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Antanas Mončys House-Museum

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S. Daukanto g. 16 / Kęstučio g. 17, Palanga
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Normally memorial museums are established inside the houses or apartments of important people. The Antanas Mončys House-Museum, however, is an exception to this tradition. The sculptor, who retreated to the West during the Second World War, grew up in the village of Mončiai in Kretinga district, but never lived in Palanga itself. The museum of his name is located here because the artist gifted Lithuania a part of his creative legacy.

In the building a canteen belonging to the sanatorium Banga and a club functioned during the Soviet occupation and later there was a library belonging to Jūratė, an association of sanatoriums and resorts. The building was turned into a museum in 1999, after reconstruction work by the architect Petras Lapė. Its story, however, is a lot older. The church-like wooden building with an asymmetrical façade was built in the resort at the beginning of the 20th century by Vladas Navickas, the son of the supervisor of Count Tiškevičius (Tyszkiewicz’s) land. The wooden annex arose after the war, and the stone one even later. What’s exceptional about this building is its faceted bay window.

After the restoration of independence and the re-emergence of the heirs to the house, the building was included in the list of state repossessed buildings, as, with the help of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, it had already been chosen as a place where the creative legacy (which was worth 2 million litas, the former currency of Lithuania, at the time) of Antanas Mončys (1991-1993) would be stored. Lithuanians living abroad also donated money to the museum. The motifs of the sculptor’s works were used to reconstruct the exterior of the building, replacing the ethnic elements that were there before. Even the staircase handle is a copy of a whistle created by the artist who died in Paris, and an element from an illustration from Oskaras Milašius’ Lietuviškos pasakos (Lithuanian Tales), also created by Mončys, were used instead of a little horse in the façade.

The architect Petras Lapė (1924-2012) chose a bright blue colour for the facade. In my opinion, wood requires an intense colour. Why make a tree the same colour as plaster? The inhabitants of the region would often paint their buildings with paint that they made themselves, because only they’d be able to handle the seaside climate. Therefore, the most typical colours for buildings in coastal regions are ochre, ultramarine, white and dark brown. Fishermen sometimes used to paint their houses with resin, Lapė once said to journalists. Interestingly, the architect’s brother, Pranas Lapė (1921-2010), who lived in the USA and who adapted the holiday house to suit modern needs, knew Mončys. The architect and author of the Museum’s permanent exposition was Valdas Ozarinskas (1961-2014).

Antanas Mončys House-Museum

S. Daukanto g. 16 / Kęstučio g. 17, Palanga

Normally memorial museums are established inside the houses or apartments of important people. The Antanas Mončys House-Museum, however, is an exception to this tradition. The sculptor, who retreated to the West during the Second World War, grew up in the village of Mončiai in Kretinga district, but never lived in Palanga itself. The museum of his name is located here because the artist gifted Lithuania a part of his creative legacy.

In the building a canteen belonging to the sanatorium Banga and a club functioned during the Soviet occupation and later there was a library belonging to Jūratė, an association of sanatoriums and resorts. The building was turned into a museum in 1999, after reconstruction work by the architect Petras Lapė. Its story, however, is a lot older. The church-like wooden building with an asymmetrical façade was built in the resort at the beginning of the 20th century by Vladas Navickas, the son of the supervisor of Count Tiškevičius (Tyszkiewicz’s) land. The wooden annex arose after the war, and the stone one even later. What’s exceptional about this building is its faceted bay window.

After the restoration of independence and the re-emergence of the heirs to the house, the building was included in the list of state repossessed buildings, as, with the help of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, it had already been chosen as a place where the creative legacy (which was worth 2 million litas, the former currency of Lithuania, at the time) of Antanas Mončys (1991-1993) would be stored. Lithuanians living abroad also donated money to the museum. The motifs of the sculptor’s works were used to reconstruct the exterior of the building, replacing the ethnic elements that were there before. Even the staircase handle is a copy of a whistle created by the artist who died in Paris, and an element from an illustration from Oskaras Milašius’ Lietuviškos pasakos (Lithuanian Tales), also created by Mončys, were used instead of a little horse in the façade.

The architect Petras Lapė (1924-2012) chose a bright blue colour for the facade. In my opinion, wood requires an intense colour. Why make a tree the same colour as plaster? The inhabitants of the region would often paint their buildings with paint that they made themselves, because only they’d be able to handle the seaside climate. Therefore, the most typical colours for buildings in coastal regions are ochre, ultramarine, white and dark brown. Fishermen sometimes used to paint their houses with resin, Lapė once said to journalists. Interestingly, the architect’s brother, Pranas Lapė (1921-2010), who lived in the USA and who adapted the holiday house to suit modern needs, knew Mončys. The architect and author of the Museum’s permanent exposition was Valdas Ozarinskas (1961-2014).

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