Viktoras Vizgirda

Viktoras Vizgirda was a painter, teacher, set designer, organiser of artistic life, book illustrator and critic. H e was born on 14 January 1904 on a homestead in Domininkoniai in the Garliava rural district. I n 1920 he was accepted for the Higher Drawing Classes in Kaunas, and from 1923 to 1926 he studied at Kaunas S chool of Art (winning a bronze medal) and in Justinas V ienožinskis’ painting studio. He received a state grant to study for a year in Paris in 1926 and 1927. He attended the Academy of André Lhote, the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, and the drawing studio of Vasily Shukhayev. He was a member of the Independent Artists’ Group and the Ars group, and participated in their exhibitions. Between 1928 and 1932, he taught drawing at Raseiniai Gymnasium, and later in Pagėgiai and at Kaunas School of Crafts. He was chairman of the Lithuanian Artists’ Association from 1936 to 1938. Vizgirda travelled in Europe in the 1930s. In 1941 he moved to Vilnius, and from 1941 to 1943 he was director of Vilnius Art Academy. He fled to Germany in 1944. Between 1946 and 1949, he headed the Painting Studio at the Freiburg School of Applied Art. He was one of the founders and the first chairman (1947) of the Lithuanian Art Institute in Freiburg. In 1950,  Vizgirda settled in Boston in the US A. A solo exhibition of his work was held in 1966 at the Lithuanian Art Museum, the first exhibition in Soviet Lithuania of work by a Lithuanian émigré. He won many medals and prizes, both in Lithuania and the US A. In 1980 he was awarded a prize by the Culture Board of the American Lithuanian Community. He died on 10 July 1993 in Cape Cod, US A, and was buried in Vilnius.

Reference: Art album The World of Landscapes (Volume II)  Compiled by N. Tumėnienė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2013,  P. 282.