Cultural Life

A significant contribution to the formation of the regional cultural centre in the city was made by Šiauliai ‘Aušra’ Museum – the institution around which cultural life was revolving during the interwar period and during the war. The Museum continued its educational and cultural mission in the post-war period too. The end of the war and five years after it became the years of trial for this institution. Even a few caches in the city, where cultural values were hidden, were bombarded. Cultural values kept in these caches were severely damaged, especially those that were hidden in St. Peter and Paul’s Church, in ‘Gubernija’ brewery. The very building of the Museum also burned down, so there was no place to return the evacuated values after the war, for that reason they were plundered, destroyed or gradually declined due to poor housing conditions. The Museum had to exist without any premises. It was a very difficult period. The office and part of the surviving exhibits were moved to Peliksas Bugailiškis’s house. Later, the Museum was given the building of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, where the remaining exhibits were stored.

In 1955, the Venclauskiai house became the new refuge for the Museum. In 1966, the Museum regained its former building, which housed it from 1933 until the battles in the city during the Second World War. From then on, rapid expansion of the institution began. The Museum gets several buildings one after another, which become its divisions. In 1967, Žaliūkiai windmill,which was built in 1880 and belonged to Danieliai family, was transferred to the Museum. In 1976, the Museum was supplemented with Šiauliai Division of Photography Art Society of Lithuania, founded by photographer Antanas Dilis, which becomes the Photography Department of ‘Aušra’ Museum and since then has been called the Museum of Photography. In 1985, the house of poet Jonas Krikščiūnas-Jovaras also goes to ‘Aušra’ Museum.

Around 1978, there were 77 libraries in Šiauliai. The central library system, children’s library were established. Most of the larger institutions and organizations had private libraries. Povilas Višinskis Public Library, founded in 1951, became the city’s important cultural centre. In 1978, it was moved to new, much more spacious premises because both the fund of books and other publications as well as the numbers of readers and staff were growing. In 1989, the library already employed 119 people. The new library offered excellent conditions for organizing various events.

In 1946, in the former People’s House, Šiauliai City Culture House was established. It had 3 halls, 13 rehearsal rooms, a reading room. More than 500 events were held annually. It was a place for rehearsals of ‘Jovaras’ ensemble, the symphony orchestra, ballet, ballroom dances, children’s drama clubs, the veterans’ choir, the puppet theatre, and the Esperanto club.

During the Soviet period, the drama theatre continued to operate in Šiauliai, raising a number of prominent theatre personalities. In 1953-1989, there were 5 cinemas in Šiauliai: ‘Tiesa’(founded in 1956), ‘Palydovas’ (1961), ‘Saulė’ (1966), ‘Laikas’ (1978) and ‘Dainai’ (1979).

In 1965, the Department of Drawing and Handicraft, established at the Pedagogical Institute, was a great impetus to further development of art in Šiauliai. Later, this department grew into the Faculty of Arts, which rallied all the artists of that time of the city. In addition to this department, in 1967, the Children’s Art School was founded. The exhibition period started: art exhibitions were organized both in the Exhibition Palace (currently Art Gallery) belonging to ‘Aušra’ Museum and in the Culture House, the Engineers’ Chamber. At that time, the artists’ community was formed, which not only participated in art exhibitions but also created monumental decorative art works, theatrical scenography, playbills, posters.

Zubovų rūmai (čia buvo įkurtas Dailės fakultetas)

Zubovų rūmai (čia buvo įkurtas Dailės fakultetas).

Titnago spaustuvė Šiauliuose

Titnago spaustuvė Šiauliuose.

Šiaulių dramos teatro pastatas

Šiaulių dramos teatro pastatas.



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