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Exhibition: „Lithuania. Two Centuries of Photography”

Duration of the exhibition: 16 June until 29 October

The exhibition tells a story about Lithuania and its inhabitants, about history and memory, as well as about selected motifs shaping Lithuanian identity. The show offers a wide historical overview: the oldest of the photos shown at the exhibition date back to the 19th century, the most recent to 2023. In addition to the canonical works of recognised masters, the exhibition features work by less known artists, including emigrees. Traditional photographs are on display along photo books and photo albums.


 The exhibition is not a typical chronologically framed retrospective. It focuses on selected motifs and themes, which is reflected in the titles of individual sections: “Atelier”, “A week in Vilnius”, “Photographer’s wanderings”, “Silence”, “Self-portrait”, “Personal memories”, and “Lithuania’s diversity”.


“Atelier” offers an insight into the achievements of the pioneers of photography. The 19th-century photos are juxtaposed with the contemporary work by Robert Kuśmirowski, produced on the basis of archival portraits of important Lithuanian writers and poets, insurgents, politicians, and emigrants. “A week in Vilnius” focuses on the city-myth and its visual representations from the early 20th century to the present day. “Photographer’s wanderings” features lyrical and contemplative views of the Lithuanian landscape, often set in a mythological context. “Silence” is a celebration of everyday life, of beauty hidden in ordinary objects. In the “Self-portrait’ section, there are photographic documentations of performative activities, for which the artist’s body is the starting point. “Personal memories” addresses the trauma of Lithuania’s post-war past and experiences related to the brutal totalitarianisms of the 20th century. The final part of the exhibition – “Lithuania’s diversity” – is devoted to contemporary Lithuania; it shows a country immersed in tradition, and at the same time open to the present.


The photos in the exhibition demonstrate a great variety of content and form. What they have in common, however, is the search for beauty in the ordinary and the everyday. Most works display poetic, tranquil, and melancholy qualities. They were arranged in such a way as to show the interdependence between successive generations of artists. Artists of such stature as Józef Czechowicz, Stanisław Kazimierz Kossakowski, and the photographers from the Lithuanian school of photography: Antanas Sutkus, Romualdas Rakauskas, and Romualdas Vikšraitis are juxtaposed with representatives of the next generation: Tadas Kazakevičius, Indrė Šerpytytė, and Paulius Petraitis.


The photographs on display contain numerous motifs specific not only to Lithuania, but also related to a common experience of Central Europeans. After all, Vilnius was an important city also for Poles and Belarusians, and the dramatic experiences of the Soviet occupation were shared by citizens of many countries in this part of the continent. “Lithuania. Two centuries of photography” will therefore be yet another exhibition that tells the history of Central Europe through photography, much like our earlier shows, such as “Photobloc. Central Europe in photo books” (2019) and “More than Bauhaus. German photography between the wars and Polish parallels” (2021).


The exhibition is accompanied by a publication of a Polish-English, richly illustrated catalogue.

Programme policy

Agata Wąsowska-Pawlik, Łukasz Galusek


Exhibition concept and plan

Adam Mazur



Adam Mazur, Vilma Samulionytė, Natalia Żak


Curatorial cooperation

Monika Rydiger


Specialist editing of exhibition texts

Natalia Żak


Exhibition design

Anna Wisz


Exhibition coordinator

Karolina Wójcik



Joanna Biegacz, Jan Burnatowski, Ewa Czarnecka, Gintaras Česonis, Marzena Daszewska, Magdalena Grabias, Dawid Górny, Joanna Hojda-Pepaś, Agata Klejzerowicz, Dorota Korohoda, Dorota Kosiec, Daniel Krawczyk, Adam Ladziński, Paulina Małochleb, Aleksandra Marczuk-Radoszek, Regina Mynarska, Paulina Orłowska-Bańdo, Łukasz Pieróg, Aleksandra Rak, Paulina Roszak-Niemirska, Agnieszka Sachar, Anna Sawłowicz, Gytis Skudžinskas, Klaudia Słupek, Natalia Strzelecka, Paulina Sweet, Anna Śliwa




With the financial support of:

Project is co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage: Poland and Lithuania. Shared heritage, shared values”




Promotional partner:

Exhibition media patrons:



Long-terms media patrons:



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We want our exhibitions to be accessible to everyone. We encourage you to read about what we have prepared for people with disabilities.
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Guided tours of the exhibition

Lithuanian photography is not one, but many histories. It is a labyrinth of images, personalities, and meanings. We invite you to take part in guided tours that will introduce the concept of the exhibition.
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The exhibition “Lithuania. Two centuries of photography” is accompanied by a series of meetings, during which we will bring the Lithuanian culture closer to our visitors. We have invited specialists in photography, art and literary critics to participate.
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Participate in outdoor workshops with z Andrzej Pilichowski-Ragno inspired by the work of artists whose photographs are part of our current exhibition.
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City walks

Architecture and sculpture of Krakow's Old Town contain traces of the shared history of Poland and Lithuania. Discover them with us.
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Exhibition catalogue

This catalogue contains reproductions of 200 works by the most outstanding photographers working in Lithuania. From pictures by early pioneers – often Polish aristocrats or wealthy landowners – to the works of contemporary young Lithuanian artists scattered around the world.
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