Press conference: "The Embroidered Heaven"

In continuation of the exhibition series launched in 2013, exhibition "The Embroidered Heaven" presents the treasury of embroidered liturgical vestments of Lithuania from the earliest artefacts to contemporary works.
In the exhibition “Silk and Gold” held four years ago, the Church Heritage Museum showed an impressive collection of liturgical textile consisting of vestments made from sumptuous fabrics woven in silk-weaving manufactures that operated in Europe in the 15th to 18th century. The new exhibition continues this approach and offers a new multi-layered narrative. Each embroidered vestment is a unique artwork; the ornaments and figurative compositions represented on it did not appear at random but are related to the function and symbolic meanings of the vestment. Liturgical vestments commemorate historical personalities – famous endowers, bishops and clergymen – and also keep the memory of humble embroiderers and pious donators alive. The exhibition introduces a consistent history of changes of artistic styles and the course of human thought in different historical periods, reveals various aspects of the truths of faith emphasized by theologians, and presents signs of devotion to the saints.
The exhibition also highlights the process of return of the treasures of the Catholic Church that started in 2005: during twelve years, more than 400 objects of church textile were returned to the Vilnius Archdiocese. For the most part, these are liturgical vestments that belonged to Vilnius Cathedral and other textile implements used in the Cathedral. The central temple of the Vilnius Archdiocese has preserved the earliest and most valuable examples of Lithuanian historical textile, handiworks from the late 15th and early 16th century, witnesses to the Mediaeval and Renaissance eras, and a huge treasury of textile from later centuries.
The exhibition is chronologically arranged, and the visitors can easily read the story of changes of artistic styles. The story begins with a short introduction to the surviving heritage from the turn of the Middle Ages to Renaissance, to be followed by the spectacular Baroque period glittering with gold, which gives way to the light and elegant flower garden of Rococo, and vestments from the period of Classicism speaking in antique allegories. The exhibits of the different parts of the exhibition greatly differ in number. For example, there are only four exhibits from the period of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, three of which can be seen in this exhibition. In the meantime, the part presenting Baroque and Rococo – the richest periods of the thriving of textile – is made up of more than forty exhibits. Nineteenth – twentieth century liturgical textiles representing a large variety of styles, techniques and symbols are shown in a separate room.
The exhibition curators are grateful to the employees and conservers of the Lithuanian Art Museum who took care of the church exhibits in the Soviet period.
Very special respect and gratitude to the real owners of these treasures – the churches and parishes that have preserved their treasuries.
Curators: Indraja Kubilytė, Rita Pauliukevičiūtė
Architect Ieva Cicėnaitė
Designer Gedas Čiuželis
Conserver Indraja Kubilytė
Translator Aušra Simanavičiūtė
Coordinators: Violeta Indriūnienė, Sigita Maslauskaitė-Mažylienė, Deimantė Simonavičiūtė, Sandra Stonytė, Birutė Valečkaitė
Supported by: Archdiocese of Vilnius, Lithuanian Council for Culture, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Media sponsors: LRT, DELFI, Clear Channel,

Event date and time

2017 11 23 12:00



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