Photography and negatives

Kleofas Burba, Marshal of the Kaunas Governorate (1849–1853)

Unknown photographer. 1840s. Daguerreotype

View of Vilnius from Saviour’s Hill

Photo by Józef Czechowicz. Circa 1873

View of Vilnius from Green Bridge

Photo by Stanisław Filibert Fleury. Circa 1896

Gate of Dawn

Photo by Jan Bułhak. 1933–1938

Meeting hall of the Lithuanian Conference

Photo by Aleksandra Jurašaitytė. Vilnius, 18–22 September 1917

Meeting of Lithuanian public figures in Berlin regarding the candidacy of the first Prime Minister

From the left, sitting: Justinas Staugaitis, Antanas Smetona, Konstantinas Olšauskas; standing: Jokūbas Šernas, Jurgis Šaulys, Juozas Purickis, Vilius Gaigalaitis, Martynas Yčas, Augustinas Voldemaras. Photo by E. Bieber. October 1918

Armoured train “Algirdas” of the Lithuanian army and its crew. 1921

Monument to fallen soldiers in Širvintos. 1927

Standing from the left: third – officer of the army headquarters, Col. Vladas Skorupskis, President Antanas Smetona, commander-in-chief, Gen. Silvestras Žukauskas, seventh – Vladas Mironas

Session of the Seventh Cabinet of Minsters (02/02/1922 – 23/02/1923)

From the left: Acting Minister without Portfolio for Belarusian Affairs Domininkas Siemaška, Minister of Justice Vincas Karoblis, Minister of Home Affairs Kazimieras Oleka, Minister of Finances, Commerce and Industry Vytautas Petrulis, executive secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers Stasys Lozoraitis, Prime Minister Ernestas Galvanauskas, Minister of Agriculture and State Resources Jonas Aleksa, Minister of Defence Balys Sližys, Minister of Education Petras Juodakis, State Comptroller Justinas Zubrickas, Minister of Communications Benediktas Tomaševičius

Festivities of the Army and Society Day at the Vytautas the Great War Museum in Kaunas. 15 May 1938

Members of the Baltic Entente Conference (01–03/07/1937) in the Kaunas railway station. 4 July 1937

In the first row from the left: second – Foreign Minister of Latvia Vilhelms Munters, Foreign Minister of Lithuania Stasys Lozoraitis, Deputy Foreign Minister of Estonia August Rei

President of Lithuania Antanas Smetona (1874–1944) in the Lithuanian embassy in Washington. 1941–1943

Soldiers of the 16th Lithuanian Riflemen’s Division

Photo by Chanon Levin. Šiauliai, July 1945

Demonstration of May 1 in Vilnius

Photo by Chanon Levin. 1946

Grocery shop “Vaivorykštė” in Karoliniškės

Photo by Eugenijus Šiško. Vilnius, 1973

Construction of the Ignalina nuclear power station

Photo by Marijonas Baranauskas. 1982

Unsanctioned protest meeting of the Lithuanian Freedom League to condemn the signing of the second secret protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Vilnius, 28 September 1988

Meeting in Vingio Park to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

Photo by Raimundas Urbakavičius. Vilnius, 23 August 1988

Baltic Way

Photo by Algimantas Kunčius. 23 August 1989

Raising of the flag of the Republic of Lithuania after the proclamation of the Act of the Restoration of Independence

In the presidium from the left: deputy chairmen of the Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas Kazimieras Motieka, Bronislovas Kuzmickas, chairman Vytautas Landsbergis, deputy chairman Česlovas Stankevičius, Presidium member Aloyzas Sakalas, secretary Liudvikas Sabutis. Photo by Juozas Kazlauskas. Vilnius, 11 March 1990

It is one of the largest archives of photographic documents from the second half of the 19th to the early 21st century in Lithuania. It contains unique exhibits of early photography – daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. The largest part of the collection of early photography consists of works by photographers who worked in Vilnius before 1915: Albert Swieykowski, Abdon Korzon, Achille Giuseppe Bonoldi, Józef Czechowicz, Stanisław Filibert Fleury, Johan Hiksa, Alexander Strauss, Aleksandras Jurašaitis, Jan Bułhak and others.

The abundant heritage of photographers from small cities and towns reflects the period of the independent Republic of Lithuania – works by Ignas Stropus, Petras Ločeris, Jokūbas Skrinska, and a great number of unknown masters were printed in large numbers. Kaunas-based photographers of the most prominent public figures and events Adam Kluczynski, Mejeris Smečechauskas, and the Studio of the Soldiers’ Economic Cooperative should be mentioned. The collection of negatives of the famous interwar photographer Vytautas Augustinas, which survived through wars and occupations, is quite extraordinary.

A separate group consists of ethnographic negatives. From 1929 to 1934 Maria Znamierowska-Prüfferowa collected and photographed material related to fishing in Vilnius, Druskininkai, Trakai, Švenčionys, and Ašmena environs. Prof. Ignas Končius captured the wooden architecture of Lithuania, mainly Žemaitija, from 1935 to 1939. The major part of ethnographic negatives by Vladas Barzdžius, Stasė Bernotienė, Vytautas Bortkevičius, Vacys Milius, Juozas Petrulis, Stasys Paulauskas, Mečislovas Sakalauskas, architect prof. Kazys Šešelgis and others was accumulated during ethnographic field trips in the second half of the 20th century.

The photographic collection also contains photographic documents reflecting the Soviet period, which were largely inherited by the National Museum of Lithuania from the restructured State History Museum (the former Revolution Museum of the Lithuanian SSR). Works by contemporary photographers are also accumulated. In the late 20th and early 21st century the museum acquired some works by Vytautas Balčytis, Arūnas Baltėnas, Alfonsas Budvytis, Algimantas Kunčius, Romualdas Požerskis, and Raimundas Urbonas; Algimantas and Mindaugas Černiauskas, Stanislovas Žvirgždas, Algimantas Kunčius, and Kęstutis Stoškus donated their photographs to the museum after their exhibitions. Works of photographic art held in the museum are often intermingled with historical documentary works. In 2001 Raimondas Urbakavičius gave to the museum a valuable collection of negatives from 1988–1993, in which major events of the National Revival and the restoration of the Lithuanian state were captured.

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