Vladimiras Dubeneckis. Architect in the theatre of life and creation
Exhibition at M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art 19 XII 2013 – 2 III 2014
Compiled by Violeta Krišopaitytė, Vaida Sirvydaitė – Rakutienė
Publisher: M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, 2013
Dimensions: 21,0x27,0 cm
“Never boasted of having wings…”
This insightful winged phrase by Paulius Galaunė ends “… but everyone felt that he was seeking for the heights”. It is of great help when looking for exceptional words defining the extraordinary personality of the Lithuanian culture, Vladimiras Dubeneckis, whose anniversary of 125 years since birth is celebrated in 2013. This individual, according to Galaunė, came to the life of Lithuania “with the whole extent of his existence” and threw around “handfuls of virtues”.
He was an architect who left after himself more than 500 architectural designs and whose impressive buildings decorate not only Kaunas and Vilnius but also minor provincial towns such as Karmėlava or Betygala. Dubeneckis was a devoted guard of the Lithuanian cultural heritage and a lecturer of the Kaunas School of Arts. Even though Dubeneckis was developing as a personality, not in a Lithuanian environment, he was probably the first to search for the ethnic style in architecture and applied arts.
Dubeneckis was an artist of exceptional merits to the history of the Lithuanian theatre. Researchers of art refer to him as “one of the most interesting theatre decorators laying foundations to the development of the national scenography. It was because of him (together with P. Kalpokas, Vl. Didžiokas, M. Dobužinskis, and others) that scenography became a full-scale component of performance”.
One of the most significant creative works of Vladimiras Dubeneckis epitomizing the heritage of the painter is the building of Vytautas the Great Museum. The architect had a previous relationship with this museum as he had designed the temporary M. K. Čiurlionis Gallery and undertook long-lasting communication with Paulius Galaunė who was the director of the museum for a long time and who even was his colleague at the State Archeological Commission. The work of the Committee ensured that numerous exhibits went into the possession of the museum and have thus reached our times.
It is not accidental that this museum which has now been named after M. K. Čiurlionis is holding an exhibition commemorating the anniversary of the birth of V. Dubeneckis and is exhibiting the heritage of the artist surviving in various collections, including architectural designs, drafts, and sketches, works of scenography and photo-documentary materials. The objective of the catalog You are now listing is to remind us of this amazing personality; that is why it contains memories of the contemporaries featuring the painter-architect. At the same time, a more extensive reflection of the life and creative work of Dubeneckis is being considered including a major exhibition when the reconstructed building of the museum is reopened in a few years.