National-Style Décor of the Furniture Design of the Interwar Period (Summary)

Aistė Dičkalnytė (PDF)

The paper presents the overview of the décor of the Lithuanian National-style furniture from the interwar period of the 20th century. The aim of the paper is to discuss décor trends in the National-style furniture, stylistic peculiarities of expression, symbols, and specifics of manufacturing techniques. During the period in question, a popular opinion among the theoreticians was that the most important factor in creating the National style was the use of stylised folk ornaments as decorations.

The analysis of the selected examples of furniture and design blueprints revealed that their décor was influenced by the ornaments of folk art, especially textile ornaments. This trend was caused by the intensive promotion of folk textiles during the interwar period. The dominant ornaments were: stylised Lithuanian floral motives, especially tulips, geometric folk textile patterns, and other folk ornaments like segmental stars or spruce twigs. However, the motif of a flower bouquet in a vase—very popular in folk furniture décor—was rare. Upholstery was also decorated with folk textile patterns. The Columns of Gediminas and the Lithuanian mythological and folkloric symbols were also sometimes used but less frequently than folk ornaments. The technique of making the ornaments also differed from the folk techniques. Instead of carving and painting methods popular in folk furniture, marquetry technique dominated in the National-style furniture. The paper discusses the creators of the National-style furniture, especially Jonas Vainauskas and Jonas Prapuolenis, who were promoting marquetry decoration technique together with folk ornaments. The décor was stylised in the geometric manner of Art Deco. In this way, an attempt was made to keep up with the Western design trends.

Keywords: National style, furniture making, interwar period, furniture décor, Kaunas officers’ club “Karininkų Ramovė”, Jonas Prapuolenis, Jonas Vainauskas, craft schools