“Art Deco in Kaunas 1919–1940: Feeling of Home“ is exhibited on the first floor in the Kaunas Officers’ Club (Adomo Mickevičiaus Str. 19), which itself is one of the finest examples of Kaunas school of Modernist Architecture from the Interwar Lithuania of the 1930s.
The economic, cultural and artistic boom of the 30‘s made some to refer to Kaunas city centre as “Little New York“or, alternatively, as “Little Paris”. Numerous works of interior design and furniture were produced locally for prominent artists, officers and businessmen.
Whereas Kaunas architects of the “belle époque” were influenced by American art deco, the masters of furniture and interior design drew inspiration from French art deco, including the master of style Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann himself. The most prominent Lithuanian art deco furniture author from Kaunas Jonas Prapuolenis attended the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métries in Paris in the early 30‘s.
Kaunas art deco furniture authors have perfected the inlay and marquetry techniques for mahogany and walnut profiles; Lithuanian birch, hornbeam and especially black oak were used for furniture segments. Local nacre, bone, and especially Baltic amber were applied exclusively for product decoration.
“Lithuanian interwar art deco furniture is unique as its style overlaps modernist and French art deco influences with local Baroque and Lithuania ethnic-style foundations, depicting sun, fir, lily and other ornaments. We are happy to bring into light the examples yet-to-be-discovered by European art deco style lovers,” says the curator of “Art Deco Kaunas 1919-1940: Feeling of Home“ Dainius Lanauskas.
Exhibition is complemented by modern paintings by Kaunas artist Deivis Slavinskas and unique Persian carpets from the beginning of 20th century from Laura Bohne collection.
In April 2015, European Union awarded a European Heritage Label to the modern interwar architecture of Kaunas. The city now seeks to become European Capital of Culture in 2022 and Kaunas modernist architecture to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “Art Deco Kaunas 1919 – 1940: Feeling of Home” is a private initiative of local art collectors.