#photography & visual arts
#language & literature
For the very first time, the manuscript of Adam Mickiewicz’s most well-known epic poem Sir Thaddeus will be on display in Lithuania. During the Lithuania, my Homeland... Adam Mickiewicz and his poem Pan Tadeusz exhibition viewers will have the opportunity to discover more about the esteemed Polish ‘bard’ and the historical context of the creation of his masterpiece.
Lithuania, my fatherland! You are like health;
How much you must be valued, will only discover
The one who has lost you.
The opening lines of Sir Thaddeus, translated by Katie Busch-Sorensen
The Lithuania, my Homeland... Adam Mickiewicz and his poem Pan Tadeusz exhibition will explore the historical and cultural relationships between Lithuania and Poland, which are celebrating the centenaries of regaining their independence this year. The national epic of Poland and of the larger Lithuanian region has become ingrained in the Polish literary consciousness.
The history of the reception of Adam Mickiewicz’s most well-known epic poem Sir Thaddeus, or the Last Lithuanian Foray: A Nobleman's Tale from the Years of 1811 and 1812 in Twelve Books of Verse (Pan Tadeusz, czyli ostatni zajazd na Litwie. Historia szlachecka z roku 1811 i 1812 we dwunastu księgach wierszem) is a story about how the work describes systems of social and aesthetic values and teaches how to distance one’s self from national vices and habits. Pan Tadeusz ceases to be just a literary work, it also becomes a timeless instruction in the service of Polishness. Beginning 27th November, Lithuanians will have the opportunity to view the manuscript of this work at the National Museum in Vilnius for the very first time.
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The manuscript rarely travels outside of Poland. This is a special occasion, not only due to the centenaries of Poland and Lithuania regaining independence, but also due to the fact that this year is also the 220th anniversary of Mickiewicz’s birth. The curators wish to encourage visitors to take fresh look at this literary classic that belongs to the cultural heritage of both nations.
One part of the exhibition follows biographical themes and the literary activity of the poet and presents memorabilia and relics illustrating Mickiewicz’s bond with Vilnius and Lithuania. The other part focusses on the manuscript. It includes historical themes that explain the circumstances of the poem's creation. It touches on a number of historical topics such as the Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Kościuszko Insurrection, the Constitution of 3rd May, Napoleon, emigration, and the uprising in Lithuania. The highlight is of course the manuscript itself, courtesy of the National Ossoliński Institute.
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The exhibition will also be accompanied by other events including a concert by Capella Cracoviensis and a screening of Andrzej Wajda’s Pan Tadeusz. Viewers will also have the opportunity to listen to lectures by Polish and Lithuanian researchers and literary critics.
Mickiewicz’s national epic remains an inspiration for artists today. In 2017, the Pan Tadeusz Museum asked twelve Polish graphic designers and illustrators to create a poster for one of the twelve chapters of the book. The posters are part of the exhibition's promotion and can be found on the official website of the Museum.
Pan Tadeusz by Andrzej Wajda – Image Gallery
The exhibition is organised by the Pan Tadeusz Museum at the National Ossoliński Institute, the Wawel Royal Castle National Art Collection & the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
The exhibition is under the honourary patronage of the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, the Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis, the First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński and the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson.
Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
The events are organised by the Polish Institue in Vilnius and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute withith operating under the Culture.pl brand as part of POLSKA 100, the international cultural programme accompanying the centenary of Poland regaining independence.
Source: press materials, compiled by HSz, translated by NR, Nov 2018