Visitors are invited to learn about Lithuanian art and historical artefacts from pagan cultural heritage all the way to contemporary art at the Lithuanian Art Knowledge Centre TARTLE, located in Užupis. The centre’s aim is to cherish, collect and return the cultural and historical Lithuanian heritage distributed throughout the world and, most importantly, to make it accessible to the public. The founders of TARTLE are the Lithuanian Art Foundation and the private collector Rolandas Valiūnas.
The centre is unique in that it is possible to examine the history of Lithuania interactively through the prism of art and meaning, and to explore original art exhibits of different periods, which are impossible to see anywhere else. The collection presents the artists of historical Lithuania, regardless of their nationality, because it does not matter what language they spoke or where they came from – their works are inseparable from the historical and cultural context of Lithuania.
These include the largest private collection of medals and sculptures by Petras Rimš; a unique collection of folk art; the only collection of maps of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania of this size in Lithuania; extremely rare albums published by Pranciškus Smuglevičius in Rome; a collection of Lithuanian books reaching almost 2,000 copies; impressive graphic files of Kazimieras Vilčinskis and Napoleonas Orda; a complete collection of inter-war Lithuanian stamps; silver pieces of Vilnius craftsmen, among them the unique clock of the most famous Vilnius 17th-century clockmaker Jokūbas Gierkė; the largest sculpture by Jokūbas Lipšicas; the collection of works of Vilnius artists of the interwar period; and many other valuable exhibits.