New Acquisitions of the Medal Collection. 2015–2017
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The exhibition “New Acquisitions of the Medal Collection. 2015–2017” is open from 23 November to 28 January 2018 at The National Museum of Lithuania, Old Arsenal.
The exhibition contains exhibits that have become part of the medal collection of the National Museum of Lithuania during the last three years – they were purchased from medallists, collectors, medal distribution companies, were given over to the museum by public institutions, found during excavations, and donated by medal artists and their family members as well as private individuals.
In the exhibition, the visitors can see a small part of one of the largest donated collections (715 pcs.) of the recent period – medals, plaques and their models created by Stasys Leonas Makaraitis (1938–2014). These works, dedicated to the events and personalities of the history of Lithuania and architecture of Lithuanian cities, constitute almost a third of the exhibition. The largest part of the collection that became a significant addition to the museum’s medal collection is comprised of portraits of artists, writers, theatre people and other outstanding personalities, distinguished by both compositional and visual solutions. These are mainly portraits of contemporary figures that hardly ever reach museums. The collection was given over to the museum by the artist’s daughter, journalist and political contributor Indrė Makaraitytė.
The exhibited works are divided under separate headings. Among the exhibits representing the events and personalities of the history of Lithuania, the earliest and most valuable is a silver medal in memory of the Peace of Tilsit concluded in 1807 (artist Christian Joseph Krüger). Artists Petras Baronas, Petras Gintalas, Benas Narbutas, Antanas Olbutas, Leonas Pivoriūnas, Petras Repšys, Antanas Vaičekauskas and many others commemorated important events of the country’s history, cultural and public figures of Lithuania. A model of the medal in memory to the deportee, physician Dalia Grinkevičiūtė (1927–1987), created and given to the museum by artist Skaistė Žilienė, deserves a mention.
A separate group consists of works created for the international symposiums of medal art “Literary Figures of Lithuania Minor” (2011) and “The Seasons by Donelaitis in Medals” (2012), which were dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the birth of Kristijonas Donelaitis. The visitors can get acquainted with works by international medal artists that reached Lithuania as diplomatic gifts – they were given over to the museum by the Chancelleries of the President and the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other institutions.
A separate mention should be given to works on religious themes created by various artists, as well as medals created on commission from LLC “Monetų namai” and religious medallions from the 17th–20th centuries found during excavations, the earliest of which is dedicated to commemorate the Jubilee Year of 1625. It is a very rare and valuable exhibit.
The museum is grateful to artists Petras Baronas, Petras Gintalas, Benas Narbutas, Skaistė Žilienė, senior specialist of the Ministry of Culture Gintaras Džiovėnas, Eugenijus Ivanauskas, director of LLC “Lietuvos suvenyras” Gediminas Kavaliauskas, Indrė Makaraitytė, Ada Nasvytienė, Edita Paulauskienė, Jonas Stundžia (USA), Archbishop of Kaunas Lionginas Virbalas SJ, and collector Daniel Obreja (Romania) for their gifts. We extend our gratitude to the Chancelleries of the President of the Republic of Lithuania and the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trakai History Museum, and LLC “Monetų namai”.
Exhibition curator Regina Ablėnienė, designer Jurga Karosaitė.