos and archival material of J. Zikaras’ works and life in more detail.