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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus




 On 30 March 2021, at 15:00 (Lithuanian time) will be the press conference presenting the initiative ‘Tolerance Through Art’ will feature a live discussion with painter Samuel Bak as moderated by the Ambassador of the initiative philosopher Paulius Gritėnas.

• Director of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History dr. Kamilė Rupeikaitė.
• Head of Samuel Bak Museum Ieva Šadzevičienė.
• Head of EZCO Creative Agency Lina Vigraitė.
Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 845 3539 4405; passcode: 794477.
Launching of the initiative ‘Tolerance Through Art’ inspired by Samuel Bak’s artwork
The Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History and EZCO Creative Agency present the initiative ‘Tolerance Through Art’ inspired by the artwork and life story of world-renown artist Samuel Bak. 
‘The aim of the initiative is through the art of Samuel Bak, who was born in Vilnius and survived the Holocaust, and with the help of modern interactive means to encourage an open discussion about both the past and sensitive issues of the present, to discover historical signs and the importance of tolerance,’ says dr. Kamilė Rupeikaitė, Director of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History.
The initiative ‘Tolerance Through Art’ combines the physical and virtual activities of the Samuel Bak Museum that have already been implemented, including further development of its expositions. ‘Virtual reality is becoming a virtuality, which over the recent months has been part of our life marked not only by restrictions, but also by discoveries. One of them is the portal  www.menas.samuelisbakas.lt, inviting to get to know art based on the works by painter Samuel Bak, who was born in Vilnius almost 90 years ago. Through metaphors and symbols used by the artist, this interactive website raises ethical questions and encourages discussions on why we need art,’ says Ieva Šadzevičienė, Head of the Samuel Bak Museum.
The next step is the epistemological virtual tour ‘In the Footsteps of Samuel Bak’, which will be launched in April. According to Lina Vigratė, Head of EZCO Creative Agency, by walking in the artist’s footsteps, we will hear personal stories from Vilnius, which was broken during WWII, as told through the eyes of the child. The tour shows around the places of Vilnius that are important for the artist: starting with his childhood home, a hideout in the Benedictine monastery, and going on to the first exhibition in the ghetto theatre and finally to the Samuel Bak Museum.
In his artwork, Samuel Bak pays great attention to the concept of tikkun olam (Hebrew  תיקון עולם), which exists in Judaism and means an attempt to recover, to correct the world. We need to build our world on a daily basis, to make it better for everyone. It is an important part of Jewish culture and worldview, and it is of value to the whole of humankind.
It is impossible to rebuild the past, it is impossible to keep silent about the traumatic experiences of the Holocaust, but it is possible to glue the broken world back together, says the artist who has successfully restored the connection with his native Vilnius and donated a collection of his artwork to Lithuania.

About Samuel Bak
Samuel Bak was born in 1933 in Vilnius. He was imprisoned in the Vilna Ghetto and the HKP labour camp, and was forced to hide in a monastery in Vilnius. As of 1945, Bak lived in a displaced persons camp in Germany, in 1948 emigrated to Israel, and later lived in France, Italy and Switzerland. In 1993, the artist settled down in Weston, Massachusetts (USA). Bak studied art at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem and L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The artist held solo exhibitions in metropolitan galleries and museums in the USA, Israel and Europe. In 2017, the Samuel Bak Museum opened as part of the exposition of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History. Samuel Bak was bestowed honorary citizenship of the City of Vilnius, and in 2018 – Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. In 2019, Samuel Bak Gallery and Learning Centre opened at the  Holocaust Museum Houston (Texas, USA).
For more information please contact:
Rūta Matimaitytė
Communication Coordinator, Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Tel.: +37062357560
E-mail: ruta.matimaityte@jmuseum.lt


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