Adomas Varnas

A painter, graphic artist, set designer, teacher and organiser of artistic life, Adomas Varnas was born on 1 January 1879 in Joniškis. He studied at the M intauja Gymnasium, and entered Kaunas Seminary. In 1899 he left for St Petersburg, where he attended the Stieglitz School of Art and the Drawing School of the Society for the Promotion of Artists. He entered Krakow Academy of Art in 1903 and studied under the supervision of F. Cynk and J. Stanisławski. Between 1905 and 1907, supported by American Lithuanians, he studied at Geneva College of Art. From 1909 to 1913, he lived in Zakopane in Poland. Exhibitions of his work were held in Z akopane in 1912 and Poznan in 1913. His work also found its way into the first exhibitions of Lithuanian art. He settled in Vilnius in 1918, and was an active participant in Lithuanian artistic and cultural life. Varnas was one of the organisers of the Lithuanian Art Creators’ Society (1920), and was its chairman for some time. In 1923 he began to work at Kaunas School of Art, and headed the painting studio. He collected folk art, and in 1926 he compiled the two-volume book Lietuvos kryžiai (Lithuanian Crosses). He designed posters, postmarks and banknotes, and published the selection of cartoons "Ant politikos laktų" (On the Perches of Politics) in 1922. Apart from portraits and landscapes, he also painted historical and religious subjects, such as "The Coronation of Mindaugas" and "The Apparition of Mary in Šiluva". He left Lithuania in 1944 and lived for some time in Germany. In 1949, he moved to the USA. He settled in Chicago, where he died on 19 July 1979.

Reference: Art album "The World of Landscapes" (Volume II). Compiled by N. Tumėnienė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2013, P. 278.