Geometry of Things. The interwar Kaunas in Vogue

A. and P. Galaunė House

The exhibition presents one more cross-section of the interwar lifestyle. Visitors are invited to admire the clothing and accessories of the intelligentsia of the Temporary Capital.

The interwar mode of life entangled in nostalgic memories, ambitious aspirations, stories of rapid rise of the Temporary Capital have become a special focus of attention nowadays. Fashion in Kaunas, the cradle of Lithuanian Art Deco, was one of important aspects of everyday life and meant a lot not only for women, but also for the representatives of a “strong sex“. Emancipation, equality, activity are the features that characterize women of the 1920s, especially those in Kaunas, the city that had great aspirations to be equal with the capitals of Western Europe. Faster lifestyle, liberation from stereotypes, new spheres of social and political activity after World War I fostered many changes in fashion and they were followed by ladies in Kaunas.

Laisvės alėja (TheFreedom Avenue) has become a kind of fashion center in the Temporary Capital city, where dozens of clothing and hat workshops have been established, taking the Paris fashion as a standard. Researchers notice that women in Kaunas were particularly demanding and sewed their garments according to the models seen in fashion magazines. Characteristic dress silhouettes, hats, casual and festive outfit that belonged to famous ladies Adelė Galaunienė, Marijona Rakauskaitė, Anelė Tūbelytė –Zikarienė, Vanda Daugirdaitė-Sruogienė, Elena Žalinkevičaitė-Petrauskienė is a perfect illustration of the then prevailing fashion in Kaunas.

The exhibit also focuses on the beauty industry: soap, perfume, powder, blush, even eyelashes – the attributes of feminine charm. A lot of tiny but intriguing trivia found in the Kaunas City Museum, Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art and private collections reveal the contrasting world of the interwar ladies’ and gentlemen’s beauty and fashion, which is also complemented by the fine arts exhibits. This time, they are also an important iconographic source for comprehensive interwar Kaunas fashion studies. The works by Kajetonas Sklėrius, Marcė Katiliūtė, Jonas Šileika, Adalbertas Staneika, Pranas Domšaitis tell the story of the interwar Kaunas in Vogue.

We extend our gratitude to the colleagues of the Kaunas City Museum, Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, the Antiquary in Kaunas, Vilma Srėbaliūtė-Kernazickienė and other private persons who had lent exhibits.