Last week, the new private MO Museum founded by Danguole and Viktoras Butkus opened its doors for the first time to the public. Designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, the museum stands on the site of the legendary former Lietuva Cinema and is home to some 5,000 works of contemporary Lithuanian artists from the 1960s to the present.
As museum founder Viktoras Butkus maintains, the MO Museum is an institution that both invites visitors to discover a unique collection of work while challenging them to engage directly with the world of art. “I am really happy that we finally have crossed the finish line, but I also understand that the most important work is still ahead of us. We want the museum to be alive, so for that reason we will do our best to attract visitors. And not only for one visit, but for regular visits,” remarks Butkus.
Museum architect Daniel Libeskind, who was on hand for the opening ceremony, can now add the MO Museum to his celebrated portfolio of work, which includes buildings like the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Dancing Towers in Seoul, and the World Trade Center master plan in New York. Libeskind was thrilled to design an intimate and iconic museum for a great collection of contemporary art. “As someone who has a true appreciation for the history and beauty of Vilnius, I believe the building and its architecture will become a wonderful place to enjoy art and the spirit of the city,” he reflected.
Elaborating on the museum’s vision to bring people together and engage the public to immerse itself into the world of art, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius said, “I believe that Vilnius can now truly be recognised as a city of art, thanks to the MO Museum. Much like Vilnius, the museum is open, aesthetically pleasing and modern. Moreover, MO’s planned educational projects are sure to contribute to the contemporary art scene in the city and inspire future generations of talented Lithuanian and Vilnius-based artists. The Municipality of Vilnius supports the MO’s mission and will play its part in helping promote and cultivate Vilnius as a city filled with dynamic cultural treasures.”
The MO’s first exhibit curated by Professor Raminta Jurėnaitė also proves that the museum is open to all point of views. Entitled All Art is About Us, the exhibit challenges audiences to take in the works of art both from their own personal perspective and through the broader prism of Lithuanian national identity. The exhibition interweaves multiple strands of Lithuanian historical experience, including the post-war period, the Soviet thaw, the stagnation of the Brezhnev years, the relief that came with Perestroika, the Sąjūdis independence movement, and the restoration of the Lithuanian State, as well as the rapid changes and new challenges that ensued.
Now that the MO Museum is officially a place for art, aesthetics and inspiration, everyone will have the opportunity to visit it for exhibitions, film screenings, open lectures, concerts and a range of other cultural events. For more information, please visit the website of the museum: https://mo.lt/en/.
Photos of the museum and the opening: https://bit.ly/2q33yov.