Photography collection


The collections of Panevėžys Local Lore Museum contain over 30,000 photo documents: negatives, positives, slides, postcards with portraits of famous people, images of cities and towns. The oldest photographs in the collection are of 1863: a portrait of two panels of Lauksodis manor with an inscription by Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė on the other side of the photo and a fixed date - 25 September 1863 and a portrait of two women, Johasia and Zosia Pieczkowska, with a date indicated in the inscription - 3 November 1863. Photographers of both photos are unknown.


Old photographs of images of Panevėžys city are especially valuable, we have very few originals of those. These are fragments and buildings of the central part of Panevėžys photographed by photographer Leiba Slonimskis before the First World War. There are many more postcards issued by the same L. Slonimskis and another photographer of Panevėžys Jankelis Trakmanas and reissued or newly issued by German publishers during the First World War.


The collections of Panevėžys region interwar photographers hold an important place in the collection. The largest is the collection of glass negatives (over 1,500) and photographs by Vincas Firinauskas (1892–1975) from Miežiškis. Most of it consists of portraits of residents of Miežiškiai and surrounding areas, photos of groups of people, associations and organizations, and students. From the historical and urban point of view, photographs with panoramas of Miežiškiai and Upytė towns, church and manor buildings, and with fragments of Raguvėlė manor environment are especially significant.


The much more modest collection of glass negatives and photographs by the photographer of Krekenava town Tadas Bajarūnas (1890–1945) is also dominated by portraits and photographs of groups of people. Especially interesting and valuable are those photos that capture the streets of the town, the panorama from the church tower, the interior and exterior of the church, the bridge over the Lokauša river, construction of school and other objects.


Images of Panevėžys city and festive rallies, social, religious and cultural life of the people of Subačius region, works of rural people are immortalized in the photographs of Povilas Šinskis (1878–1974), a photographer of Subačius town. The photos of the altar and the confessional of the old Geležiai church are especially valuable, because only in them you can see the church interior created and beautifully decorated by the skilled local master Jonas Baruolis (1848–1930). P. Šinskis so far is the only known photographer of the Panevėžys region who has taken stereoscopic photographs as well.


One of the most famous photographers of Panevėžys of the interwar period was Jonas Žitkus (Žitkevičius) (1889–1975). His studio, located in the 5th house on P. Puzinas street, was a place beloved by both high school students, city intellectuals, and ordinary citizens. J. Žitkus mainly worked in the studio, but on various occasions he was invited to schools, institutions, photographed city festivals, celebrations, and individual objects. Particularly significant, and fateful for the photographer himself, photographs of the end of June of 1941 in which he captured the victims of the Red Terror: The bodies of Panevėžys medics and two other townspeople tortured in the basements of the NKVD, the moments of excavation of the bodies of people shot near the Sugar Factory, and the solemn funerals of these victims. J. Žitkus was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1945 for these photographs. He spent half of his detention in Macikai prison in Šilutė region, the other half in Siberian detention camps.


The collections in the photography collection include photos with famous people of Panevėžys: musician Mykolas Karka, composer Antanas Belazaras, priest, writer, and pedagogue Julijonas Lindė-Dobilas, writer, pedagogue, and public figure Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė, writer, pedagogue Matas Grigonis, sculptor Juozas Zikaras and Bernardas Bučas, historian Ona Maksimaitienė, director Juozas Miltinis, actors Jonas Alekna, Regina Zdanavičiūtė, Henrika Hokušaitė-Kosmauskienė and Stepas Kosmauskas, and others.


Rich photo collections of 1918-1940 on the themes of the Lithuanian armed forces and education.


Most of the photos are from Panevėžys city and its vicinity. However, the collection contains photos from Vilnius, Kaunas, Šiauliai, and other parts of Lithuania of various periods, as well as cities of tsarist Russia of the late 19th c. - early 20th c. and photographs taken in the USA before the Second World War.