The cultural life in Vilnius in the interwar period

Andrzej Białkiewicz



During the period of partitions an important centre of keeping Polish national traditions alive was the town of Vilnius. After the fall of the January Uprising the cultural life of the city clearly collapsed. Only after 1919, when Stefan Batory University, closed by czarist authorities in 1832, was reactivated, were the important organizations of artists and scientific societies established in the city. The city soon became the center of the artistic community. As a result of its great achievements in the area of fine arts, theater, literature, architecture, conservation of historical sites and scientific research, Vilnius was an influential cultural center in the interwar period. It is worth emphasizing here the importance of activities of such artistic groups as, for example, Vilnius Association of Artists or Vilnius Association of Independent Artists Painters. The number of the organized exhibitions or activity of the Vilnius artists in Polish and foreign exhibitions constitute a testimony to the presence of this town in the Polish culture. Vilnius during the inter-war period also witnessed some architectural realizations which constituted important achievements of Polish architecture of that time. In this architecture it is clearly visible that architects closely cooperated with other artists such as sculptors or painters. All these phenomena prove the existence of the strong cultural circles during the interwar period that impinged not only on the city itself but far beyond it as well.

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