Nearly 200 original prints, extremely interesting for their photographic qualities, are displayed at the exhibition of the oeuvre of Benedict Henryk Tyszkiewicz, a Polish-Lithuanian aristocrat and photographer. The 19th-century works, which for years were considered lost, come from Lithuanian collections. The exhibition can be visited from 8 December 2023 to 10 March 2024 in the Kubicki Stables.
The exhibition was developed as a result of collaboration between the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw and the Museum of Photography in Šiauliai. The exhibition presents the work of Benedict Henryk Tyszkiewicz, a Polish-Lithuanian aristocrat who used his family fortune, among other things, to pursue his passion for photography.
It was believed for a long time that all of his works had been lost and that what he had created was only known through the accounts of his contemporaries, a few publications in the press and a number of photographs which survived. This was enough for Benedict Henryk Tyszkiewicz to secure a place in the history of French, Polish and Lithuanian photography. A few decades ago, his work reappeared in the public space. These included two small collections of the author’s prints, which were presented at an exhibition at the Nicéphore Niépce Museum in France. Another abundant collection has appeared in Lithuania in recent years, thanks to the efforts of a married couple of collectors, Gražina and Gediminas Petraitis. The photographs presented at the exhibition in the Royal Łazienki come from that collection precisely.
‘Discovered Images’ – what will we see at the exhibition?
In the Kubicki Stables visitors will admire nearly 200 original prints, created between 1892 and 1898. They portray the life and work of Tyszkiewicz, as well as Lithuania, Poland and Europe, their societies, customs and cultural heritage. In addition to a coverage and snapshots of his travels, the Polish-Lithuanian artist explored the boundaries of photography through a play between the real and the pretend, the joke, the staging.
The prints, which are thematically arranged, show Tyszkiewicz as a rich landowner (hunting scenes, life in Viala, palace interiors), a traveller (Zakopane, Nice), an ethnographer (photographs of Lithuanian peasants, Polish highlanders), a portraitist or a pictorialist (staged photographs of French actresses). You will have the opportunity to discover his artistic and scientific ambitions, as well as his ties to Poland and Lithuania, which – despite the many years he spent in France – remained his home and the place where his family art collection was kept. The oeuvre of Tyszkiewicz, which is extremely interesting owing to its photographic qualities, is also a testimony to a period of particular vitality of the Polish-Lithuanian cultural community, whose heritage is the basis of the unique bond connecting the two nations.
Opening hours, admission
The exhibition is open from Tuesday to Wednesday from 10.00 to 16.00, on Thursday and Friday from 10.00 to 18.00, on Saturday from 12.00-18.00, and on Sunday from 10.00 to 16.00. Last entry 30 minutes before the exhibition closes. Admission: with a ticket to the Museum of Hunting and Horsemanship, that is PLN 16 – normal ticket, PLN 8 – reduced ticket, PLN 1 – children aged up to 7 years and youth up to 26 years of age; on Friday admission is free. Tickets: available at ticket office of the Kubicki Stables.
Events accompanying the exhibition
The exhibition features an extensive programme of museum events for children, young people and adults. These are meetings and workshops, including those dedicated to photographic technique, historic games, traditions and customs, a lecture on Lithuanian photography and a tour of the exhibition in the company of a museum curator.
The exhibition ‘Discovered Images. The Photo Aesthetics of Count Benedykt Henryk Tyszkiewicz (1852–1935)’ is held under the honorary patronage of Andrzej Duda, the President of the Republic of Poland, and Gitanas Nausėda, the President of the Republic of Lithuania.
The exhibition presents photographs from the Aušros Museum in Šiauliai, the Lithuanian National Art Museum, the Kaunas District Museum, the Trakai History Museum and the private collection of Gražina Petraitienė.
Curators: Dr Dainius Junevicius and Dr Malgorzata Maria Grąbczewska.
Organisers: The Aušros Museum in Šiauliai (Lithuania), The Royal Łazienki Museum (Poland)
Financial support: The Lithuanian Council of Culture
Sponsor: ARS VIA auction house (Lithuania)
Graphic design: Juozapas Švelnys
Architect: Jurgis Dagelis