Exhibition of the Society of Polish Artists ‘Sztuka’ in Vilnius: A New Style Art Salon

Stefania Kozakowska-Krzystofowicz (PDF)

The painter Ferdynand Ruszczyc from 1900 participated in the Society of Polish Artists ‘Sztuka’ activities founded in Cracow. In 1903, on Ruszczyc’s initiative, an exhibition of the ‘Sztuka’ Society was organised in Vilnius. The exhibition was held in the pavilion ‘Gaj’ in the Bernardine Garden, which was installed by Ruszczyc. This exhibition in Vilnius was distinguished by a new form of organisation of the exhibition space, based on a specific architectonic concept, treating the exhibition as an integrated project, both in terms of the arrangement of the exhibition hall and the placement of paintings. The deliberate, orderly and careful form of the presentation of the paintings, their interrelationship and the desire to isolate individual objects clearly contrasted with the tradition of overcrowded, dense and heavy exhibitions of the nineteenth century. The ‘Sztuka’ at the Secession Hall in Vienna first demonstrated the concept of exhibition space in the autumn of 1902. After the exhibition in Vilnius, the concept of the new-style art salon was repeated in St Louis, Düsseldorf, Krakow and elsewhere.
Keywords: Ferdynand Ruszczyc, exhibition pavilion, exhibition space organisation, paintings