LoginJoin us
Forgot Password
Add to Collection

Kaunas Picture Gallery

Kaunas, Lithuania
1 of 12

The appearance of the Kaunas Picture Gallery building is directly linked to the collection of 1,600 works of art accumulated by the famous Lithuanian collector Mykolas Žilinskas. The collection donated to the city needed to be archived, so a building was built to store and display it. Later on, the expanding collection no longer fit in the Kaunas Picture Gallery, so it was decided to build another one - the M. Žilinskas Art Gallery - in the corner of Independence Square, next to St. Michael the Archangel's Church.

The building is found in an attractive and interesting place in the city centre. Accentuating the curve of K. Donelaitis street, the architects created a building with a stepped profile, as if composed of separate quadrilateral volumes. The blind walls of the gallery fill the main streets’ perspective and also maintains the expository function of the building. The flat roof characteristic of modernist architecture opens wide when walking up to the Žaliakalnis hill and from the former observation deck. Also, terraces of different heights become an artistic highlight with neatly arranged domes of white skylights against the background of the black roof. Materials used for the decoration of the building are distinctive not only of that period but also of Kaunas interwar architecture: the facades are coated with light granite plaster and granite slabs.

The interior space of the first floor consists of the main hall for temporary exhibitions, a lobby, a cloakroom and a cafe. The second and third floors are also dedicated to exhibitions, with an auditorium for events and temporary storage. The authentic interior of the lobby and cafe with original furniture, lamps, and wood decorative elements has been preserved to this day.

The building and its surroundings create the impression of a rationally used space, in which not only it merges into a harmonious wholeness. At the corner of the streets, the passer-by is greeted by a defunct swimming pool, where in 2018 "Gallery without walls" was founded. Stairs lead to the building and wide parking spaces are provided on side of the picture gallery. During the spring and summer seasons, this area becomes the outdoor space of the gallery cafe-bar "Kultūra", which is incredibly popular and "obsessed" by locals.

The entrance to the gallery is met with Jadvyga Mozūraitė-Klemkienė's sculpture "The Creator" (1987) and the still-growing old and large maple tree on the plot. in 2007 the wall of the gallery was decorated with a drawing by the Brazilian street artist brothers Os Gemeos. The ongoing changes and the natural attraction of people testify not only to a successful architectural project but also to the lively cultural point of the city.

Go to article
Go to article