Between Painting and Duty

A. Žmuidzinavičius Memorial House / Devils Museum

The exhibition “Between Painting and Duty”, dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Petras Stauskas. We invite you to get acquainted with one of the most memorable representatives of Kaunas Art World – a painter, watercolorist, and director of M. K. Čiurlionis Art Museum Petras Stauskas (1919-2003). Mr Stauskas was the director of the museum during the most difficult years in Lithuanian history – the Soviet period.

Having become aware of the essence of history, having experienced both exile in 1941 and the compulsory participation in the World War II, one of his most significant works was the creation of the museum – a shelter for non-conformism. At the same time there were official events, and a hiding place for former political prisoners, deportees, important people for Lithuanian culture – Kazimiera Kairiūkštytė-Galaunienė, Adelbertas Nedzelskis, Povilas Karazija, Pranciškus Porutis, Bronius Petrauskas, prof. Tadas Petkevičius, P. Galaunė, who was fired from the position of the director, and many other people, inconvenient to Soviets. Thanks to Stauskas’ prudent and far-sighted thinking, the Čiurlionis Museum has become a unique system of opportunities that has helped not only to preserve valuable collections, to enrich it, but also to discover new exhibition spaces. During years of his leadership, two new galleries were build, new branches were opened in Druskininkai, Jurbarkas and Kaunas (Pažaislis Architectural Ensemble, Stained Glass and Sculpture Gallery in Sobor, Ceramics Museum in Kaunas Town Hall, A. Žmuidzinavičius Memorial Museum). The former temporary capital – Kaunas – was named “the city of museums”.

P. Stauskas, The Landscape of Aukštaitija

There are two complementary episodes, dedicated to the Anniversary of P. Stauskas’ centenary: a documentary and an exhibition were specially created for the occasion. A documentary features the footage from the personal archives of Stasys Dargis, Malvydas Sakalauskas, as well as M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Lithuanian Literature and Art Archives. Relatives and colleagues, artists and art critics will share memories of the maestro. The exhibition represents documents, which are kept in the Lithuanian Special Archive, and were not shown for a wider audience until now. These include: protocols of interviews in exile, photographs, stored in the family and museum archives, and a small part of watercolors and paintings. 

P. Stauskas, The Portrait of Rūta Staliliūnaitė

The exhibition represents two genres: portrait and landscape. The chrestomathic portraits of Hazelnut Owl (1957), Rūta Staliliūnaitė (1972), Paulius Galaunė (1973), and other famous persons are represented. The landscape prevails the Lithuanian theme – the native Aukštaitija (“Duburaičiai”, 1980; “Jaskoniškės”, 1981), Kaunas districts (“Alley in Pažaislis”, 1968; “Old Yard of Aleksotas”, until 1964).

Curators: Genovaitė Vertelkaitė-Bartulienė, Osvaldas Daugelis.

Creative Group of a Film: Linas Citvaras, Genovaitė Vertelkaitė-Bartulienė, Kristina Civinskienė

Sponsor: Lithuanian Council for Culture