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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus


Samuel Bak. Paris and Rome, 1956-1965 / Eglė Ridikaitė. Unveilings

On 18 June, the Samuel Bak Museum (Naugarduko str. 10) opened its most significant exhibition of the year, "Samuel Bak. Paris and Rome, 1956-1965 / Eglė Ridikaitė. Unveilings".
The exhibition presents a period of Samuel Bak's work that is less known to Lithuanian art lovers – his youth in Paris and Rome. The artist describes it as a time of searching for the perfect brushstroke and his own style.
The artist, who works in Weston, near Boston, donated a large collection of his works to the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History. One third of these works were painted in Paris and Rome.
Symbolically, the huge shipment of 159 pieces reached Lithuania on the first day of 2024, a New Year's gift from Bak.
The exhibition is curated by art historian Ieva Šadzevičienė, the designers are Aleksandra Jacovskytė and Gintaras Znamierovskis (Interse).
While studying and working in the great capitals of Europe, the artist did not forget Vilnius: the traumatic experiences he had in his hometown (he miraculously escaped the destruction of the Holocaust) became one of the central themes in his works from that time.
The theme of Vilnius in the exhibition is complemented by two large-scale works by Lithuanian National Prize laureate Eglė Ridikaitė – exposures of the floor of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius and the mikvah (bathhouse).
The artist painted the canvases in her temporary studio, set up in a kindergarten that was built over the ruins of the Great Synagogue during the Soviet era. Archaeological excavations are still underway near the building.
Marius Žičius photography
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