The Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum is proud to present an exhibit of sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973). The sculptures are on loan from the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Chicago Art Institute and museums located around the world. The exhibit opens June 1.
Museum director Markas Zingeris said organizing the exhibit was fraught with difficulties. “This exhibit, dedicated to the 125th birthday of the sculptor, was carefully planned over several years. To put it playfully, it would have been easier to get the president of France here than to borrow sculptures from Paris museums. First we had to convince representatives of the Pompidou Center and the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme to consent to the transport of 5 sculptures and 2 paintings by Lipchitz. Once we had agreement, we had to ensure proper conditions for transporting the art works, since some of the sculptures are made of very fragile materials,” Zingeris recalled.
He said a lot of effort also went into putting into order personal documents and correspondence by the Litvak master donated by his daughter Lolya Rachel Lipchitz, who lives in the USA.
Lipchitz was born in Druskininkai, Lithuania, in 1891 and lived there until he was 17. At the turn of the century he went to France and became a recognized master of modernism in Western Europe and North America. A number of his sculptures decorate public places in the eastern United States.
“Lipchitz perfected his artistic talents in Paris, at the National School of Art and the Académie Julian. In Paris he became close friends with world-famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, Diego Rivera and many others. The sculptor was awarded the French Legion medal of honor,” Markas Zingeris said.
Exhibit catalog author Aušra Rožankevičiūtė said Lipchitz maintained a strong connection with the land of his birth. “’I am a sculptor from Lithuania,’ he used to introduce himself at shows at world-famous galleries and when giving interviews. He was very concerned with reviving memories of his childhood and the poetical tie with the land of his birth,” she said.
The exhibit will run from July 1 to September 25 at the Tolerance Center (Naugarduko street no. 10/2, Vilnius) and includes his lithography (sketches for sculptures), drawings, personal correspondence, documents and sculptures.
For more information, see www.jmuseum.lt