Stasys Museum Inauguration: A Landmark Event for Baltic Arts Community

Stasys Museum Inauguration: A Landmark Event for Baltic Arts Community

5 min read

On May 31st, 2024, Lithuanian city Panevėžys will celebrate the opening of the Stasys Museum. Named after Stasys Eidrigevičius, the museum will feature the artist’s extensive works and host international collaborations.

With an investment of over 10 million euros, Panevėžys is establishing a new cultural center that will host the extensive collection of Stasys Eidrigevičius while also creating a social space featuring a gastro-cafe, the city’s panoramic rooftop terrace, and a soon-to-open cinema dedicated to non-commercial films. Located halfway between the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and the Latvian capital Riga, Panevėžys is striving to become an international art hub in the Baltics.  

When asked about the significance of the Stasys museum, Rytis Račkauskas, City Mayor of Panevėžys states, “It’s a game-changer that shapes the identity of the city, the entire region, and Lithuania. It is our ambition to become an international center of attraction for art.” 

International Artistic Hub Emerges in Panevėžys with the Opening of Stasys Museum 

The opening of the Stasys Museum creates a center for global art culture, strengthening cultural ties through partnerships with various internationally acclaimed artists, art institutions and communities that have a connection with Stasys Eidrigevičius or meet the curative vision of the museum. 

“Stasys Museum fills a vacuum by making internationally recognised art accessible in the region, thus tangibly contributing in boosting artistic curiosity and culture sector development in the area,” states Vaida Andrijauskaitė, Director of Stasys Museum. 

New Stasys Museum in Panevėžys, Lithuania  Photograph by Rūta Rancevaitė

The museum will kick off its international engagement this autumn with “the extraordinary solo exhibition by renown Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch, who was one of the main protagonists of the Vienna actionism movement, which started in the 1960’s and is one of the most radical artistic movements of the twentieth century,” states Lina Albrikienė, Curator at Stasys Museum. His works are exhibited all around the globe and are in high demand by international art collectors. 

Additionally, the museum will extend its reach beyond local boundaries with an exhibition in Lyon during the festival The Lithuanian Season in France starting in November, showcasing Stasys’ numerous one-line drawings on paper and the large-scale paintings on canvas. The exhibition will also be a part of the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale 2024 program. “This is just the beginning of a new museum with global ambitions resulting in tangible partnerships,”  says Museum Director Vaida Andrijauskaitė.      

Celebrating Stasys Eidrigevičius: Museum Dedicated to the Artist’s Global Legacy 

At the ICON – O – STASYS exhibit, spanning over 1,000 square meters across three museum floors and outdoor installation, visitors follow the artistic evolution of Stasys Eidrigevičius. From growing up in a farmhouse near Panevėžys to his surrealistic reflections of Soviet times, guests will uncover the biographical threads woven into Eidrigevičius’ art, showcasing the artist’s journey from rural Lithuania to global acclaim. 

Stasys Eidrigevičius, photograph by Ignacy Eidrigevičius

Throughout his life, Eidrigevičius has conducted over 100 exhibitions internationally and has garnered more than 40 international awards. His diverse body of work will be rotated two to four times per year and includes painting, photography, bookplates, posters, sculptures, and more. Stasys’ pieces are featured in prominent collections worldwide, including the British Museum in London, museum of decorative arts in Paris, museum of art and crafts in Hamburg, museum of design in Zurich, the National Library in Washington, the Vatican Museum, The Ginza Graphic Gallery Tokyo, Art Front Gallery Tokyo, Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo, National Museum in Warsaw and Wroclaw. 

“It is great to now have a museum that celebrates the artist Eidrigevičius, one of the most renowned figures from Lithuania. The museum will highlight a success story that resonates both locally and globally,” states Andrijauskaitė. 

Palace, bronze sculpture, 2011 

While being a well-known artist around the world, Eidrigevičius is an especially significant figure in Poland, where he has been residing since 1980. His influence on Polish art was formally recognized in 2019 when he received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit, underscoring his substantial contributions to the Polish artistic community. Andrijauskaitė noted that nearly 100 visitors from Poland have already signed up for the museum’s opening night. 

Blue Tale, pastel on paper, 1995

Transforming Panevėžys: The New Museum as a Community Project 

Driven by a vision to reshape Panevėžys from within, community involvement is central to the museum’s mission. “One of the key pillars of the museum’s strategies is to involve local communities as much as possible,” says Andrijauskaitė. With a diverse and inclusive team of nearly 100 volunteers, the museum has become a communal project, fostering a sense of ownership among the locals. 

The Stasys Museum will be open to the public from May 31. Visitors are invited not only to discover the ICON – O – STASYS exhibition, which will be on display until November 2024, but also to explore the monumental yet minimalistic architecture of the new museum. Simplicity, logic and fantasy are the three keywords that describe the concept designed by IMPLMNT architects Aurimas Syrusas, Greta Šidlauskaitė and Ričardas Bertašius.