The beginning of the 20th century is characterized by the development of national movement in Lithuania and revival of national self-identity. In 1907, the first exhibition of the paintings of Lithuanian artists was organized, and since then they were held regularly up to the beginning of World War I. After each exhibition some pictures were given to the Lithuanian Art Society. Thus the basis of the future museum's collection was formed. In 1933, Vilnius Magistracy decided to establish the City Museum. Different projects were made, the exhibits were collected and stored in different places, but this museum was never open to the public. In 1940, the museum's collection moved to Old Town Hall building. In 1941 the museum, which had been already called the Vilnius State Art Museum, received its first visitors. Since 1966 it has been called the Lithuanian Art Museum. Nowadays, the museum owns a wide collection of Lithuanian and foreign works of fine and applied art. Remarkable collection of the national folk art has been accumulated and is on the display now. The museum's fund is constantly growing mainly due to the donated works by emigrant-artists and their art collections. The visitors can get acquainted with the work of the contemporary Lithuanian and foreign artists at the temporary exhibitions that are held regularly.
The Vilnius Picture Gallery, the branch of the Lithuanian Art Museum, was established in 1956 and since 1994 it was housed in the former palace of Lithuanian noble family Chodkeviciai. The building was erected in the first half of the 17th century. After the reconstruction in 1825 it acquired the late classicism style. In the second half of the 20th century the interior of the halls on the first floor were recreated and now the visitors can see classic halls of the 19th century, decorated with wall sculptures and characteristic stoves. As it was usual for Lithuanian mansions, collections of medals, portrait miniatures, views of the Old Vilnius, portraits of well-known townsmen are exhibited in the halls of the gallery. The Vilnius Picture Gallery displays outstanding collection of Lithuanian paintings, sculptures and graphics from the 16th up to the 19th centuries. The gallery regularly hosts temporary exhibitions and concerts.
Address: Didzioji St., 4
Phone: 370-5-2628030, 370-5-2124258