Architecture of Optimism:


16/11/2018 - 09/12/2018

Architecture of Optimism: :: © Optimistic look over modern Kaunas. Photo: Veronika Šleivyte, ca. 1937. Kupiškis Museum of Ethnography Architecture of Optimism: :: © Dining room in the apartment of Alexandra Iljiniene, architect Arnas Funkas, 1935. Kaunas Regional Public Library Architecture of Optimism: :: © Modern Kaunas, Vytauto Street, circa 1936, Lithuanian Central State Archives

The modernist architecture of Kaunas reflects the optimistic ideals of the 1920s and 30s. As temporary capital of the newly founded independent Republic of Lithuania, Kaunas underwent a miraculous metamorphosis. In less than 20 years its inhabitants erected more than 12,000 buildings, transforming the city into a modern, elegant European capital. After the Second World War and subsequent occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union this modernist architecture served as a constant reminder of its earlier independence. Today it is a heritage that is the basis of the Kaunas identity. Yet this exhibition is more than the story of a city. It also provides insight into the continuous creation and collapse of dreams, how ideas and forms seek a path, find a site and develop into a genius loci or spirit of a place.