Union of Artists (Lithuania)
The Soviet Lithuanian Union of Artists was an influential cultural organisation made up of local artists, painters, sculptors and other workers in the field of art. The organisation brought together artists, and was responsible for the spread of Soviet values in art. The collection holds many documents, including transcripts of meetings and congresses of artists, and reports of artists' activities, which show that some local artists were eager to support the Lithuanian cultural heritage, and promote the extension of the boundaries of modernism in the late Soviet period.
10102 Vilnius O. Milašiaus gatvė 19 , Lithuania
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Name of collection
Union of Artists of LSSR
Lietuvos TSR Dailininkų sąjunga
Provenance and cultural activities
The Soviet Lithuanian Union of Artists was an influential cultural organisation made up of local artists. It was established in 1940, and reestablished with the second Soviet occupation in 1944. The Union of Artists was formed within the framework of the USSR Union of Writers.
During the Stalinist period, the Union of Artists was active in the sovietisation of Lithuania. Most artists who participated in this process tried to adapt to the schematic requirements of Socialist Realism, and avoided risky themes. During the post-Stalinist period, the work of local artists was much more dynamic. The 1960s generation drew attention to ethnic nostalgia and the cultural heritage, especially promoting the work of the famous painter Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. At the Congress of Lithuanian Artists held in November 1987, just before the national revival started in 1988, a group of painters showed a critical position towards the centralism of the art field, and appeared to be the first intellectuals to partly criticise the existing system.
During the times of perestroika, the Union of Artists emerged in the thick of the social and political changes. Leaders of the Union of Artists participated actively in the national revival in 1987-1989, and were elected to the Sąjūdis Initiative Group, which led the national movement during the Singing Revolution.
The collection of the Union of Artists was started in 1944, when it began to produce documents.
Description of content
The collection consists of documents from the Union of Artists, personal files of artists, and financial documents. The most important documents showing the cultural opposition are transcripts of meetings, and transcripts of the Congress of Artists. These documents reflect the difficult position of prominent artists in 1987, and the context of the national revival at the end of the 1980s.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 1000-
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Vilnius Mėsinių gatvė 2, Lithuania
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Ivanauskas, Vilius