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Collections of The Lithuanian National Museum of Art were accumulated through a long period of time and complicated country’s history. In 1907, the first exhibits supplemented the collections, when one after the other various Lithuanian art, science and art societies were founded. Now The Lithuanian National Museum of Art has quarter-million exhibits. Valuable national and foreign artworks, professional and folk art exhibits are grouped into three main collections: Fine Arts, Applied Art and Folk Art.
The collection of fine art consists of over 77,000 artworks from Lithuania and foreign countries (16th – 21st c.) – it is paintings, sculptures, graphic art, artistic and historical photography. Secular and sacred artworks of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania are in these collections; they used to decorate interiors of Lithuanian churches, monasteries, palaces and noble manors. A significant part of the collection consists of the first half of the 20th c. Vilnius and Kaunas art schools’ teachers and their students, the artwork of exile, and the largest Lithuanian art collection from the second half of the 20th c. The collection of artistic and historical photography consists of over 8000 positives, negatives and video installations. Artistic compositions, portraits, urban and natural landscapes reflect a creative work of the most prominent Lithuanian photographers of the second half of the 20th c. Historical photography is particularly important material for researching the development of the end of the 19th c. – the first half of the 20th c. photography in Lithuania which is also the core iconographic source for researchers.
The collection of applied art consists of more than 100,000 14th – 20th c. exhibits. The largest part of the collection consists of furniture, textiles, ceramics, archaeology items, amber and metal articles, numismatics. Collections of porcelain, glass, clocks, and design are being accumulated at the moment. Valuable historic furniture manufactured by local craftsmen, tiles, articles from an ancient goldsmith and amber workshops, coins of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, bands of Slutsk, archaeological exhibits are accumulated in the collection of applied art. The collection of ceramics, textile, glass, jewellery that reflects 20th c. Lithuanian professional applied art is especially numerous. Amber collection consists of close to 30,000 exhibits. These are particularly unique pieces of amber and inclusions, consistently reflecting the evolution and formation processes of amber, articles of artists and craftsmen illustrating the long-lived tradition of amber processing and appliance in Lithuania.
The collection of folk art of the museum is one of the largest and most valuable in Lithuania. There are over 25,000 fine and applied art exhibits showing the features of folk art and ethnographic regions of the 19th – 20th c. The collection of fine art consists of the 17th – 20th c. wood sculptures, paintings, graphics, apexes of iron crosses, crucifixes and chapels. The collection of the 19th – 20th c. traditional folk carvings, Vincas Svirskis’ (1935-1916) crosses with bas-relief figures of saints, the unique miniatures’ collection of Lida Meškaitytė are particularly valuable.
The collection of applied art consists of furniture, articles of wood, metal and clay, palms, Easter eggs, fabrics, knits, laces and etc.
The collection of folk textile is the largest one. It consists of more than 10,000 ancient and modern fabrics. The collection of the second half of the 19th c. church flags is particularly valuable.
The collection of illustrations, drawings, and photos was accumulated during the expeditions. Ethnographic buildings, furniture, household items, fabric patterns and other folk art objects that the museum was not able to buy were perpetuated in the Illustrations and captured photos.