Cultural heritage: Graphic and decorative art have been part of the cultural heritage for centuries. The Vilnius School of Art was established at the end of the eighteenth century, but handicrafts and religious art date much further back. Large carved wooden crosses and statues are seen throughout the countryside. Large collections of wooden statues appear in sculpture parks across the country. Many towns have art galleries, museums, and handicraft shops to exhibit or sell works.
Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (Čiurlionis) (1875-1911): undoubtedly the most famous Lithuanian painter, was also a gifted composer. His paintings, extremely hard to categorize under any single trend of art, are reputedly the most significant contribution of Lithuanian art to the global culture. His name was cited along with W. Kandinsky, E. Munch, O. Redon, F. Kupka and other most prominent modernists of the time. Kaunas is home to the museum-gallery dedicated to this artist.
Vladas Eidukevicius (Eidukevičius) (1891-1941),: artist painter. His solo exhibitions organized in Riga, Paris, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Palanga. Painted about 400 portraits, landscapes, life scenes, thematic compositions. Early portraits are characterized by vivid color, landscape - fragmentation. The most significant portraits and landscapes Eidukevicius created by the 4th decade.
Juozas Zikaras (1881-1944): sculptor, born in Paliukai, county of Panevezys. During 1904-1906 he studied in Vilnius at Trutnev's Drawing School and in the evenings attended the drawing courses given by J. Montvila. His drawings were rated favourably and exhibited in students' art shows. Still extant are his earliest works, which already surpass the average student's efforts, among them his father's bust, portrait in relief of poet Adam Mickiewicz and the statuettes Moteris (Woman) and Senis su kailiniais (Old Man in Fur Coat). At that time the first exhibition of Lithuanian artists (Dec. 1906) was being organised in Vilnius. From St. Petersburg, Russia, where he had gone to continue his studies, Zikaras sent three small statuettes to be exhibited: ’Iš Tilžės’ (From Tilze), ’Mergaitė su gėlėmis’ (Girl with Flowers) and ’Bedarbis’ (Unemployed). None of these has survived. The sculpture ’Iš Tilžės’ portrayed a man with a sack on his back full of Lithuanian books banned by the Russian government. In St. Petersburg he studied at first at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts (1907), and in 1910 he was accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts. He completed the course of study in 1915 and began work on his diploma sculpture but was mobilised for service into the Russian army. Although unfinished, his sculpture Motina (Mother) was included in the graduating students' exhibit and was met with approval. Zikaras was called before the council of the Academy's professors and presented with a diploma and a silver award (1916). After demobilisation he taught at secondary schools in Petrograd. Having returned to Lithuania (1918), he taught drawing for many years at the Panevezys high school and the Pedagogic Seminary. In 1929 he was invited to head the sculpture studio of the Art School in Kaunas, remaining in this position until 1940. When the school was reorganised into the Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts, he taught drawing here. After the second Soviet Union occupation of Lithuania, he was promoted to professor and was given the chairmanship of the sculpture and ceramics department, but in that same year he took his own life on Nov. 10, 1944.